Buni Media was founded in 2009 as the production vehicle for The XYZ Show, its first television project. Since then it has grown into a multimedia company with offices in Nairobi and Los Angeles.
Buni Media is comprised of BuniStudios, a film & television production outlet, BuniVisualFX, an animation & post-production studio, BuniWorkshop, a puppet-making & special effects workshop, BuniPublishing, a publishing house, and Buni TV, a digital distribution platform. It employs 88 people.
Board of Directors
Gado (Godfrey Mwampembwa)
As co-founder and Executive Chairman, Gado (Godfrey Mwampembwa) provides business and creative leadership to Buni Media. More specifically, Gado manages Buni Media’s relationships with donors and other partners, and oversees the company’s Nairobi operations.
Gado is the Creator and Producer of The XYZ Show, Africa’s first puppet political satire.
Alongside his responsibilities at Buni Media, Gado continues his acclaimed career as the most syndicated political cartoonist in East and Central Africa. Since 1992, he has been an editorial cartoonist and illustrator with the Nation Media Group. A regular contributor to New African (UK), Courier International (France), Business Day and Sunday Tribune (SA), his work has also been published in Le Monde (France), Washington Times (US), The Guardian (UK), and the Japan Times.
Gado studied at Fabrica, a Communication Research Center in Treviso, Italy, where he produced a short animated video on racism. He is also a graduate of the Vancouver Film School where he studied classical animation and filmmaking.
Gado is a 2007 Prince Claus Laureate. He is also a winner of Kenya National Human Rights Commission Award in Journalism in 2005 and 2007. In 1999 he was named Kenya Cartoonist of the Year. He has exhibited his works in Tanzania, Kenya, France, Norway, Finland and Italy. A painter in oil and watercolors, Gado is a member of Kenya Union of Journalists (KUJ), the Association of East African cartoonists (KATUNI), Cartoonists and Writers Syndicate (C&W) and a Board Member of Cartoonist Rights Network (CRN).
He has published three books: “Abunuwasi”, a short story comic book and “Democrazy!” and “The End of an Error…”, two collections of his editorial cartoons.
Chief Executive Officer
As co-founder and CEO of Buni Media, Marie Lora-Mungai is responsible for establishing and leading the implementation of the company’s growth and creative strategy. More specifically, Marie is in charge of Buni Media’s business development, which involves creating new programs and setting up partnerships across the continent and beyond.
She is the creator of ONCE UPON A TIME IN AFRICA, a children program about ancient African history, and of the BUNI TV COMEDY SERIES, an irreverent, pan-African improv comedy show. She is the co-creator of THE TRADE, a gritty drama series on the West African drug trade; THIS IS AFRICA, an ambitious, pan-African reality TV show on entrepreneurship; and OFFENCE, a drama series on the fascinating world of professional Kenyan football. She is currently developing Buni Media’s first 2 feature film projects.
Marie also founded and runs Buni TV, Buni Media’s digital distribution arm that has become the leading video-on-demand platform for high quality African content.
Before becoming a media entrepreneur, she had a first career as an award-winning television journalist, working across 3 continents and 15 African countries for CNN, Reuters TV, AFP TV and the BBC World Service. She is the author of a book on George W. Bush’s and John Kerry’s 2004 presidential campaigns (Marketing politique: Mode d’emploi, 2006, STUDYRAMA).
Marie is a regular speaker at conferences and film festivals worldwide about African media, rewriting the African story, and the power of mobile video to revolutionize the way content is being distributed and consumed on the continent.
She holds a Masters in Political Science from the Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris (Sciences Po) and a Masters in Marketing and Communications from the Ecole Supérieure de Commerce de Paris (ESCP). In 2013 she was named a Rising Talent by the Women’s Global Forum, one of the “30 Women Who Matter” by L’Express magazine, and one of “Africa’s top 40 Women in Film & TV” by Film Biz Africa.
Patrick is a holder of Bachelor of Commerce (Finance option) honours degree from the Catholic University of Eastern Africa and is a Certified Public Accountant (K) with over seven years of professional accountancy work and consultancy experience in the private sector.
Patrick has been involved in advising various company managements on economic, budgetary, financial and tax risks and opportunities that impact their businesses, as well as in developing systems of internal controls that covers diverse business operations of various firms.
At Buni Media, Patrick is in charge of accounting and financial reporting. He also participates in and supports the company’s business development strategy.
Paul “MADD” Kelemba
Paul “MADD” Kelemba is one of the pioneers of editorial cartooning in Kenya. Before joining the Standard Group in 1992, Madd had worked with the Daily Nation as editorial cartoonist and had illustrated for Drum, Viva, Men Only and True Love Magazines.
Madd contributes to several newspapers. His weekly flagship cartoon commentary “It’s a Madd, Madd World” appears in the Saturday edition of the Standard Newspaper. It has run uninterrupted from 1989, when it first appeared in the Daily Nation.
He has also developed concepts, storyboards and character designs for local short films and animation commercials.
Madd’s work has been shown at the Alliance Française, the Goethe Institute and the Japan Information & Culture Centre. Along with his colleagues, he has also exhibited in Tanzania, Uganda and in Europe, and toured Japan under the sponsorship of the Japan Foundation.
James “Kham” Kamawira
James “Kham” Kamawira began his cartooning career after venturing into advertising as a graphics designer. In 1988, he joined the Kenya Times Media Trust newspaper as an editorial cartoonist. In 1992, he studied animation at the School of Electronic Art in San Francisco, California. Kham also holds an Advanced Diploma in 3D animation from the Shang Tao Media Arts College in Nairobi.
In 1995, he joined The Media House as editorial cartoonist and in 1997 moved to the East African Standard newspaper in the same capacity, where he has been there since.
Kham was voted cartoonist of the year in 2003. He has held numerous joint exhibitions with other outstanding cartoonists in Kenya and Europe. Kham is also is a Trustee of the Free Citizens’ Trust, an organization that seeks to promote visual arts as a form of information. He has been involved in the production of the world celebrated UNFPA POPED series and various other high profile productions including the UNEP-commissioned Ozone Story in collaboration with Justo Casal.
Kham has published several comic books including “Bongoman in the gulf”, “Kham in Khamland” and a Swahili book entitled “Macho ya mji”.
Board of Advisors
Stephen King, Omidyar Network
Based in London, Stephen leads Omidyar Network’s global Government Transparency investment area. His porfolio includes FrontlineSMS, Global Voices, mySociety, Refugees United, The XYZ Show, and Ushahidi.
Prior to Omidyar Network, Stephen served as the Chief Executive of the BBC World Service Trust, where he led a period of sustained growth that included building programs in more than 40 countries in the developing world. Stephen helped establish the Trust’s international reputation as one of the largest and most successful organizations using media and communications to improve the lives of the world’s poor and promote better governance and transparency worldwide.
Prior to the BBC, Stephen was the Executive Director of the International Council on Social Welfare, an international organization working to promote social development. Stephen has also held positions with nonprofit organizations HelpAge International, Help the Aged, and Voluntary Service Overseas.
Stephen is a board member of CARE International in the U.K. He holds an MA in Oriental and African Studies from the University of London.
Sammy Muvelah, Zimele
Sammy Muvelah is a Fund Manager at Zimele Asset Management Company, a pension fund trading on the Nairobi Stock Exchange.
Zimele Asset Management is a registered fund manager with the Capital Markets Authority and the Retirement Benefits Authority. The company also operates the Zimele Unit Trust.
Muvelah, who has 12 years of experience in investment management and project management, holds a post-graduate degree in Economics from Nairobi University. He began his career as a research and investment analyst.
Charles Onyango-Obbo, Nation Media Group
Charles “Mase” Onyango-Obbo is a “Uganda”Ugandan author journalist, and former Managing Editor of “The Monitor (Uganda)”The Monitor. He is currently Executive Editor for the Africa and Digital Media Division with the Nation Media Group, in Nairobi, Kenya. He is a political commentator on African issues, with a special focus on East Africa and the African Great Lakes region, and writes columns in The Monitor (“Ear to the Ground”), The East African, and The Daily Nation.
Born in the town of Mbale in eastern Uganda, Onyango-Obbo studied at Makerere University in Kampala, and at the American University in Cairo where he obtained a Master’s degree in journalism. In 1991, he was a “Nieman Foundation for Journalism”Nieman Fellow at Harvard University.
His investigative journalism led to Onyango-Obbo being regularly arrested by the Ugandan government. Onyango-Obbo appeared in court over 120 times between 1997 and mid-2003; more than the combined number of times Ugandan journalists had been in court since the country’s independence in October 1962.
Business Development Manager
With over 14 years’ experience in broadcast, music production, sound design, creative thinking, management and business strategy, Julian brings a wealth of experience to Buni Media.
Julian comes from a music and radio background. As a music producer, music remixer and studio engineer, he has worked with Kenya’s best artists, including Achieng Abura, Nameless, Jua Cali, Nonini, and Eric Wainaina. Later, Julian also had a successful career in radio programming and management and is credited with being one of the key pioneers of Kenya’s “great media paradigm shift” while working for Royal Media Services, the most influential media house in the country.
As Buni Media’s Business Development Manager, Julian is in charge of establishing contacts and partnerships with various companies and organizations, developing Buni Media’s revenue-generating activities, and promoting the Group’s products on all media platforms.
Because of his background in sound, Julian also manages all Buni Media’s audio (radio & music) projects, which includes sound designing, music producing. He is also a strong content contributor as a writer on The XYZ Show, bringing exciting ideas to the writing room.
Having dropped out of Business school earlier to pursue a short lived hip-hop music career, he is now back in University seriously pursuing a degree in broadcast, graduating class of 2015.
A media industry professional for over 8 years, Irene supervises all Buni Media production and admin staff, and personnel-related issues. She manages and controls production expenditures and, in liaison with the relevant Heads of Department, participates in budget preparations and all relevant planning. Before joining Buni Media, Irene managed the production and later produced the long-running edutainment TV drama series Makutano Junction through its eleven series run.
Irene’s in depth television production experience includes children programming (The Know Zone, 2008-2011), reality TV (pilot for Shamba Shape Up and School Shape Up), documentaries (Striga), and feature films (Toto Millionaire, 2008; Guerilla Boy, 2011). She holds a Diploma in Business Administration (Management) ABEUK.
Lily Joan Wanjiku
Head Script Writer, The XYZ Show
Lily is a writer in every sense of the word; from copywriting to radio dramas to writing for documentaries. She’s written for MEDEVA, the Emmy-Award-winning Company Well Told Story (creators of Shujaaz) and Moonbeam Productions (the creators of Mentality and Travel Diaries). Lily graduated from Daystar University with a BA in Electronic Media (radio and TV). She has an extensive media background having worked with Capital FM and Nation Media Group.
At Buni Media, Lily is the Head Scriptwriter for The XYZ Show. She is in charge of managing the writing team and leading the show’s scriptwriting process. Her natural comedic talents and her quirky and sometimes controversial perspective on socio-political issues serves her well in her job description. She is also always working on her own projects and hopes to transform Africa with bold, unapologetic and visionary content.
Edward Khaemba is a graduate of Kenyatta University, where he honed his creative skills as a member of the Kenyatta University Ensemble. His uncanny ability to mimic George Bush, Osama Bin Laden, Nelson Mandela, Saddam Hussein, amongst other personalities made him very popular and earned him a role in the theatre group’s performance of William Shakespeare’s ‘The Merchant of Venice’ where he played 3 roles. He has also starred in the film Mizoga and made appearances in the popular ‘Red Korna’ comedy show.
Khaemba joined Buni Media in 2009 as a voice artist and grew to become its Voice Director. Apart from giving his voice to popular characters like presidents Mugabe and Museveni or Kofi Annan, he trains and mentors the full band of voice artists for The XYZ Show as well as other productions such as Once Upon a Time In Africa . Khaemba also contributes as a script writer and content producer.
Charity is a holder of a Bachelor of Communication (Advertising Option) from Daystar University and of a diploma in Electronic Media from the Kenya College of Communications Technology. She has been editing for 6 years.
At Buni Media, Charity is the Head Editor in charge of assembling recorded raw material and crafting it into the finished product that is The XYZ Show. She also manages the editing process on all other Buni Media productions.
King has directed and worked on post-production for many local television productions, adverts and documentaries. He is also an acclaimed music video director, his work with some of East Africa’s biggest artists being on rotation on regional and international entertainment channels. He holds a Higher Diploma in Multimedia Production (Animation) BTEC.
King’s all-round background in film production from shooting to animation gives him an edge in improving workflows and quality on Buni Media’s projects. His strong technical background allows him to manage VFX and animation projects from conception to completion by directing and coordinating technical, artistic, and production outputs.
Workshop and Art Department Head
Ross has been working in the international TV and Film Industry for over 20 years in the area of animation, specializing in all forms of puppet making including latex puppets, cloth and stop frame animation characters. He has worked as a freelance puppet maker, animator, art director, set maker, pyrotechnic and special effects specialist and animation director before founding his own TV Animation Production Company, Nautilus Productions GmbH. One of the characters his company helped develop “Bernd das Brot” (Bernd The Loaf of Bread), won a prestigious German “Adolf Grimme Prize” in 2004. It was the first time that a puppet character had been awarded a Grimme.
Ross has worked on numerous TV, Film Productions and animation advertisements, for both local and international audiences; including “The Secret Life of Toys” (Henson Productions), “Hurra Deutschland” (Gum GmbH), “Coccolino” (Gum GmbH), “The Clown” TV series and film (Action Concept Film and Stunt Production GmbH), stop frame animation adverts for the “Smurfs” (Nautilus Productions GmbH) and “Barbie” from Mattel Toys (Nautilus Productions GmbH) to mention a few.
Ross was also an artist of the gallery Marie-Puck Broodthaers in Brussels, Belgium, exhibiting extensively throughout Europe, and has worked as an art lecturer in the UK.
Ross studied Fine Arts and Fine Arts Teaching and was awarded a D.A.A.D. scholarship to work in Berlin, Germany. He has lived and worked in Australia, Germany, England, Canada, and now Kenya.
The BuniStudios Team
A successful media project starts with a great script. Head writer Lily Wanjiku, and writers Titus Maina, Edward Khaemba, Julian Macharia and Loi Awat are the minds behind The XYZ Show’s weekly antics. Khaemba also manages and mentors the talented actors who give a voice to our famous puppets.
On set is an army of directors, cameramen, gaffers, sound engineers, set designers, wardrobe assistants and of course, puppeteers!
The Workshop Team
The BuniWorkshop is managed by industry veteran Ross Franks, and is the place where The XYZ Show’s puppets come to life. Our workshop team also creates various types of puppets on commission, as well as props ranging from life-size trees to 16th Century Timbuktu manuscripts.
The BuniVisualFX Team
From The XYZ Show to documentary projects, Head Editor Charity Torut and her team piece together hours of footage with impactful results.
VisualFX director King Muriuki coordinates the team of animators and special effects experts responsible for creating the visual identity of all Buni Media projects. Skilled in both 2D and 3D animation, they can give life to the most abstract of concept.