Why did Jack Ojiambo leave Capital FM?

(image courtesy of www.keepcalm-o-matic.co.uk)

When I wrote about Jack’s departure from Capital FM last week, I mainly delved on the future for the Capital Jazz Club and the many fans that had come to love the show over the 17 years that Jack hosted it.

I however, did not give the actual reasons why Jack left or divulge details confirming that he was indeed pushed to it in a very unprofessional manner which the folks at Capital have been trying to hide and even confront me on not giving their version of what exactly happened.

I was even accused of scavenging for information from everywhere else other than Capital. Yes they are very open and would have readily given me all the information I wanted for my story (Yeah right, like they would have given me the time of day before that post)

Unknown to them, I had already spoken to Jack Ojiambo who happens to be a good friend of mine all due to the fact that I have been a huge fan of his show.

However, that did not cloud my thoughts as I wrote the article and I simply looked at it from the point of the listeners and their feeling of abandonment.

What Exactly Happened?
In the many years that Capital Jazz Club existed, Jack started inviting in-studio guests every now and then, most of who happened to be his very fans. This was the perfect way to create a community and transform the show into a sharing experience.

In the last two shows before his departure, he hosted Aaron Rimbui consecutively, something that had never happened before. Apparently, the 2nd visit was prevailed upon him by the Programmes Controller. He was later informed that a decision had been made that he should, in future, co-host the show with Aaron. There was no discussions, and it was not a request. They were instructions. He was further reminded that it was not a Jack Ojiambo show, it was a Capital FM show. If he didn’t like the new arrangement, it was up to him.

It is at that point that Jack decided that he would not host the show anymore.
Soon after Jack announced on his Facebook page that he would no longer be presenting the Capital Jazz Club, it was confirmed on twitter that indeed Aaron had replaced him (yes, that fast) and now the only worry by Vincent was if Aaron had a good enough accent which is a pre-requisite.

This was despite the outpouring of confusion online from the many fans who sought answers on the unfolding events.


Is this new or has it happened before?
This incident with Jack seems to be what opened a can of worms on the suspicious manner in which previous hosts were ‘let go’ without receiving their final dues.

Therefore, by Jack tendering his resignation, they would be justified in saying that they did not sack him thus would not pay him all his dues. They however forgot that Jack is a lawyer by profession and he will have them for lunch ( watch the drama unfold on a TV near you) should they try the same tact on him.

I am informed that they have been given an ultimatum in which to sort out the matter amicably.

So Many Questions!

We therefore need to ask ourselves the following questions:-

a. What really prompted Capital to force Jack out after 17 years?
Could there be more to it than just wanting to transition from the old to the new as they termed it?

So is it that Jack was so stuck on the old that it necessitated a hostile take over!

This is despite numerous attempts by Jack seeking an audience with the programmes controller on a meet to discuss ways of revamping the show which never happened.

There is a nagging speculation by many I have spoken to about this being a Mavuno fueled take cover (surely, you must have seen this one coming).

As I mentioned on twitter, the Jazz day celebrations revealed a subtle sign that there are indeed Jazz camps which many did not realize exist. The plan was for all Jazz musicians to come together and celebrate the Jazz day on 30th April. However, while almost all other Jazz musicians were at the Tree house, Aaron and Eric Wainaina held their own separate gig at the Elephant.

Aaron’s fan base is drawn mostly from Mavuno church where he has performed on numerous occasions and that could be the group that is being drawn in to listen to Capiro.

There are rumors that he will be co-hosting the show with a lady.

b. Was that the best way to handle the situation?

We are all in agreement that shows do go one even after hosts have come and gone thus if the management felt that it was time to re-invent the Jazz show, then its their prerogative. However, what many continue to fail in understanding is that the situation was handled in a very Jua Kali way with no professionalism whatsoever especially taking into account that this person has run the show for 17 years.

c. Will Capital FM pay Jack his dues?
I will leave this to them, Jack and the Kenyan Law Courts to decide should it reach that point.

d. What if Jack does get to run his show in another Radio Station, is Capital prepared to loose its listeners?
Other media houses have already expressed interest in having Jack host a similar show and chances are that he might just migrate with his fans. Capital FM is quite ready for this. Or did they under-estimate loyalty?

e. Why the loud Silence from Capital on the matter?
The silence on this matter from Capital has been rather loud with no official communication from their website.

Moving On
There are those who want this to be quickly forgotten, for us to move on and give Aaron a chance. I was even branded as an irresponsible blogger by one tweep for writing about this.

Does 17 years of building a brand mean nothing to anyone anymore.

Let me ask this in a different way.

If the exact same thing had happened to Maina Kageni, would it have received the same dismissive attitude and cover up?

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