What Happened to Ghafla? The death of Ghafla, from Grace to Grass

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What really happened to Ghafla? This was one of the leading blogs in Kenya. Sam Majani is the owner of this great blog which was founded in 2011, it’s one of the oldest blogs in the country. Majani had read the minds of youths of those days, he gave them what they wanted. His stories were captivating. Majani dropped out of college to focus on blogging, he raised funding from 88mph to convert KenyanLyrics.com into an entertainment website called Ghafla.com.One year of blogging saw the blog grow to attract millions of visitors monthly. By 2015 Ghafla was getting over 20 million monthly views and generating income of Ksh 2 million to Ksh 4 million monthly. It was the best entertainment and gossip blog in East Africa. There was a point in time every Kenyan had to check what Ghafla has posted before the sign in for work—it was massive!

Where the rain started beating Ghafla

In 2016 News broke that Ghafla would be sold to Ringier for Ksh 60 million. Ringier wanted to have its presence in Kenya, they didn’t want to start from scratch. They negotiated with Ghafla but before signing the deal, they requested for login details where they could create content for at least 1 month and evaluate the site. Ghafla surrendered the details. The new management changed the structure of the site and start creating content, including politics and other content which Ghafla visitors didn’t like. Within a month over 405 of the visitors had stopped visiting the site.

After 1 month, the temporary new owners approached Ghafla, they informed Majani that the site has lost value and that it had been overvalued. They were ready to pay Ksh 15 million only. Majani was furious, he flatly rejected the offer. Majani requested to for the login details.It took 3 weeks to get them after threatening to take legal action.

Later,Ringier launched a new site,Pulselive Kenya.

Ghafla returned to their normal way of writing. However, fans had already shifted to Mpasho and Tuko News which provided similar experience–Ghafla lost momentum.Tuko became stronger and stronger over time until it overpowered Ghafla.By 2019 Ghafla had lost half of traffic to new entertainment and gossip sites.From 20 million monthly views, now they were getting less than 10 million views.

Majority of workers at Ghafla were poached by rival sites, others started their own blogs. Ghafla had no other option but to employ anyone who could write content, just to keep the site going. From a blog which did thorough research and received first hand gossip news, Ghafla dropped its glory to a common blog. As they lost traffic, they also lost income.

AdSense added salt into injury by banning Ghafla after violating its policies. As a result, the blog lost revenue of Ksh 500,000 to Ksh 800,00 monthly.

By 2024 Ghafla was getting less than 400,000 views per month, down from 20 million views. This is a clear sign that the blog has lost its former glory. The only thing sustaining the site are the adverts they get from Scanad Kenya, otherwise Majani angefunga virago kitambo.

One thing he failed to do was to keep up with the competition and to know what interests the new generation. He also failed to include videos in his content—nowadays people prefer videos to text.

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