All posts by Gary

John Boyega to star in The Woman King

British-Nigerian actor John Boyega (The Force Awakens, Small Axe) is set to star in historical drama The Woman King, which is being produced by Sony-owned US studio TriStar Pictures.

John Boyega

The Woman King is a historical epic inspired by true events that took place in the Kingdom of Dahomey, one of the most powerful states in West Africa during the 18th and 19th centuries.

It follows the story of the general of Dahomey’s all-female military unit and an ambitious young recruit, who together fought enemies that violated their honour, enslaved their people and threatened to destroy everything they had lived for.

Boyega will star as King Ghezo alongside American actress and Oscar winner Viola Davis (The Help) and South African actor Thuso Mbedu (Scandal). Other cast members include Lupita Nyong’o and Lashana Lynch.

The movie is directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood (The Old Guard), the original screenplay was written by Dana Stevens and it is being produced by Cathy Schulman’s Welle Entertainment, Davis and Julius Tennon of JuVee Productions and Maria Bello of Jack Blue Productions.

“I will be joining this incredible cast as King Ghezo. I can’t wait to create with our director Gina Prince-Bythewood and our talented cast. It’s a personal joy to see black women shine like this,” Boyega wrote on Instagram.

Prince-Bythewood took to Instagram saying: “I have been enamoured by John’s immense talent for years, but his speech to black women during the protests cemented my desire to work with him. The description of King Ghezo reads, ‘He walks as if the Earth were honoured by its burden.’ John possesses that innate depth and swagger and I’m so excited to put it on screen.”

The release date of the movie is yet to be announced.

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Netflix rolls out free plan in Kenya

Global streaming platform Netflix has launched a free plan in Kenya to enable audiences to view its content ad-free on their Android mobile phones.

The move comes as the US company looks to boost subscriptions in Africa, a market of 1.2 billion people that is rapidly embracing video-on-demand services.

Netflix has also been commissioning more African content, such as its first African original series Queen Sono and other shows such as movie Blood Sisters and reality show Young, Famous & African.

As well as these African originals and many acquired Nollywood titles, Kenyans will also be able to enjoy movies such as Blood & Water, Bridgerton, Army of the Dead and other popular films and series.

Netflix’s move comes as subscription video-on-demand (SVoD) is predicted to explode in Africa, with the number of people paying for SVoD subscriptions across the continent set to reach 15.06 million by 2026, according to new research from UK-based Digital TV Research.

Netflix’s subscribers are expected to double to 5.84 million by 2026 and it will still be the continent’s most popular SVoD service. However, its share of the African SVoD market is predicted to fall to 39% by that year as rival services gain popularity.

“If you’ve never watched Netflix before – and many people in Kenya haven’t — this is a great way to experience our service. And if you like what you see, it’s easy to upgrade to one of our paid plans so you can enjoy our full catalogue on your TV or laptop as well,” said the company in a statement.

“The free plan will start rolling out in Kenya over the next few weeks. We hope it’s a great match and that many of the people who try our free plan love Netflix so much that, over time, they upgrade to a full, paid subscription.”

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Cartoon Network issues Dance Challenge

Cartoon Network is following up its first original production in Africa, Pop Up Party, with another dance-themed show featuring two animated dance instructors.

CN Dance Challenge will debut on October 2 and is a collaboration with Nigerian director-animator Benjamin Sokomba Dahzi, aka Bennydee.

The show will challenge kids to follow various African-inspired dance routines and comes after Pop Up Party ran for three seasons on the network.

Dahzi, who oversaw the motion-capture technology that features in the show, said he admired the commitment Cartoon Network is showing “to unearth and develop African talent.”

Ariane Suveg, head of kids’ channels in Africa, France and Israel at Cartoon Network parent WarnerMedia, added: “At Cartoon Network, we are committed to getting closer to our audience, and with the incredible audience response to our last three dance shows across South Africa and Kenya, we wanted to continue showcasing some incredible African kids’ talents while contributing to the development of local animation.”

Cartoon Network Africa airs US programming such as The Powerpuff Girls, Ben 10, Craig of the Creek, Apple & Onion and Summer Camp Island, alongside local productions such as Pop Up Party and Mike & Rob.

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Sony, EbonyLife set up writers’ initiative

Nigeria’s EbonyLife Media and Sony Pictures Television (SPT) have collaborated to set up a new African writers’ initiative called Àló, meaning ‘once upon a time’ in the Yoruba language.

Mo Abudu

The platform is aimed at finding and curating the best authentic African story ideas that would inspire viewers around the globe.

It is open to writers of proven African heritage born in any of Africa’s 54 countries or have proven citizenship as a native of the country, or as first-generation children, including professionals, freelancers and up-and-coming writers.

Submissions must pay homage to Africa’s unique cultures, diversity, heritage and people and will be reviewed and shortlisted by the Àló team, comprising creative executives from both EbonyLife and SPT.

Successful candidates will have the opportunity to enter into a series pilot development agreement with SPT and EbonyLife to create and write a pilot script. Once completed, the projects will be pitched to major international broadcasters for their consideration.

Nina Lederman

The first round of the initiative will accept submissions between September 24 and November 5 as well as a further six-week period to be confirmed later in the year.

Submissions are also open internationally from the US, Canada, UK, European Union, Australia, New Zealand and Africa. More regions will be included as the project expands for future submission periods.

For details on how to apply, click here.

The move comes after SPT and EbonyLife agreed a two-year deal earlier this year, giving SPT an exclusive first-look at all new EbonyLife scripted television projects.

Mo Abudu, CEO at EbonyLife Media, said: “I am particularly thrilled about this writers’ initiative because it is in line with our continent-wide vision to harness and grow our creative economy. It is focused on global storytelling that is authentically African and that gives African writers access to the biggest international broadcasters in the world.”

Nina Lederman, exec VP of global scripted development for SPT, added: “The Àló initiative is born out of SPT and EbonyLife’s shared passion for great storytelling. We know from our many, many conversations developing this initiative with Mo and her team at EbonyLife that there are countless stories from across the African continent yet to be told. We hope that this provides a unique platform to writers of African heritage with a story they want to bring to the world.”

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SynProNize falls for GMA romance

Romantic drama A Place in Your Heart

NEWS BRIEF: Dubai-based producer and distributor SynProNize has acquired romantic dramas A Place in Your Heart, Heart & Soul, Legally Blind and The Way to Your Heart from Filipino broadcaster GMA Network for distribution into Africa.

Nitin Michael, who co-founded SynProNize with Hasnaa Descuns in July 2020, said the demand for Filipino dramas is “swiftly on the rise.” Roxanne J Barcelona, VP of worldwide at GMA Network, added that all four programmes are already performing “extremely well” in other parts of the world.

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Showmax meets Real Housewives of Lagos

The Real Housewives of Durban

African SVoD service Showmax has commissioned the first Nigerian version of NBCUniversal’s format The Real Housewives.

Produced by Livespot 360, The Real Housewives of Lagos gives an insight into the opulent and glamourous lives of some of the most affluent women in Lagos. It is set to debut early 2022 as a Showmax Original.

The Real Housewives of Lagos will be the second Showmax Original reality series from Nigeria, following I Am Laycon, starring Big Brother Naija S5 winner Lekan Agbeleshe, which launched in February 2021.

The Nigerian version is the third African instalment of the Real Housewives franchise, following The Real Housewives of Johannesburg and The Real Housewives of Durban.

Showmax has also commissioned a second season of The Real Housewives of Durban, produced by Let It Rain Films, with Thumeka Hlotshana attached to direct and Lee Doig (Survivor USA) creative directing.

The Real Housewives format is shopped internationally by NBCUniversal Formats, a division of Universal Studio Group, and the Nigerian version is the format’s 16th international adaptation.

“We’ve seen audiences across Africa devour The Real Housewives of Johannesburg and The Real Housewives of Durban,” said Candice Fangueiro, head of content at the MultiChoice-owned streamer Showmax.

“The Real Housewives franchise lends itself to localisation and we know our audience is going to love seeing the show reinvented Naija-style. We can’t wait to show the continent – and the world – another side of Lagos, with all the drama, high fashion and luxury you’d expect from The Real Housewives franchise.”

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Nigeria’s Comic Republic signs with CAA

Nigeria-based publisher of African comic books Comic Republic has signed a deal with one of the top three talent agencies in the world, Creative Artists Agency (CAA) in Los Angeles.

Jide Martin

Comic Republic will be represented by CAA to identify and create opportunities for the publisher in film and television, both live-action and animation, as well as in publishing, games, public speaking and consumer products.

Comic Republic founder Jide Martin announced the news on Instagram, saying: “I’m thrilled to announce our representation by Creative Artists Agency. We invested some time in finding the right strategic agency that understands our vision, can further represent us, and distribute our stories where it matters.

“Our goal has always been to develop African content for a global audience, and I am delighted that this representation will see to it that more people experience our unique universe of authentic African stories.”

Comic Republic publishes comic books featuring African superheroes. Its line-up of superheroes include Ireti Moremi, Amadioha and Guardian Prime Genesis. The Comic Republic universe is made up of more than 200 characters and draws its stories both from Africa’s history and myths, as well as a vision of Africa’s future, informed by a strong contemporary sensibility.

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Streamer SuperTV launches in Lagos

SuperTV, a new zero-data video-on-demand streaming platform, has launched in Lagos, Nigeria, in partnership with telecommunications company MTN Nigeria.

SuperTV team (L-R) chairman Dotun Sulaiman, acting CEO Ijeoma Onah and businessman Obi Asika

With the zero-data offering, viewers will be able to stream their favourite movies, TV shows and access rich content at an affordable price with just airtime, according to the company.

Ijeoma Onah, founder of the Nigeria International Film Summit and acting CEO of SuperTV, said: “I am giving thanks to God almighty for the journey so far. It’s been by his help all through. Thank you to all the engineers and IT support staff of MTN who had sleepless nights in the integration and robust testing of SuperTV during the UAT process.

“This current phase of the SuperTV journey began approximately 18 months ago. That was when this great team of professionals and priceless talents were assembled. I want to thank our chairman, Dotun Sulaiman, for keeping faith in this project and managing the expectations of SuperTV investors in the face of many delays, disappointments and failed launch attempts. This launch has been cancelled three times. Thanks to the management team and investors for their patience.”

SuperTV includes Nollywood and international movies, drama series, kids’ programming, sport and documentaries. Channels in the mix include NTA, Silverbird TV, African Magic and Africa News.

International channels include KBS World, BET, Nickelodeon, MTV Base, Trace, Aljazeera, France 24, CBS Reality, Bloomberg TV and Jim Jam. It will be available to Nigerians from October 1 on the Play Store and App Store.

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M-Net brings back My Kitchen Rules SA

My Kitchen Rules SA

The South African version of Australian cooking competition reality show My Kitchen Rules is returning for a third season.

My Kitchen Rules SA is based on the Seven Network series devised and produced by Seven Studios, which debuted on Seven Network in 2010 and is distributed by Banijay Rights.

The third season of the South African adaptation will see five pairs of culinary hopefuls compete in a bid to impress their fellow competitors and celebrity judges, J’Something and David Higgs, with hopes of winning the R1m (US$68,500) grand prize.

According to M-Net, the five teams will battle it out over the next five weeks in the Instant Restaurant phase of the competition. The series is produced by Anton Burggraaf, its first season premiered in South Africa on M-Net in 2017 and in 2019, it won the for Best International Format Show.

My Kitchen Rules SA will air on September 19 at 18.00 on M-Net channel 101.

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The Milkmaid, Rattle Snake get BON nods

The Milkmaid and Rattle Snake

Hausa-language thriller The Milkmaid and Nigerian action film Rattle Snake have received a total of 14 nominations for the 2021 edition of the Best of Nollywood (BON) Awards.

The news was revealed by the organisers of the award at a dinner party held this week in Lagos, Nigeria.

The nominations are in categories including Best Actor in a Leading Role, Most Promising Actress of the Year, Best Actress in a Leading Role, Best Use of Costume in a Movie and Movie with the Best Soundtrack.

The Milkmaid is produced and directed by Desmond Ovbiagele and deals with insurgency, especially as it affects women and children in sub-Saharan Africa.

Rattle Snake is executive produced by Charles Okpaleke, directed by Ramsey Nouah and is a remake of the 1995 Nigerian classic action thriller film Rattlesnake, which was directed by Amaka Igwe. It tells the story of a young man (played by Stan Nze) who assembles a group called The Armadas to carry out a series of spectacular heists.

Regarding the nominations, Ovbiagele told Content Nigeria: “We are very grateful to God for the recognition of The Milkmaid across several award categories at BON 2021 Awards. It is a testament to the efforts, talents and sacrifices of a fantastic cast and crew, and an inspiration to continue aiming to push the boundaries of what is achievable creatively and technically in Nigerian cinema.”

“Thank you BON for all the nominations, we are deeply honoured. Congratulations to all the nominees representing the Nigerian movie industry and to the cast and crew of Rattle Snake: The Ahanna Story,” said Play Network Studios, the Nigerian production company behind the movie, on Instagram.

The BON Awards is an annual film event presented by Best of Nollywood Magazine honouring outstanding achievement in the Nigerian movie industry.

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TNC Africa dramedy returns for S2

TNC Africa, a YouTube channel dedicated to Nollywood movies and series, is lining up a second season of miniseries Our Best Friend’s Wedding.

Our Best Friend’s Wedding

The romantic dramedy follows a young man who buys an engagement ring on a whim. He recruits his two female best friends to help him go through a list of potential candidates and sets off on a series of events that leads to a wedding.

Season one of Our Best Friend’s Wedding launched in 2017 while the second season will premiere in October. It is directed and produced by Belinda Yanga, executive produced by Olawale Adetula and features a cast including Eso Dike, Adekanla Desalu, Oshuwa Tunde-Imoyo, John Njamah and Marycolette Unamka.

“Our Best Friend’s Wedding, our award-winning YouTube series, is coming back for a second season. This season is packed back-to-back with drama and we can’t wait for you to see the beautiful show we have created,” said the TNC Africa channel on Instagram.

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MTV Entertainment partners with Oyelowo

ViacomCBS and its MTV Entertainment arm have inked an exclusive overall deal for original scripted and unscripted series with British-Nigerian actor David Oyelowo (Selma) and British actor and singer Jessica Oyelowo.

David Oyelowo

The partnership is through the husband-and-wife team’s production company Yoruba Saxon. LA-based 101 Studios will serve as production partner on all projects.

The first project to emerge from the deal is Bass Reeves, a limited series about the famous lawman of the Wild West, which is currently in development. David Oyelowo is attached to play the titular character and Taylor Sheridan is producer on the project.

David Oyelowo said: “The stories Jess and I want to tell are boundary-busting and full of folks the likes of whom we have seldom seen on screen. The extraordinary story of Bass Reeves exemplifies just that.

“To collaborate with world-class talent like Taylor Sheridan to tell those stories to the widest audience possible is our dream, and we believe that can and will be realised through the shared ambitions we have with ViacomCBS and its signature branded platforms, alongside our seasoned and brilliant producing partners at 101 Studios.”

Chris McCarthy, president and CEO of MTV Entertainment Group, said: “David and Jessica are incredibly talented artists and we’re excited to develop our Bass Reeves project together with them and our phenomenal partner Taylor Sheridan. As the first black deputy US marshal west of the Mississippi River, Reeves’ story is monumental, and this limited series will bring to light one of the greatest frontier heroes in our country’s history.”

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NCC launches Podcast Channel

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has launched the Global Connect Podcast Channel, aimed at reflecting the body’s core values of innovation and excellence and also expanding the frontiers of its social media platforms.

The move was announced by minister of communications and digital economy Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami during the unveiling of the NCC’s new Strategic Vision (Implementation) Plan (SVP) which took place at the Communications & Digital Economy Complex in Mbora, Abuja.

“In keeping with our commitment to ensuring a well-informed telecommunications sector, the Nigerian Communications Commission has expanded its level of social media engagement by providing another avenue for informing the public of its regulatory initiatives through the NCC Global Connect Podcast Channel.

“The Podcast Channel offers you a whole new experience on our social media engagement to stay up to date with our regulatory initiatives,” the Commission said on its Instagram page.

The NCC Global Connect Podcast is available on multiple directories including Apple, Spotify, Amazon Music and Google Podcasts.

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Netflix picks up Smart Money Woman show

Smart Money Woman

Smart Money Woman, the television series adaptation of the 2016 financial self-help book of the same name by Arese Ugwu, will debut on Netflix on September 16.

The series premiered on MultiChoice channel Africa Magic Showcase a year ago.

“Our stellar cast, we did it. 10 days to go, who’s counting?” said the Smart Money crew on Instagram.

The 13-episode series highlights the experiences, sacrifices, struggles and vigour of African women as they carry out their day-to-day activities despite gender inequality.

Ugwu added on Instagram: “It still blows my mind that this all started with a book I wrote in my pajamas!!!! And it’s even more incredible that you all watched it unfold from publishing the book, going on a pan-African book tour, the process of converting it into a TV series… I’m so grateful guys… thank you for riding with me…. WE have a Netflix show!!!!!! Cheers to everyone that worked on this with me.”

Actor Ini Dima-Okojie added: “I can never forget how I felt the first time I read The Smart Money Woman, and then a year later I was cast as Tami and now it’s available for the world to watch on Netflix.”

The series is directed by Bunmi Ajakaiye, coproduced by Kemi Lala Akindoju, Akin Marinho and Arcadia TV Africa and also stars Osas Ighodaro, Toni Tones, Eby Eno, Eso Okolocha, Timini Egbuson, Karibi Fubara, Tope Tedela, Seun Ajayi and Temisan Emmanuel.

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EbonyLife wraps on Netflix’s Blood Sisters

Blood Sisters in production

Nigerian production company EbonyLife Studios has concluded production on thriller movie Blood Sisters, which will debut soon on global streaming platform Netflix.

EbonyLife chief executive Mo Abudu made the announcement on Instagram, saying: “Excited to share the official press release issued by Netflix on Blood Sisters. As the first and only African studio to sign a multiple-title deal with Netflix, our relationship with Netflix is based on a mutual vision: to bring authentic African stories, with superb production values, to both African and global audiences.

“Netflix’s commitment to growing the African film industry is unparalleled and we feel honoured to be part of this journey. We look forward to many more successful productions together. It’s been a busy year for us: Castle & Castle 2, Chief Daddy 2 and now Blood Sisters, yippee!!! And still more to come, trust me, we have a never-ending slate of films and series to roll out to keep you all glued.”

Blood Sisters follows the story of two friends, played by Ini Dima-Okojie and Nancy Isime, who try to cover up the death of one’s fiancé who was killed in self-defence by the other, leading to a catastrophic series of events.

As well as Dima-Okojie and Isime, the cast includes Ramsey Nouah, Uche Jombo, Kate Henshaw, Segun Arinze, Genoveva Umeh, Deyemi Okanlawon, Wale Ojo, Gabriel Afolayan, Toke Makinwa and Kehinde Bankole.

The release date of the movie is yet to be announced.

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Kunle Afolayan film set for Netflix debut

Nigerian filmmaker and producer Kunle Afolayan’s new thriller movie Swallow will debut on streamer Netflix on October 1, Nigeria’s Independence Day.

Kunle Afolayan

Swallow is an adaptation of Nigerian-American writer Sefi Atta’s best-selling novel about a woman and her roommate in Lagos during the burgeoning drug trade of the 1980s and follows their struggles to survive under austerity measures and the so-called War Against Indiscipline.

This is the first film from Afolayan’s multi-title Netflix deal.

Afolayan posted on Instagram: “This is the very first book I am making into a movie. Once I read the book, I had to decide on what aspect of the book I wanted to focus on and whose perspective I wanted to share based on the story. Once that was sorted every other thing was put in place.”

The cast include musician Eniola ‘Niyola’ Akinbo, Ijeoma Grace Agu, Deyemi Okanlanwon, Eniola Badmus, Chioma Akpotha, Kevin Ikeduba, Offiong Anthony Edet and veteran Olusegun Remi.

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African SVoD subs to triple by 2026

Subscription video-on-demand (SVoD) is predicted to explode in Africa, with the number of people paying for SVoD subscriptions across the continent set to reach 15.06 million by 2026, according to new research.

UK-based Digital TV Research said this figure is almost triple the 5.11 million SVoD subscribers expected at the end of 2021. South Africa and Nigeria will each contribute 2.3 million out of the 10 million new additions and will be the only countries with more than one million subs in 2026.

Simon Murray

Netflix’s subscribers are expected to double to 5.84 million by 2026 and it will still be the continent’s most popular SVoD service. However, its share of the African SVoD market is predicted to fall to 39% by that year as rival services gain popularity.

US-based Netflix will account for 2.6 million (51%) of the continent’s 5.11 million SVoD subscribers by the end of 2021. Second-place Showmax, part of South Africa’s MultiChoice, is expected to hit 861,000 (17%) by the end of this year. Third-place Amazon Prime Video is expected to hit 575,000 (11%) by the end of this year.

Netflix’s subscribers are expected to double to 5.84 million by 2026 and it will still be the continent’s most popular SVoD service. However, its share of the African SVoD market is predicted to fall to 39% by that year as rival services gain popularity.

Late-to-market Disney+, for example, will start in Africa in 2022 and only in an expected 12 countries but is forecast to amass 2.17 million subscribers by 2026. Amazon Prime Video will see subscriptions grow to 1.9 million in 2026 but it will drop behind Disney+ and Showmax (on 2.1 million) in popularity in 2026.

Simon Murray, principal analyst at Digital TV Research, said: “The selective launch plans from some global platforms work in favour of regional players such as Showmax and MyCanal.”

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Nollywood movies line up for release

The Ghost & the Tout Too

A number of Nollywood movies will premiere in cinemas in the months to come, including The Ghost & the Tout Too (September 10), Fool’s Day (September 24) and The Progressive Tailors Club (October 29).

The Ghost & the Tout Too is a movie by Toyin Abraham Ajeyemi that tells the story of a young woman who grew up in a ghetto and meets a ghost after an unfortunate incident. It is the sequel to 2018 film The Ghost & the Tout.

The movie stars Toyin Abraham, Mercy Johnson, Osas Ighodaro, Adedimeji Lateef and Ini Edo. Abraham announced the news of the release on Instagram.

Fool’s Day, meanwhile, is directed by Tunde Olaoye and produced by Nigerian director and filmmaker Olufemi Oke, who took to Instagram to say: “One location, one-day family chaos! So much loud, so much crazy. You don’t want to miss this I promise you.”

The film stars Broda Shaggy, Tina Mba, Omowumi Dada, Tunji Sotimirin, Iyabo Ojo and Michael Okoli.

Fool’s Day

Lastly, The Progressive Tailors Club is a satire about community politics produced by Anthill Studios, directed by Biodun Stephen and executive produced by Nigerian filmmaker Niyi Akinmolayan. The cast includes Rachael Oniga, Adedimeji Lateef, Bolaji Ogunmola, Uzor Arukwe and Blessing Jessica Obasi.

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Play Network to remake Diamond Ring

Nigerian production company Play Network Studios has acquired the intellectual property rights to remake Diamond Ring, the classic Nollywood movie from 1998.

Charles Okpaleke

The thriller, directed by Tade Ogidan, tells the story of a young, spoiled child who is sent to university by his parents and later a gang while on campus. It stars Richard Mofe Damijo, Teju Babyface, Sola Sobowale and Bukky Ajayi.

“We’ve just acquired the intellectual property rights to this Nollywood classic, and we can’t be happier. This would be a remake and not a sequel. This might probably be the last movie under the Play Network Nostalgic collection. Coming soon to your screens,” said Charles Okpaleke, CEO of Play Network Africa, parent company of Play Network Studios.

The production company was also behind Nigerian movies such as Living in Bondage: Breaking Free (2019), which was exec produced by Okpaleke, as well as Nollywood remakes Rattlesnake: The Ahanna Story and Nneka The Pretty Serpent.

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Showmax originals include first novela

Blood Psalms is a coproduction with France’s Canal+

African streamer Showmax is making its first telenovela, romantic comedy series and scripted West African original as part of a new slate of eight shows and films.

Showmax’s first telenovela, The Wife, is based on Dudu Busani-Dube’s bestselling novels Hlomu the Wife, Zandile the Resolute and Naledi His Love, all of which tell the story of a Zulu crime family through the eyes of the criminals’ wives.

Each book will be adapted into 40 episodes of the 120-episode season, with South African prodco Stained Glass producing.

Romcom series Troukoors follows Jessica, a wedding planner who’s surrounded by love but struggling to find it for herself. The show has been created by Louis Pretorius and Albert Snyman, the creators of Die Boekklub, Fynskrif and Die Boland Moorde.

Ghana Jollof is Showmax’s first West African comedy. It features two Nigerians who move to Ghana and clash with their new environment. The series will be filmed across Lagos and Accra, with comedian Basketmouth exec producing.

As well as these shows, Showmax is also making its first epic fantasy series. A coproduction with French pay TV firm Canal+, Blood Psalms tells the story of the ascent to power of a teenage princess whose world is threatened by the gods. South Africa’s Yellowbone Entertainment is producing.

Also on the slate is a second season of Black Tax, a sitcom about a single mother who has just managed to make ends meet when her parents demand she take care of them, too. Tyler Perry’s BET Africa is behind the show.

Meanwhile, Showmax will host the first part of a film trilogy in 2022. Glasshouse is a post-apocalyptic movie from Kelsey Egan and Cape Town’s Local Motion Pictures in which one family does what it can to survive in a world where humans are affected by airborne dementia known as The Shred.

Elsewhere on the slate is family thriller Desert Rose, made by Quizzical Pictures. The show sees family reunion turn into a manhunt as the Greyling siblings scramble to settle their estranged father’s debt before it’s too late. Rohan Dickson, known for Showmax series Reyka, is the showrunner.

There’s also horror series Pulse, in which an international group of young game creators discover survival is not just a game when an electromagnetic pulse bomb turns their secure office high-rise into a battlefield. The series is the result of an international collaboration between global production and finance company Media Musketeers, UK-based ForLan Films and South Africa’s Red Mirror.

Finally, Afrikaans docuseries Seks sees couples and single people openly discuss their sex lives with a clinical psychologist. Sex workers, adult-shop owners, a unicorn, swingers, dominatrixes, a crossdresser, a dungeon master, people who dress up like babies, and others all feature. The six-parter is being produced by media personality Rian van Heerden through South Africa’s Provoco.

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