Showmax unveils new dramas, doc
African streamer Showmax is preparing to launch a range of new titles this month, including Ghanaian drama The Billionaire’s Wife, crime documentary Stella Murders and Johannesburg-set drama Adulting.
The Billionaire’s Wife is a 10-part drama set in Accra. Debuting this week, it follows a 19-year-old from the slums of Ashaiman who marries an old billionaire with the aim of turning her fortunes around, only to find that being a billionaire’s wife is not as easy as she thought.
The drama is directed and produced by Ad-Visors execs Danny Adotey and Collins Amlalo respectively. The cast includes Andriana Akua Amegbor, Kingsley Yamoah, Roselyn Ngissah, Pascaline Edwards and Ophelia Walker.
“This series was inspired by countless real-life stories of rich men taking young wives. While this is not a new phenomenon, the rise of social media coupled with today’s culture that openly celebrates money-driven relationships is making them commonplace, forcing us to rethink our attitudes towards these relationships,” said Amlalo.
Busola Tejumola, executive head of content and West Africa channels at Showmax parent MultiChoice Group, said: “Across Africa, the appetite for local content is stronger than ever. In Ghana, seven out of the 10 most watched titles on Showmax in 2022 were local, among them Showmax’s first original drama ENO.
“We are excited to unveil The Billionaire’s Wife, another premium original drama series that will captivate Ghanaian viewers and push the Ghanaian television industry to greater heights.”
Stella Murders, meanwhile, is a 90-minute documentary directed by David Enright and produced by Randburg production company IdeaCandy. Arriving on Showmax on March 17, it investigates the deaths of teenage best friends Sharnelle Hough and Marna Engelbrecht at their hostel at Stella High School in South Africa in 2020.
The documentary features interviews with both girls’ parents; Stella South African Police Services station commander Captain Markus Ferreira, the investigating officer; private investigator Chris Saunders; and advocate Johan Smit, the state prosecutor.
Yolisa Phahle, CEO of Showmax and connected video at MultiChoice, said: “Stella Murders is a heart-wrenching story. It deals with every parent’s worst fear. The production was made with cooperation from Sharnelle and Marna’s families, who hope their story will prevent similar tragedies.”
Enright added: “While working on Stella Murders, it became important for us to understand if there was any form of emotional healing for the families and community that experienced this trauma. It became clear that the impact of this tragic event was far-reaching and calls for important reflection on the culture that cultivates gender-based violence.
“Hopefully, this documentary will not only highlight some of the red flags to look out for, but will also become part of the nationwide conversation about the shameful levels of violence against women in South Africa.”
Lastly, Adulting is an eight-part drama set in Johannesburg and produced by Tshedza Pictures. It explores the parallel universes of four varsity friends whose strong bond has held them together even as their lives have taken them in very different directions.
The cast includes Thembinkosi Mthembu, Luthando BU Mthembu, Thabiso Rammutsi and Nhanhla Kunene. MultiChoice Talent Factory graduate Thembalethu Mfebe, who shares directing duties with Menga Nhlabathi (eHostela, Umkhokha), said: “We wanted to root the show in Joburg pop culture right now.”
Tshedza Pictures co-founder Phathutshedzo Makwarela added: “There’s so much creative freedom in working with Showmax, which has broadened the landscape of what’s being made on South African TV. You haven’t seen anything like Adulting before.”