Jiffy Pictures, Rashid and Lulu Hassan’s Company Behind top Swahili Programs
Jiffy Pictures is one of Kenya’s leading production companies. Lulu Hassan and Rashid Abdalla, the power couple of Citizen TV, own and govern it.
Some of Kenya’s and East Africa’s most popular Swahili telenovelas have been created and produced by the award-winning firm.
Huba, Aziza, Maza, Kovu, Zari, Becky, Moyo, Maria, and Sultana are among the films and soaps they have created.
In Tanzania, these shows have been shown on Citizen TV, Maisha Magic East, Showmax, and Maisha Magic Bongo.
But how did Lulu and Abdalla establish and expand their film empire?
The couple met on Rashid Abdalla’s first day at coast-based Radio Salaam in 2006, which marked the start of his remarkable broadcasting career.
Lulu, for her part, had started at the station as a 20-year-old part-time English newscaster.
They fell in love right away, which led to their engagement and subsequent marriage.
Lulu Hassan would soon win her first TV gig as a Swahili newscaster on KTN, while Rashid went on to work as a news anchor on NMG’s now-defunct QTV.
When QTV was shut down, he transferred to NTV.
During this period, they came up with the idea for Jiffy Pictures, a production business specializing in Swahili telenovelas for local viewers.
The duo would develop screenplays, scout for talent, and executive produce the shows.
They believed it was a brilliant idea, so between 2016 and 2017, they registered the firm and established its social media sites, and they landed their first show Maza in collaboration with a company named Multichoice.
When Rashid departed NTV in 2018, they rejoined as news anchors on Royal Media’s Citizen TV.
After a while, they aired the serial Maria, which quickly gained a cult following and became Citizen’s most successful Swahili series.
As media stations competed for their attention, the company’s success allowed it to expand its catalog with even stronger programming.
Other popular Jiffy series besides Maria include Sultana and Becky, which is now showing on Citizen TV.
These telenovelas have won numerous national and international accolades, bringing to light hitherto unknown and outstanding actors and actresses and assisting in the development of Kenya’s entertainment sector.
Jiffy Pictures has provided employment opportunities in the film industry for actors, actresses, cooks, transporters, real estate owners, make-up artists, video editors, sound producers, camera crew, and set designers, among others.
They just cast acclaimed actors Sarah Hassan and Brenda Wairimu in the upcoming telenovela Zari, which will air on Maisha Magic Plus.
Some of the scripts for their soaps are inspired by personal events.
During Zari’s major launch earlier this year, Abdalla, the CEO of Jiffy Pictures, stated that the story is about him.
“I aspired to be a news anchor, and the person who used to guide passengers embarking and disembarking at the Kenya Ferry inspired me.”
I used to wonder why people didn’t pay more attention to his directions whenever I crossed the Kenya Ferry.
I promised myself that if an opportunity to tell other people’s tales arose, I would seize it.
I got into radio and presented a show where I welcomed people to tell their stories, and now Sarah and Brenda in ‘Zari’ are bringing our stories to life on the screen.” He stated.
He however pointed out that their greatest challenge while starting was capital, as film production is expensive.
He did, however, mention that their biggest issue in the beginning was finance, as film production is expensive.