Showmax orders four Kenyan originals
MultiChoice-owned African SVoD platform Showmax has commissioned a slate of four original Kenyan productions, set to launch later this year, as it expands its investment in the country.
Its 2022 slate includes crime drama Pepeta, which follows the intertwined lives of an aspiring 17-year-old footballer, an unforgiving cop and an ambitious football coach.
Produced by CJ3 Entertainment’s James Kombo, Mwangi Rurengo and Wanja Mworia, the show is set to go into production this month. Damaris Irungu (Crime and Justice), Charles Ouda (Waiting Room, Makutano Junction) and Abigail Arunga (How to Find a Husband) are writing.
Showmax has also ordered a 13-part thriller called Igiza, about twin sisters who are at war after a betrayal that changes their lives forever. The project is helmed by Abdi Shuria (Nafsi), King Muriuki (The XYZ Show) and Abu Melita under their company Yare Productions. Serah Ndanu (Sumu la Penzi, Pieces of Us) plays both sisters in the series, which is currently in production.
Also on the docket for 2022 is County 49, a political thriller about the citizens of a fictional county who are suffering from the high cost of living and scarce resources, despite the county’s wealth. It is produced by Likarion Wainaina, Brian Munene and Millicent Ogutu of Kibanda Pictures and Bruce Makau. Munene also writes alongside Voline Ogutu (Crime and Justice), Mercy Mutisya (Too Early for Birds) and Martin Kingondu.
In addition, Showmax has commissioned Kenya’s first-ever Christmas movie. The as-yet-untitled project is produced by Reuben Odanga, who is writing the film alongside Natasha Likimani.
The greenlights come on the heels of the release of Showmax’s first Kenyan original, Crime & Justice, which is now in its second season, in addition to drama series Single Kiasi and feature film Baba Twins.
Timothy Okwaro, MultiChoice channel director for East and Southern Africa, said: “We have worked with new production houses to expand our genre offering to ensure our viewers get to see the very best of Kenyan stories told in different facets of life, from thrillers to crime dramas to political thrillers.
“This slate speaks to our localisation strategy and the keen focus on working with local producers, both established and upcoming, to ensure we give our viewers what they want.”
Outside of Kenya, Showmax’s original productions include ENO, which is the company’s first Ghanaian original, soon-to-launch reality show The Real Housewives of Lagos, South African telenovela The Wife, The Real Housewives of Durban and upcoming fantasy epic Blood Psalms, set in ancient Africa.