Multimedia entertainment channel BET Africa, part of the Paramount Global family of TV channels, is gearing up to launch a new local drama titled Redemption.
Redemption, set in a huge church, follows the lives of the family running the organisation. After the pastor goes missing, his daughter does all she can to save her family while battling secrets and dark truths.
The series is a coproduction by two production companies in Johannesburg, South Africa: Gomora prodco Seriti Films of Rosebank and Randburg’s Burnt Onion Productions, producer of cooking show Entangled.
The cast includes Yonda Thomas, Tina Jaxa, Themba Ndaba, Sthandiwe Kgoroge and Kwanele Mthethwa, and the show will air on BET Africa (DStv channel 129) from September 26.
“Our mission at BET Africa is to engage the black community and truly drive black excellence in our industry and through the stories we tell,” said Craig Paterson, senior VP and general manager at Paramount Africa.
“The team behind this BET Africa original is exceptional. This, together with the stellar cast of Redemption, guarantees an enthralling viewing experience for our audiences across the continent.”
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.
South African singer Busiswa Gqulu will star in a new reality TV show called Her Majesty on ViacomCBS-owned channel BET Africa.
The 13-part show will air this month to celebrate International Women’s Month and will star the African singer and document her journey towards making an album.
It will also explore her award-winning music career and partnerships with international superstars as she shares her experiences with African audiences.
Monde Twala, senior VP and general manager at ViacomCBS Networks Africa and lead at BET International, said: “It’s so inspiring to bring another local black female-led reality TV series to the channel.
“The series will give viewers an intimate exclusive glimpse into the world of one of Africa’s leading queen of song. BET Africa is proud to continue celebrating black excellence on the continent and we are committed to bringing African audiences content that is culture-led, bold and relevant.
Gqulu added: “I am excited to partner with BET Africa, a brand that continuously celebrates black culture and excellence globally. I look forward to sharing my truth, whereas over the years I have been reluctant to share anything. But I have learned that it’s more important to own my story, and am willing to let my fans into the next level that is my private and spiritual life.”
The series starts at 19.30 CAT on March 20 on BET Africa channel 129.
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.
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.”