What is the future for Capital Jazz Club after Jack Ojiambo’s departure?

June Gachui & Jack Ojiambo

June Gachui with Jack Ojiambo at the recently held Jazz Special in marking the International Jazz Day on 30th April. They were the event's MCs

After 17 years of hosting the Capital Jazz Club on Capital FM radio station, Jack Ojiambo yesterday informed his show’s  fans on Facebook that he was leaving the station.

Jack Hillary Ojiambo
Its unfortunate for me to report that I shall be leaving your Capital Jazz Club radio programme after 17 years rather abruptly. Hope we can continue to share in whatever way.

This was immediately received with disbelief, protest  and even calls to lobby Chris Kirubi the owner of Capital FM to reconsider through the Capital Jazz Club group which has over 2,300 fans.

Jonathan Okello Mmmm… it has not sink in yet! Jack Hillary Ojiambo
9 hours ago · Like

Wairimu Kamau C’mon man,are you trying to pull a belated April Full’s on now? coz if you are,I’ma hold one’s back right now,and say a big “Phew,that was close” #JashoPevu!
9 hours ago via mobile · Like · 1

Wanjiru Kinoti This is a cruel joke. Apologise at once!
9 hours ago via mobile · Like · 1

Sunil Lakhani ..do tell us the new frequency that v shuld tune into. ..
9 hours ago via mobile · Like

Andy Mutua Looking at this huge list of comments we should petition CK and Capital FM mgmt …
8 hours ago · Like · 2

Matilda Makungu Andy Mutua’s suggestion can work otherwise capital jazz show is coming to an end after all these years and the way we begged for extra hours ……
7 hours ago via mobile · Edited · Like · 1

Navin Satish sad day
2 hours ago · Like

Nelson Manyasa where will the biggest show on the planet land?
57 minutes ago via mobile · Like

Nelson Manyasa I was thinking of having the program xtended to 5 days!!!!!
55 minutes ago via mobile · Like

David Nyamai There’s a package to the show with Jack Hillary Ojiambo that goes beyond the playlist of tracks. Its like saying Rick Dees stops presenting the Rick Dees show… Hope the station sees it that way and remedies


The Capital Jazz club logo on Face book

In less than an hour after his announcement, Vincent Ochieng the Show Producer and Manager at  Capital FM announced through his twitter handle that Aaron Rimbui had joined them and would be taking over from Jack Ojiambo.

Ochieng’ Vincent ‏@VinieO 
Help me in welcoming on board the one and only @AaronRimbui as he officially joins CAPITAL 98. 4 FM Presenters Team.

Aaron Rimbui ‏@AaronRimbui
LADIES and Gentlemen!!! I’m officially on board the @CapitalFM_kenya family!! #CapitalJazzClub

This caused further reactions on twitter with some congratulating Aaron and others clearly distraught by the sudden change

David Njuki ‏@njukey 14h
The Capital Jazz Club is dead ..yeah I said it!

Wanjiru Mbugua ‏@wanjirumbugua1 9h
Congrats to the multi talented Aaron Rimbui for joining Capital Fm family &my best love to my boo Ms Amani… http://fb.me/1HvpFc02W

Nduta Njau ‏@Ndutapn 14h
@AaronRimbui happy to hear you Aaron Crucial Keys Rimbui!! We will listen dutifully.

This come barely a week after Laura Walubengo who was also one of the longest serving news presenter, left the same station.

The question that is in each mind of the many fans that Jack has inducted into the Jazz club is, What will be the future of the club be?

Whilst many will argue that everything in life changes since its inevitable, others will retort that, change only happens when it is a necessity. That’ why humans have walked upright for over thousands of years after descending from the Homo Erectus species. In other words, if something is not broken, it should not be fixed.

That is how many are seeing it with Jack’s exit. One also gets the feeling that this has become the case of  ‘Asante ya punda’ where Jack is shown the door unceremoniously after building up a fan base and breaking the stereotypes that many had towards Jazz music in Kenya.

There are those who might speculate that maybe the new producer has a free hand and wants to deal with those who will tow the line and maybe it was a challenge dealing with Jack as he is one person whose love for Jazz goes beyond just hosting a 3 hr show every Sunday and a man with his own mind.

Capital is quite ready to loose a few listeners as Vincent wrote to Njukey on twitter and is confident that it will replace them with others.

Ochieng’ Vincent ‏@VinieO 15h
@njukey Change is change…..and we must grow people in the industry. People have come and gone at Capital- The Brand still STAYS STRONG

Ochieng’ Vincent
@njukey If i were to count the people who have left since 1996, i would literally fill your TL- My point? New chances in life

The role of radio is with no doubt being redefined by the internet with many Kenyans who have reliable internet connections listening to online music streaming stations whilst others have found the net to be a cheap source of music downloads. It has therefore become slightly harder for radio stations to maintain listener loyalty especially in the urban areas where the middle class have access to better technology and fast internet speeds.

It is therefore a huge gamble for Capital FM whose target market is the same middle class to replace a household name that has played the role of Jazz teacher more than a presenter with  Rimbui – a Jazz musician.

There will be benefits to this move in that Aaron will bring in a different music offering but it might not be enough to drown the sour taste left on the tongue of  many Jazz Club fans.

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