It’s no longer strange. We started to love it when we were kids and ever since the VCR invaded our homes, Kenyans have learned how to binge-watch TV. Take my word for it, we’re among the best in the world. If binge-watching was an Olympic sport, just like athletics, we’d easily rule.

My big brother tells me they never had any TV channel showing for 24 hours. I can only imagine how easy it was to be fascinated by a videocassette that had four episodes of Chicago Hope way back in 1996. He has since changed and he streams movies and series online almost every evening.

So what’s a binge? It means watching between two to six episodes of a show in one sitting. We are pros at binge-watching because we never have time during the week. Saturday mornings and Sunday afternoons are my personal favourite binge days. Lately, I’m into Jela 5-star on Showmax. I’m also enjoying Brooklyn Nine-Nine and The Real Househelps of Kawangware also on Showmax.

Here’s some of our favourite tips and tricks to make your next binge-watching session more enjoyable.

Make sure you’re free

If you want to binge, let the phrase “Sorry, I’m busy” be your favourite excuse. Make time, and if necessary, put your phone on do-not-disturb. Also, lock yourself indoors or isolate yourself somewhere. Just be sure that your chances of leaving within two or three hours is zero to none. Don’t let your neighbours disturb you.

Having a plus-one might not be such a good idea unless you’re very much aligned. Don’t protest, I know what I’m talking about. Binge-watching is a solo sport.

Put your tools together

Here are the essentials: tissues or a handkerchief (for tears when you laugh or cry), water (to re-hydrate), snacks (to chomp and chow) and good sound (headphones if you’re using a phone or an additional sound system if the one on TV isn’t great).

Choose what you’re watching

It’s never a good idea to watch a series that you haven’t done your homework on. Check out the trailers and read the reviews. Be deliberate. No use binge-watching The Ranakas if you don’t like reality series and would have been better off bingeing Black-ish or Game of Thrones

Black-ish on Showmax. Photo / COURTESY
Black-ish on Showmax. Photo / COURTESY

Remember, just because people are talking about it doesn’t mean you’ll love it.

Press Play and enjoy

Log into Showmax and watch the heck out of your favourite series. You get instant access to series, movies and more to watch on multiple devices. If you don’t have internet at home, you can always visit a coffee shop with free Wi-Fi and take your phone or tablet with you to download shows to the Showmax app to watch later when you’re offline, without using data.

Hey, you are fully committed to watch this series and you were born to do it. Please, switch off your Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and tell your roommates to leave you alone.

Vumilia. Persevere.

The swahili saying goes “mvumilivu hula mbivu” (basically, persistence pays off). It takes stamina to binge-watch and will-power to make it to the end. Kenyans are good at this so here’s where we beat everyone. Feeling restless? Then a five-minute break is enough to help you regain feeling in the legs.

Finish strong

The eternal binge-watching question: do I go to sleep before 3AM or should I just finish the last few episodes? On the real, if a show is that good, it’s hard to resist. Finish watching it and we won’t judge you for passing out on the couch.

Multitask while watching

This is for pros only. You can do this at work – have a small screen on your computer so that you can watch a video while browsing the web or working. (Not that we advocate binge-watching at work.)

Why binge-watch on Showmax

Showmax is the new way to watch TV, giving you instant access to the best series, movies and more to watch on multiple devices. You can stream online or download to watch offline. There are tonnes of premium series and movies for you and the kids with new shows added weekly.

There are various payment options including credit card, voucher, PayPal and MPesa.

Take advantage of the limited offer with MPesa, which ends soon. It gives you 3 months of Showmax for KSH 250, down from KSH 2 640. Showmax is also available at zero cost for DStv Premium customers. Go to for more.

How to pay for Showmax with MPesa

  1. Go to
  2. Ensure the MPesa number that you use to pay for your Showmax account is the same as the mobile number registered on your Showmax account.
  3. Pay KSh 250 using your MPesa number to Paybill: 852552. Wait for your confirmation SMS.
  4. On the payments page, click ‘validate MPesa’ to start watching.

    Happy Showmaxing!