Betty Kyallo and her two sisters take to the screen in a new reality TV series

Betty, Mercy and Gloria Kyallo at Villa Rosa Kempinski in Nairobi during the launch of Kyallo Kulture.

Betty, Mercy and Gloria Kyallo at Villa Rosa Kempinski in Nairobi during the launch of Kyallo Kulture

Photo credit: Dennis Onsongo | Nation Media Group

“You and Nick are acting like children,” Mercy tells Betty in one of the promo clips for Kyallo Kulture, a reality TV series on former TV anchor Betty Kyallo and her sisters Gloria and Mercy.

They insist the name is pronounced as ‘Kialo’ as far as their clan is concerned and not ‘Chalo’), adding, “Why would you have a boyfriend who doesn’t take care of you?”

This is the premise on which their show, whose episodes will be streaming every Friday on Showmax, will be based on – candidness and strong women, says Betty.

During the show’s official launch on Thursday night at Villa Rosa Kempinsiki, the sisters were accompanied by their mother as well as friends and Gloria’s boyfriend Ken Warui.

Betty said their father and brother, Bran, are very supportive but do not like being in the limelight.

Other celebrities Nana Owiti, Abel Mutua and sports and entertainment marketing expert Andrew Alovi attended.

Kyallo Kulture, the new reality series premiered on Showmax on Friday June 17. Carol Ngunjiri, the show’s producer and Head of Media Production at D&R productions company, proposed to Betty the idea of taking her headline-making popularity to the next level by having a reality show just over a year ago.

Even though Betty was having a tiff with Mercy at the time, having even unfollowed each other on Instagram, she made it evident from the very first meeting with the show’s creator and CEO of D&R Eugene Mbugua that she wanted her sisters involved.

“It wasn’t easy to convince my sisters. We’ve always wanted to put out a show for ourselves because I always felt like we have something to give,” says Betty.

Mercy was willing to come on board but as long as the show wasn’t centred around Betty with them being fringe characters. Gloria didn’t want to put herself out there so much, but Betty told her to think about the money she would make. Her boyfriend also makes an appearance on the show.

“We’ve never done anything together and we all have different fans. I was very scared to do a reality show because of what it means to be honest, but Betty brings so much humour that you just feel comfortable to put yourself out there,” said Mercy. “We’re going to be very candid about who we are and our lives’ struggles and where we find our happiness. It’s the experience of an African woman in this day and age.”

Gloria, the youngest but also the more reserved of the sisters, said that the celebrity that has come with being Betty’s sister has taken a toll on her and she constantly has to act like she’s not herself when people stop her in public.

The 13-part reality series will dive into the personal lives of Betty, one of Kenya’s prominent media personalities and a thriving entrepreneur, and her bold sisters.

“Gloria, Mercy, and Betty represent the urban Kenyan woman,” says Mr Mbugua. “They’re hard-working entrepreneurs, they like to have fun, and they are not in any way held back by what society thinks of them. They’re strong and unapologetic. These are the things that attracted our production company, D&R Studios, to them.”

“Each sister will share a key life story that they've never opened up about before,” says Eugene. “These stories are very personal to them, and have made them who they are today, from Betty’s childhood accident to Mercy’s IVF experience to Gloria’s childhood growing up without a father and so much more.”

“You’re not getting married again, are you?” Gloria asks Betty in the first few moments of episode 1. “I think I just want to do it to prove haters wrong,” Betty responds, teasing on what’s to come as Kyallo Kuture explores, among other things, the sisters’ love lives.

“We spent many days shooting test footage to see if our idea was valid,” says Eugene. “We’ve had several pilots that had to be reworked and we’ve gone through a series of different storylines before settling on the season that we have now.”

Eugene, one of the most sought-after documentary-reality filmmakers in Kenya, is also behind Kenya’s biggest docu-reality shows and Showmax favourites like the 2021 Kalasha nominee Sol Family.