All posts by Gary

Showmax signs deal with SAFA

African SVoD service Showmax has signed a five-year agreement with the South African Football Association (SAFA) to support more than 40,000 referees officiating in both the male and female divisions of the sport.

Calvo Mawela

Effective this week until 2025, the new relationship will assist SAFA with its referee programme, which is focused on improving the quality of football officiating and feeding the talent pipeline in a fully inclusive manner.

Match officials will be trained and educated to ensure referees are kept abreast of the latest innovations and techniques available to best enforce the rules of the game.

The agreement includes a redesigned and rebranded referee’s kit and other branding elements through which the Showmax brand will be showcased at all SAFA levels including DStv Premiership, national team matches, National First Division, ABC Motsepe League, SASOL Women’s League, regional leagues and all football tournaments and matches played under the auspices of SAFA.

Calvo Mawela, CEO of Showmax parent MultiChoice Group, said: “We are pleased to be involved in what we believe is a monumental win for South African football that will truly elevate match officiating across all levels, from grassroots to the DStv Premiership and beyond, ultimately enabling the best local talent to participate on a global stage.”

SAFA president Danny Jordaan added: “The partnership between MultiChoice and SAFA is critical as it allows us to fulfil our development mandate, as well as improving the quality of football officiating at both domestic and international level. This partnership will continue to make a contribution to deliver world-class officials on an inclusive basis. It will further accelerate the delivery of both male and female match officials for CAF and Fifa competitions.”

Showmax is the exclusive global SAFA referee sponsor and the referees will now be known as the Showmax SAFA Referees.

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Ugly Betty adapted for South Africa

Latin American comedy-drama series Yo Soy Betty, la Fea (aka Ugly Betty) is being adapted for South Africa and will feature the show’s first black lead.

uBettina Wethu will air on SABC

Pre-production will begin next month on uBettina Wethu (Our Betty), the South African remake of Yo Soy Betty, la Fea, the megahit Colombian telenovela that inspired the America Ferrera-fronted ABC series Ugly Betty.

The show is being coproduced for South African public broadcaster SABC by boutique Johannesburg studio Known Associates Entertainment (KAE) and Cape Town production services company Moonlighting Films, to debut in April 2021.

Our Betty is the story of a naive rural girl who gets a job working for one of Johannesburg’s most eligible bachelors. Despite the challenges, she succeeds in winning his heart and excelling in business beyond her wildest dreams.

Producer Tshepiso Sello said: “Acquiring the rights and putting the finance together for uBettina Wethu has taken four years but thankfully we are there now.

“It’s a wonderful, universal story that has been told in more territories worldwide than any other franchise and we are so happy to be bringing it to life in South Africa.”

Genevieve Hofmeyr, MD of Moonlighting, said: “KAE has a great depth of experience in development and financing, which will allow us to focus on our core competency: physical production. The partnership will allow two entrepreneurial companies to work together at a time when the global market for entertainment content is hungry for new perspectives, and we are well placed to deliver on this opportunity.”

Joel Phiri, exec producer at KAE, added: “Any growth strategy has to involve an alignment with the right kind of partners. We couldn’t be more delighted to be working alongside Moonlighting, a company that has played a key role in putting South Africa on the international coproduction map and who leads the field in servicing Hollywood productions.

“It marks a new chapter for KAE as we are releasing our new joint slate together, one that celebrates compelling storytelling, identity, diversity and youth culture across a range of genres. We’re so honoured to launch this collaboration, and I truly believe we can co-develop some great film and TV projects together.”

Other projects on the two companies’ joint slate include the Gaumont coproduction 418, a limited series set in Europe and South Africa in the 1980s about two South African patriots on opposite sides of the Cold War.

Another show on the slate is 76, a limited series from producer Rebecca Rivo about four students who join a peaceful protest in apartheid-era South Africa, only to see their lives torn apart when the government responds with violence.

Desert Run, meanwhile, is an action-drama series about four young gamers whose lives are turned upside-down when they are recruited as drone pilots by the US military.

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Fremantle boards climate doc Day Zero

Global producer and distributor Fremantle has picked up the international sales rights to a climate documentary narrated by British-Nigerian actor Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave).

Chiwetel Ejiofor

Day Zero, which comes from filmmaker Kevin Sim, explores some of the most shocking water shortage issues facing the planet and talks to the people fighting to protect the world’s most precious resource from running out.

Filmed over a three-year period, the doc is being produced by Tencent in China, UK-based Keo Films and Iceland’s OoS Pictures, and includes exclusive interviews with some of the world’s top scientists and experts.

Virginia Quinn co-directs the doc with Sim, while Tencent’s chief exploration officer David Wallerstein exec produces alongside Keo Films’ Kari Lia.

Fremantle unveiled the documentary to buyers at this month’s Mipcom Online+.

“Day Zero is a film about people who already don’t have the luxury of thinking that water scarcity is someone else’s business. In Africa, Kansas, California, Brazil – and even in space – we follow the stories of local heroes fighting back along the frontlines of a crisis that could engulf us all,” said Sim.

“Sometimes you have to start beating drums, and we hope we’ve made a powerful and moving film whose message will be heard – an unashamedly demotic, down-to-earth film about the future of the planet.

“Yes, it’s a film which carries a terrifying warning, but a film that also offers a way out – to urge human beings to explore solutions that could save our future.”

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MultiChoice to carry SPI/FilmBox network

International Emmy nominee Black Money Love

Global media company SPI/FilmBox has partnered with MultiChoice Group to launch its Turkish drama network Timeless Dizi Channel (TDC) on DStv in sub-Saharan Africa.

The channel will be available to DStv subscribers from November 2 on DStv Premium, Compact Plus, Compact and Family packages in South Africa and Lesotho, and on DStv Premium, Compact Plus and Compact across all other sub-Saharan territories.

It will offer DStv viewers hundreds of hours of Turkish dramas including International Emmy nominee Black Money Love and other series such as Karadayi, Kurt Seyit & Shura, The End, Red Scarf, Moms & Mothers, Wings of Love, The 8th Day and Kuzgun.

Georgina Twiss, MD for western Europe and Africa at SPI International, said: “We are very excited about launching on DStv as a leading video entertainment platform in Africa. This brings the Timeless Dizi Channel to a wider audience across the region. SPI and MultiChoice are both committed to bringing phenomenal content that’s built on compelling stories capable of capturing the hearts and minds across generations and geographies.

“That’s why we believe TDC is the perfect addition to DStv’s channel offering with its well-curated selection of dramas, a unique genre of high-budget series from Turkish producers that focus on relatable and engaging stories of family, relationships, morality and love.”

Yolisa Phahle, MultiChoice Group’s CEO of general entertainment and connected video, added: “This Turkish pop-up channel is such an exciting opportunity for us to offer a new and unique genre of content to our customers as part of our commitment to bring the best of the world back home.

“As Africa’s most-loved storyteller, we will continue to invest in both local and international content that excites our customers, both young and old, and offers the best entertainment at a great value.”

TDC has reached over five million households worldwide within the first year of its launch and continues to increase its footprint across the globe, with recent distribution deals in Switzerland, Nepal and the Middle East, according to SPI/FilmBox.

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Reach A Hand lines up Kyaddala S2

Kyaddala

Pan-African TV series Kyaddala, featuring actors from Uganda, Nigeria, Kenya and Rwanda, has been renewed for a second season.

The series is a project from Reach A Hand Uganda, a youth-centric non-profit organisation, in partnership with Emmanuel Ikubese Films and airs on Ugandan free-to-air broadcaster NBS. The 12 new episodes are set to premiere from August 2021.

The series is executive produced by Emmanuel Ikubese and Humprey Nabimanya and the new season will be shot in Kampala, Uganda. It will highlight young people’s sexual and reproductive health issues, topics central to Reach A Hand.

The first season focused on secondary school life and issues like rape, child marriage, domestic violence, teacher-student relationships and HIV/AIDS, which affect young people. The second run highlights challenges faced by young people at university.

Usama Mukwaya, the show’s producer, said the show is being written by a varied team including South African and Kenyan writers. “We have a diverse and inclusive crew of writers and cast, both seasoned and novices. We are also using this platform to nurture new talent,” he said.

Joe Kigozi, chairman of Reach A Hand Uganda’s advisory board, said the TV series is aimed at educating and empowering young people by engaging with them in a more exciting and appealing way.

“Kyaddala  was born out of the desire to connect with young people and to do this, you need to speak their language and engage them in ways that are more exciting and appealing,” he said.

“Over 77% of Uganda’s population is young and these need to be empowered with the right information. This TV show will go a long way in educating and empowering young people.”

Kyaddala’s first season featured a star-studded cast that included Martha Kay, Patrick Salvado, Harmonie Kyomugisha, Eleanor Nabwiso, Mathew Nabwiso, Anita Fabiola and Nigerian Emmanuel Ikubese.

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MultiChoice SA changes leadership

South African pay TV operator MultiChoice has announced changes to its top management team.

Nyiko Shiburi

The company has appointed Nyiko Shiburi as CEO of its South African operations. Shiburi started his MultiChoice career at DStv Mobile as a project manager in 2007 having been involved in decoder and broadcast technology product development.

“He ably dealt with macro issues such as economic meltdown, drought that impacted electricity supply, tax issues, currency devaluations, regulatory issues, acquiring new licences, political and people challenges, and has shown resilience and nimbleness,” said MultiChoice group CEO Calvo Mawela.

“Shiburi has been the company’s regional director for southern Africa for the past two-and-a-half years and has had to navigate the complexity of multiple territories and multiple businesses each uniquely different and uniquely complex.”

Fhulu Badugela, a former group executive head of human resources at MultiChoice Africa and operations director at M-Net, has been appointed regional director for southern Africa markets.

Calvo Mawela

“[Badugela’s] leadership and broader MultiChoice Group exposure has seen Fhulu achieve a great track record of leading operational excellence and enabling a high performance culture, and will help us drive forward the MultiChoice Africa Holdings business turnaround,” said Mawela.

Marc Jury takes up the role of CEO of the SuperSport division, responsible for managing negotiations and acquiring all sports-related programming across the SuperSport channels as well as overseeing the marketing of that content.

He was previously head of commercial and marketing for Cricket SA, commercial executive at sports marketing firm SAIL, MD for IFM Sport Marketing Surveys SA and an account director at United Media Entertainment Group in London.

“Marc has always had a great affinity to sport and this, together with his passion for motivating people and getting the best out of those around him, makes him the best candidate for the role,” Mawela added.

Lastly, Clement O’Reilly takes over as group executive head of human resources, while Gideon Khobane, current CEO of SuperSport, is now group executive for general entertainment, which is responsible for programming across all the pay operator’s platforms.

Shiburi and Jury will assume their new roles on December 1.

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Showmax lines up S3 of Monica

African SVoD service Showmax has picked up Kenyan drama Monica for its third season.

Brenda Wairimu

The hit drama series was first released in 2018 and will premiere on Showmax in early 2021. It stars Brenda Wairimu and screen legend Raymond Ofula.

Currently in production, the series follows an ambitious social climber (Wairimu) determined to escape her life in the ghetto. She meets the affluent Jiwes family, led by patriarch Robert Jiwe (Ofula), the governor of the fictitious South City.

Producer Scolly Cheruto said: “With season three, fans can expect a grander season, a more intriguing story and a surprise celebrity cast joining the production.

“Monica’s story as a strong woman struggling to make it in a male-dominated world is one that Kenyan women can resonate with. Cunning as she may be, she’s actually a hard worker who does everything in her power to get what she wants. She may not be wealthy or privileged but she’s confident enough to reach her goal.”

It also features stars including Ephy Saint (Tahidi High), Joyce Maina (Aisha), Fidel Maithya (Selina), Sam Komora (Aziza), Torome Sision (Kona) and Melvin Alusa (The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind).

Yolisa Phahle, CEO of connected video at Showmax parent MultiChoice said: “Alongside Showmax’s Kenyan line-up of AMVCA-winning films like 18 Hours and The Flesh Business, Monica S3 reaffirms our commitment to the Kenyan film and television industry. We are an African company making great entertainment for Africans.”

Monica was nominated for Best TV Drama and Best Lead Actress in a TV Drama (for Brenda Wairimu) at the 2019 Kalasha Awards.

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South Africa revamps Broadcast Act

South Africa’s department of communications and digital technologies has proposed a revamp of the country’s Broadcasting Act in an effort to boost the powers of the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC).

In a white paper published recently, the department said: “The Broadcasting Act will change to the South African Broadcasting Corporation Act and government will amend the legislation to reflect the public broadcasting service role to be played by the SABC in the growing audiovisual content services market in South Africa.”

The amendments will include changes to the TV licence fee section of the Act and proposes broadening the definition and the collection system for television licences and strengthening enforcement mechanisms and penalties for non-payment.

Although the current Broadcasting Act already allows the SABC to pursue much stricter punishments for people who fail to pay their licence fee, this is rarely enforced.

The Act reads: “Specifically, a person who fails to comply with any lawful demand made by an inspector is guilty of an offence in relation to each television set in respect of which the offence is committed and is liable upon conviction to a fine not exceeding R500 in relation to each such offence or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding six months or to both such fine and such imprisonment.”

The SABC stated that TV licence fee cash collections were severely impacted during the coronavirus lockdown as its usual collection methods were closed. “Cash for all the revenue streams started to improve slightly in the month of June, the period where many restrictions were eased and suppliers were able to operate,” it said.

“However, owing to the economic climate that has had an effect on licence holders’ disposal of cash, compliance levels have not improved and are expected to steadily decline for the remainder of 2020.”

The SABC stated that TV licence fee collections are pursued on a monthly basis despite all the challenges faced. It added that there are plans to minimise the shortfall in cash collections.

“Licence holders who have not made payment during the renewal phase will be referred to debt collectors 60 days after the renewal date. This is the only recourse available to the SABC to pursue payments from non-compliant licence holders.”

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Next Titan S7 picks top 25 contestants

Nigerian entrepreneurial reality show The Next Titan has named the top 25 contestants who will participate in this year’s physical boot camp.

The 25 selected from the 50 contestants who took part in the online auditions are: Nathaniel Okafor, Mordi Onyeka, Oscar Obiora, Albert Ukoha, Hauwa Abdullahi, Mayokun Oduoste, Adetoun Yusuf, Chidinma Eriobu, Kelvin Steve, Osondu Franklin, Nnenna Nwoya, Stella Okenwa, Ifeanyi Nkwonta, Chioma Ukpaki, Chinazom Arinze, Sandra Eghiomon, Joshua Idiong, Bolaji Precious, Henry Yange, Kehinde Anifoloyin, Gibson Osuorji, Ifeoma Benjamin, Ebere Onyejekwe, Oluwadolapo Olufehinti and John Adetola.

The contestants will engage in a three-day physical bootcamp after which 16 will make it to the Titan House for the 10 weeks of the main show.

The finalists will battle one another over 10 tough business tasks with hopes of winning the cash prize of N10,000,000 and a new car for the support of their business idea.

The show will air on Sundays on DStv Africa Magic channel 154 and GOtv channel 25 and on Saturdays on TVC and DStv channel 418. Debuting in 2013, the show is produced by Lagos-based Bravopoints International and sponsored by Heritage Bank.

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Econet creates East Africa wi-fi network

South African telecoms company Econet has launched a wi-fi hotspot network across Kenya, Zambia, Rwanda and Uganda to provide affordable internet access.

Nic Rudnick

The network was set up through Econet subsidiaries Liquid Telecom Group (LTG) and Cassava Fintech International (CFI).

Nic Rudnick, group CEO at LTG, said: “We firmly believe that every African has the right to high-speed connectivity and with this platform, we are making this vision a reality.

“This initiative is in line with our parent company Econet’s vision of an inclusive, connected future that leaves no African behind. The connectivity network that we have created with these hotspots will ensure ubiquitous access for businesses and consumers at extremely affordable rates. This is yet another milestone achieved in building Africa’s digital future one individual and business at a time.”

Darlington Mandivenga, CEO of CFI Group, added: “We consider the wi-fi network to be a vital piece in the social and financial digital inclusion agenda that we are passionately driving across Africa. It is part of our broader strategy to provide solutions that address everyday problems for everyday people. In this case, we are offering more affordable internet access to African communities, including those previously excluded.”

The two companies aim to create a wi-fi marketplace that helps ISPs, franchisees and digital service providers unlock new revenue streams by creating job opportunities. Backed by broadband infrastructure, the service is enabling more people in Africa to access the benefits of the internet.

Following its successful launch in Zimbabwe, the service will soon be available in South Africa, South Sudan, DRC, Botswana, Burundi, Lesotho and Tanzania.

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BET Africa lines up Mbau reality show

Multimedia entertainment channel BET Africa is set to launch a second local reality series, Mbau Reloaded: Always Rise, about South African actress and business woman Khanyi Mbau.

Khanyi Mbau

The show follows Mbau as she opens up about her life, delving into whether people really know who she is as she juggles motherhood, family and being a successful entrepreneur.

The series, which will debut on October 10 at 19.30 CAT exclusively on DStv channel 129, comes after Mbau and BET Africa collaborated on reality series The Big Secret in 2017.

The 13-episode series is produced and directed by an all-female crew and will also star Khanyi’s teenage daughter Cannes.

Monde Twala, senior VP and general manager at BET Africa parent company ViacomCBS Networks, said: “It’s inspiring to collaborate with Khanyi Mbau again on the channel that is renowned for celebrating black excellence. Following the success of The Big Secret season one, BET Africa is proud to continue on its commitment of bringing African audiences local content that is fun, bold and relevant.

“We continue to grow the channel and focus on content that inspires and elevates black excellence through authentic storytelling that amplifies the richness and nuances of black culture.”

Mbau said: “I am extremely excited to partner with BET Africa again. The dynamic series will give viewers insights into my personal life on so many levels. I am proud to have an all-female crew document, package, produce and share my life with you.”

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StarTimes signs FKF broadcast deal

Chinese-owned African pay TV operator StarTimes has acquired the broadcast rights to Football Kenya Federation (FKF) matches.

Nick Mwendwa
The deal with FKF involves broadcast rights for seven years, with StarTimes to air the next season’s Kenyan Premier League, National Super League and national team matches.

The news comes days after FKF officially took over the running of the Kenyan league from the Kenyan Premier League when its term of office expired on September 24.

According to FKF president Nick Mwendwa, the deal is worth US$1.1m per year. He said on Twitter: “StarTimes FKFPL back on TV! 7-year deal, 1.1M dollars a year including national teams’ men and women, NSL 30 matches.”

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Canal+, iRoko launch SVoD in Africa

Vivendi-owned Canal+ Group has partnered with Nigerian video-on-demand company iRoko to launch a mobile-first SVoD service for French-speaking Africa.

Jacques du Puy

Set to roll out in the coming months, the service is part of Canal+’s new strategy of expanding its footprint globally. According to the company, sub-Saharan Africa counts 250 million French speakers across 23 countries and as many as 165 million smartphones were thought to be in circulation up to 2020.

Jacques du Puy, president of Canal+ Overseas, said: “Now that Canal+ is close to having two million pay TV households in Africa, our ambition is to widen our audience to those whose mobile is the main entertainment device.

“iRoko’s original approach integrating popular content production and mobile SVoD perfectly matches our group’s entertainment vision in French-speaking Africa. This will also allow us to make more accessible the content that we specifically produce and design for the African market.”

Jason Njoku

iRoko CEO Jason Njoku added that his company has been “committed to leading viewers to content they will love and Canal+ Overseas shares our vision, translated into French. Canal+ has over 20 years’ experience of delivering content to Francophone Africa, we have an unrivalled Nollywood content catalogue and have pioneered VoD in Africa.”

The on-demand service will be accessed via an Android App with download functionality, aimed at building a mobile-only subscriber base and will showcase popular French-language TV content. The app will be entirely translated into French and all content will be in French.

Canal+ and iRoko previously signed content distribution deals for linear TV channels including Nollywood TV. Last year Canal+ acquired Nollywood broadcaster and production studio ROK from iRoko for an undisclosed sum as part of a move to boost its local production in Africa.

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African SVoD subs to quadruple

African SVoD subscriptions are on the rise for services such as Showmax, Netflix and iRoko, according to recently released data.

According to UK-based Digital TV Research, Africa will have 12.96 million SVoD subscriptions by 2025, up from 2.75 million at the end of 2019. South Africa will account for three million by that year, to take its total to 4.3 million, while Nigeria will add 2.1 million to make a total of 2.73 million.

Netflix accounted for 45% of the region’s SVoD subscribers by the end of 2019 and the US company will retain its share by 2025, which was forecast to be 5.7 million subscribers, up from 1.23 million in 2019.

“Local player Showmax will add more than a million paying subscribers, partly due to the launch of its Pro platform and its lower prices for mobile subscribers. It will reach many more homes as a free extension for its pay TV subscribers,” added Simon Murray, principal analyst at Digital TV Research.

Global streaming giant Netflix, which has commissioned more locally produced content and shows that depict the cultures and experiences of ordinary Africans, has revealed plans to introduce cheaper mobile-only subscriptions in Nigeria and the rest of Africa in order to strengthen its presence in the country and the region as a whole.

Still in its trial phase, Netflix intends expanding the mobile-only contracts permanently if the trials, which began in South Africa and Egypt, become a success.

It is, however, offering subscribers N1,200 (US$2.65) a month for its mobile-only service, well below the N2,900 it has been charging for its most basic account.

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ZDF, Homebrew take in Africa From Above

A host of buyers have come on board natural history series Africa From Above, which is currently in production and is distributed globally by ZDF Enterprises (ZDFE).

Off the Fence Productions’ Africa From Above

Produced by ZDFE-owned Off the Fence Productions, the series looks at Africa’s spectacular landscapes, cities, people and wildlife from a totally new perspective.

ZDFE has been joined on the 10×52′ series by German broadcaster ZDF, South Africa’s Homebrew Films, European broadcaster Arte, Austrian public broadcaster ORF and UKTV, owned by BBC Studios.

Weaving through mountains, coastlines, waterfalls and jungles, Africa From Above also hovers over cities to explore history, architecture and industry and looks at unique cultures and how people survive in some of the most extreme locations.

Ralf Rueckauer, VP of ZDF.unscripted, said: “By using the latest technology, airborne and on the ground, this production will capture Africa in a way that has never been seen before.”

In related news, ZDFE has bagged rights outside French-speaking Europe to the historical drama Voltaire in Love (4×50′), commissioned by France Télévisions. The series is from Siècle Productions, Umédia, Wallimage, RTBF and Pictanovo and will also air on French streamer Salto.

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Laycon crowned Big Brother Naija winner

Big Brother winner Olamilekan Agbeleshe, aka Laycon

Olamilekan Agbeleshe, also known as Laycon, has been declared the winner of the fifth edition of reality TV show Big Brother Naija: Lockdown.

The series began on Africa Magic channel on July 19 and held virtual auditions due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Out of 30,000 contestants, 20 finalists were selected to enter the Big Brother house. Laycon took home the grand prize of N85m.

BBNaija S5 was hosted by TV presenter and former housemate Ebuka Obi-Uchendu. The show is based on the reality format owned by Banijay subsidiary Endemol Shine Group and aired on Africa Magic channel.

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Netflix to add more Nigerian content

Global streaming platform Netflix is adding more Nollywood content to its service, after signing deals with Nigerian producers and distributors for one drama series and three films.

The films include Kunle Afolayan’s Citation, which will launch on November 6 exclusively and globally on Netflix. It follows the story of a young postgraduate student who experiences sexual harassment from a lecturer and stars Ini Edo, Joke Silva, Temi Otedola, Gabrie Afolayan and Adjetey Anang.

The movie King of Boys 2 will also debut in 2021. It follows a businesswoman and crime boss who is drawn into a power struggle that threatens all she holds dear. It stars Richard Mofe Damijo, Sola Sobowale, Nse Ikpe Etim and Efe Iwara and is the sequel to director Kemi Adetiba’s 2018 crime thriller King of Boys.

Young-adult series Far From Home, produced by Lagos prodco Inkblot Productions, will also launch on the service.

The six-episode series, created by Chinaza Onuzo and Dami Elebe, follows the story of a charismatic teenager and talented artist form a poor family. His dreams suddenly appear within reach when a prestigious scholarship to the most exclusive school in the country catapults him into the luxurious world of Nigeria’s top 1%.

The series will be directed by Chinaza Onuzo, Tope Oshin and Niyi Akinmolayan and will star Funke Akindele.

Onuzo said: “We are thrilled to be partnering with the Netflix team to tell the story of Nigerian youth on a global scale. We cannot wait to share with the world what it feels like to grow up in one of the most dynamic countries on the planet.”

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PlusTV Africa appoints CEO

Afropolitan 24-hour TV channel PlusTV Africa has appointed Lekan Ogunbanwo as its new MD and CEO.

Lekan Ogunbanwo

Lateef Fagbemi, chairman of PlusTV owner General News & Entertainment Company (GNEC) Media Group, said: “We are delighted to welcome Mr Ogunbanwo to the helm of affairs at PlusTV Africa. As an organisation, we know that the experience he brings to bear will help position and enhance the station’s creative and premium content delivery.”

Ogunbanwo said: “I am delighted to be a part of the PlusTV Africa family. I am prepared to up-skill the station and ensure that we have a channel that is the pride of Nigeria and, by extension, Africans.”

Ogunbanwo who has over 40 years’ experience in the broadcast industry started out as a trainee announcer with Lagos State Broadcasting Corporation in 1980.

He was general manager of Radio Lagos/Eko FM between 1997 and 2002 and permanent secretary of Lagos TV/Radio Lagos and Eko FM between 2005 and 2014.

PlusTV Africa has been set up to provide news content for African professionals who seek trusted and entertaining programming and content.

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Celestial Tiger Kix off in Africa

Kix will feature classic Bruce Lee movies such as The Way of the Dragon

Asian TV operator Celestial Tiger Entertainment (CTE)’s action entertainment channel Kix is set to launch on MultiChoice’s DStv in Africa.

Kix’s launch on DStv across Africa on October 1 will mark CTE’s first foray into the continent.

The channel features a mix of martial arts, action and thriller movies from the East and West, spanning 1960s to the present day, aired in English.

John Ugbe

These include kung fu classics from the Shaw Brothers library, action comedies, adventure and fantasy action franchises and action thrillers. The movies features the likes of Jackie Chan, Jet Li, Donnie Yen and Bruce Lee, as well as other Asian action stars.

John Ugbe, MultiChoice Nigeria’s MD, said the channel will expand its slate, offering viewers more variety.

In addition to DStv, Kix will also be made available on MultiChoice’s Showmax streaming service from October 2, with 30 titles being offered on demand every month.

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Vivacom partners Fashion TV Africa

Vivacom, the largest telecoms company in Bulgaria, has partnered with Fashion TV Africa to distribute the channel on pay TV platforms across Africa via Eutelsat 8W.

This move will add blocks focusing on African fashion and lifestyles.

Vladimir Rangelov, senior manager broadcasting service at Vivacom, said: “We’re pleased to add Fashion TV channel on our 8W MCPC platform, extending their coverage to the African TV market.”

Fashion TV was launched in France in 1997 and is currently distributed worldwide by more than 50 satellite, cable and IP networks.

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