National days were a cash cow for media

By - Jun 1st 2023

When 20th October was known as Kenyatta Day, newspapers enjoyed lots of cash, thanks to revenue generated by loyalty advertisements placed on their pages.

Government agencies and state corporations would fall over each other to buy space in the dailies to send congratulatory messages to his Excellency the President who was Daniel Arap Moi. It was almost impossible for any government parastatal to miss out on the list of advertisers.

Besides parastatals, other organizations that did business (read tenders) with the government also did their best to show their solidarity with the ruling party.

Placing of adverts took place not only on Mashujaa Day but also on Madaraka Day, Jamhuri Day, Labour Day, and whenever there were Agricultural Society of Kenya (ASK) shows countrywide. In media houses, executives ensured such advert copies were paid for in cash or on the account. This was to avoid unnecessary debts whose payment became very difficult if not checked early enough.

Although the practice was stopped when President Kibaki came to power, it was a very good revenue earner for newspapers and magazines of the day like the Weekly Review. 

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