Tag Archives: Showmax

Showmax revisits Durban Housewives

The Real Housewives of Durban

African streamer Showmax will launch season two of its Durban-set adaptation of hit US reality franchise Real Housewives later this month.

The Real Housewives of Durban is produced by Cape Town-based Let It Rain Films. The show offers viewers a glimpse into the glamorous lives of wealthy women living in the titular South African city.

Three new women have joined the cast for S2, which launches on January 28, bringing class, glamour, sass and drama to the series, according to the producers.

The new faces are musician, actress and jewellery designer Londie London; radio personality and motivational speaker Thobile MaKhumalo Mseleku; and former South African kickboxing champion Jojo Robinson. Returning cast members include Annie Mthembu, Nonkanyiso Conco, Nonku Williams and Sorisha Naidoo.

Season two director Thumeka Hlotshana said: “London oozes class and confidence, she is relatable and honest when the moment calls for it, especially about the things that matter. Thobile is definitely a new flavour. Not only is she already popular from her family show but she is the only wife currently in a polygamous marriage. She is from a humble village on the South Coast, so The Real Housewives of Durban is going to take her outside of her comfort zone as she tries to fit in with a group of wives living the big-city dream.

“Jojo is outspoken, colourful and unapologetically herself. Her love for art comes through in pretty much everything she does. She loves her family and friends but is never afraid to stand up for what she thinks is right. Viewers can expect straightforward conversations and responses from Jojo. She is loud, humorous and simply fun.”

The Real Housewives began life in the US in 2006 as The Real Housewives of Orange County, produced by LA-based Evolution Media for NBCUniversal-owned cable channel Bravo. The format has since been adapted locally in 21 international markets, with versions also in the works in Kenya and Nigeria.

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Showmax lines up next Kenyan original

Single-ish

MultiChoice-owned African streaming service Showmax will launch its next original Kenyan series, Single-ish, on January 20.

The 13-part drama is adapted from the hit South African series Unmarried and is produced by Insignia Productions. It is co-directed by Philippe Bresson, Grace Kahaki and Robby Bresson.

Single-ish tells the story of three women in Nairobi: a career-focused lawyer who seems to have the perfect life; a woman with a taste for the finer things in life; and a housewife and mother who has lived with her high-school sweetheart for nine years.

The series follows how the three women deal with the challenges that marriage, relationships and careers throw at them. It also explores the strong bond of friendship that they share. Gathoni Mutua (This Is Life), Minne Kariuki (Ma’Empress) and Faith Kibathi (This Is Life) star.

Single-ish is the second Showmax original series from Kenya after the Kalasha-nominated police procedural drama Crime & Justice. The streamer’s original productions in the country began with the film Baba Twins, which launched last month.

Mutua said: “Other than the fact that it’s a show about women, Single-ish has this chic yet nostalgic old-school girlfriends’ vibe that takes the drama a notch higher without feeling like the friendship will fall apart.”

Regarding her character, Kariuki said: “She is a modern-day slay queen who pretends to afford a lavish lifestyle and flaunts it all on social media because she wants to keep up with the trends. Single-ish doesn’t shy away from telling it all as it is, capturing the struggles of modern women.”

Kibathi added: “Single-ish is different because it’s very relatable and has a touch of the actual dating experiences in Nairobi. It also shows the beauty of reliable female friendship, especially when things get bad.”

Other stars include Brian Abajah (Sincerely Daisy), Michael Munyoki (A Grand Little Lie), Lucarelli Onyango (Crime & Justice), Mburu Kimani (Nairobi Half Life), Lenana Kariba (Selina), Dora Nyaboke (Crime & Justice) and Jacky Kaboi (Bait).

Bresson, co-founder and director of Nairobi-based Insignia, said: “For the first time, we are able to depict real life in an unfiltered way. To me, this is real filmmaking, when you are able to tell the story as it should be, so even as the viewer watches it, they will be surprised, shocked and will fall in love with how we tell the story.

“I don’t think there’s been any other show that has pushed the boundary in terms of women’s issues as we have.”

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Showmax orders S2 of romcom Troukoors

Blyde Smit (left) and Ilse-Lee van Niekerk star in Troukoors

South African streaming service Showmax has ordered a second season of new romantic comedy series Troukoors in the same week that the show made its debut.

Troukoors is a 14×30’ original Afrikaans series that follows a wedding planner who is surrounded by love but struggling to find it for herself.

The show stars Ilse-Lee van Niekerk (Die Boekklub), with Fleur du Cap nominee Bianca Flanders (Nêrens Noord-Kaap, Address Unknown) and former child star Blyde Smit (Erfsondes) co-starring as her best friend and sister respectively.

The show has been created by SAFTA winner Louis Pretorius and SAFTA nominee Albert Snyman of Infinity Films, the creators of South African shows Die Boekklub, Fynskrif and Die Boland Moorde.

The second season of Troukoors is due in the first half of 2022.

“Troukoors is like good champagne: light and bubbly and moreish, with a tendency to bring out people’s naughty sides,” said Candice Fangueiro, head of content at Showmax. “It’s like Younger or The Bold Type but set against the splendour and romance of the Cape wedding industry.”

MultiChoice-owned Showmax has seen much success with its originals this year. The Real Housewives of Durban, Uthando Lodumo, Devilsdorp and The Wife set successive viewing records on Showmax, while Life With Kelly Khumalo won a SAFTA.

Furthermore, Tali’s Baby Diary, DAM and Skemerdans all earned rave reviews; and Sarah Hassan just took home the 2021 Kalasha Award for Best Actress in a TV Drama for her performance in Kenyan series Crime & Justice.

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Showmax to debut first original film

MultiChoice-owned streaming service Showmax is set release its first original film, a comedy-drama from Kenya.

Baba Twins

Baba Twins follows the story of Wamz, a young, carefree airline hostess who is thrust into motherhood and has to raise twins while navigating nanny drama and Tony, the socialite father of her children, who is not ready to be a dad.

Launching on December 15, the film is produced by Lucy Mwangi through her label Moon Beam Productions and directed by Lawrence Murage. The cast includes Violetta Ngina, Morris Mwangi, Kui Kabala, Annstella Karimi and Brian Ngaira, plus radio personalities including King Kalala, Kalekye Mumo and Maqbul Mohammed.

Ngina said on Instagram: “Well, if anyone told me I was going to land a lead role in the first ever Showmax original film, I would roll my eyes to eternity… but God moves differently, doesn’t he? Start getting your popcorn and red-carpet dresses ready…”

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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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Showmax acquires SA lockdown doc

United Apart SA – Lockdown Remembered

African streamer Showmax has acquired pandemic-focused documentary United Apart SA – Lockdown Remembered, which it will make available from September 9.

The documentary takes a deep dive into South Africa’s Covid-19 strategy and the effect it has had on society, the economy and its most vulnerable citizens.

The film asks questions such as: How much did lives change? Did the authorities go too far? Can a developing economy follow the same lockdown models as fiscally sound countries? What fault lines did Covid-19 expose? What more could have been done to effect change while fighting a devastating pandemic?

United Apart SA – Lockdown Remembered was produced by award-winning Ochre Moving Pictures of Johannesburg, directed by Anton Burggraaf and funded by newspaper publisher Arena Holdings.

It features South African Medical Research Council president and CEO Glenda Gray; clinical infectious diseases epidemiologist Professor Salim Abdool Karim; South African Reserve Bank deputy governor Rashad Cassid; Business Day editor Lukanyo Mnyanda; Sowetan editor Nwabisa Makunga; and Sunday Times editor S’thembiso Msomi, among others.

Debbie McCrum, Arena Holdings MD, said: “We are delighted to have sold United Apart to Showmax. It’s an informative, moving and entertaining investigation of what we went through as a nation during an extremely challenging year. With its focus on local content, Showmax is making the documentary available to South Africans in the comfort of their own home.”

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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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Toke Makinwa to host BBNaija’s The Buzz

Award-winning Nigerian media personality Toke Makinwa will host Big Brother Naija talkshow spin-off The Buzz, which will be available exclusively on MultiChoice-owned streamer Showmax.

Toke Makinwa

In The Buzz, Makinwa will share her opinions on the happenings in the BBNaija house as the current season continues, as well as offering viewers the inside scoop behind the latest dramatic events in the reality show. The show will also feature a secret diary room rant session from the housemates.

Makinwa said: “I am unfiltered. This is almost like the unfiltered version of Big Brother where we bring you weekly highlights, so I’m looking forward to them messing up, I’m looking forward to them creating more drama because that way my show gets even more interesting.”

The Buzz will stream on Tuesdays and Saturdays from 19.00, debuting on August 3. Big BBNaija is based on the globe-trotting Dutch format Big Brother, which became a global sensation when it launched over 20 years ago.

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SA’s Temptation Island to debut in August

Temptation Island is hosted by Phat Joe (centre)

The South African version of Banijay format Temptation Island will premiere on August 26 on MultiChoice Group-owned SVoD service Showmax.

The format sees couples go through the ultimate relationship test as they find themselves at a crossroads where they must mutually decide if they are ready to commit to one another for the rest of their lives or go their separate ways.

The couples will live separately in a luxurious holiday destination alongsisde 20 single men and women who are looking for love.

The recently released teaser trailer from Showmax revealed four South African couples, namely Precious Khumalo and Grant Manuel, Justin Fritz and Estelle Langa, Musa Qubinkomo and Sifiso Ndlazi, and Nthabiseng Maphago and MJ Maponya.

Billed as the first international reality format that Showmax has licensed, the show is being hosted by South African TV and radio personality Phat Joe. Afrokaans Film & Television is producing.

Distributed by Banijay Rights, Temptation Island has been adapted in 25 countries so far. It originated on US network Fox back in 2001 and was later revived by USA Network in 2019.

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Auditions held for Basketmouth comedy

New Showmax original comedy series Ghana Jollof, executive produced by Nigerian comedian Basketmouth (aka Bright Okpocha), has begun auditions.

Basketmouth (aka Bright Okpocha)

Aspiring Ghanaian TV stars living in Lagos or Accra aged between 20 and 60 are expected to upload a two-minute video with a monologue of their choice on Instagram with the hashtag #GhanaJollofShowmax, including their name, phone number and location.

Basketmouth, who will also star in the show, said: “Ghanaians are our next-door neighbours and both countries have always been intertwined in both music and movies. I believe in the mutual growth of the entertainment industry for both countries.

“I’m also incredibly passionate about the discovery and promotion of new talent, and with Showmax at the forefront of promoting local African content, it is my belief that we’re set to unleash incredible new talent.”

On the choice of title, he added: “For those wondering why we went with Ghana Jollof, you’ll just have to watch the show and find out.”

The deadline for audition is July 20.

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Showmax lines up cult murder docuseries

South Africa-based SVoD service Showmax is set to debut an original true crime docuseries about a cult murder spree, titled Devilsdorp.

The series came about as a result of research into the killings that took place between 2012 and 2016 in the town of Krugersdorp, otherwise known as the Appointment Murders.

Devilsdorp, which will air from July 29, will showcase extraordinary footage of church meetings, trial testimonies, judgments and apparent ‘exorcisms.’

It will also feature first-hand accounts of stories by church members who knew the perpetrators: senior investigating officer Captain Ben Booysen, deputy director of public prosecutions Gerrit Roberts, discovery claims specialist Shane Chatzkelowitz and journalist Marizka Coetzer.

The series is directed by David Enright, produced by Randburg-based prodco IdeaCandy and narrated by Jana Marx, author of the book The Krugersdorp Cult Killings: Inside Cecilia Steyn’s Reign of Terror.

Enright said: “The result of an 18-month research process, Devilsdorp shows again that truth is stranger than fiction, especially in South Africa. This is the story of the events that rocked an entire community and forever changed the lives of those involved, especially the families of the victims.

“What started as a group of devout Christians trying to help a former satanist escape the satanic church ended in a murderous spree involving a killer mom, her two children and a cult with more victims than members. It may all sound too far-fetched to be believed, except it really happened – just down the road from us,” he added.

“We know our audience is fascinated by local true crime, pointing to the popularity of the SAFTA-winning film Griekwastad and the SAFTA-nominated series Huisgenoot: Ware Lewensdramas. There’s something deeply unsettling about watching a true-crime series where the victims and perpetrators look and sound like your neighbours, and where you can recognise the locations,” added Candice Fangueiro, Showmax’s head of content.

IdeaCandy producer Wim Steyn added: “You may think you know this story but you don’t. This is one of those stories where things are seldom as they seem, and where the road to hell is paved with good intentions.”

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Showmax employs Working Wives

Working Wives centres on a group of Harare women

MultiChoice Group-owned South African SVoD service Showmax has picked up Zimbabwean scripted series Working Wives, produced last year by Ndiani Studios.

Working Wives is a 13-episode dramedy inspired by the Real Housewives franchise that follows the lives of a group of Harare women from a Millennial perspective. It also explores the challenges faced by a modern African woman tied to tradition in an urban world.

The series was adapted from a blog created by Sharon Bwanya and was produced by Tendayi Nyeke. It stars Tendaiishe Chitima, Dikelo Mamiala, Tendai Nguni, Nyasha Grace Munangatire, Maritawana Dhliwayo, Chipo Mugovewedenga Chikara and Megan Victor-Carelse.

“The series is an exciting pan-African collaboration shot between Zimbabwe and South Africa, starring a crew and talent from both countries in a time that sees borders fall as far as storytelling and viewing experience is concerned. Brace yourselves for a comedy drama because as crazy as life gets, it’s easier to swallow the hard pill with a good laugh,” said Nyeke.

Ndiani Studios launched Working Wives independently in 2020, with episodes available over the web via sites including Vimeo, and is available to air to international audiences with Showmax access. The series is distributed by Cote Ouest Audiovisuel.

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Showmax visits Temptation Island

Temptation Island SA is being produced by Afrokaans Film & Television

MultiChoice Group-owned South African SVoD service Showmax has commissioned a local version of Banijay dating format Temptation Island.

The 12-part first season will be Showmax’s first adaptation of an international format and is being produced by local outfit Afrokaans Film & Television.

Afrokaans also produces the South African version of Banijay’s adventure reality format Survivor, which is due to air its eighth season this summer.

Twenty-five local adaptations of Temptation Island have aired to date, in countries including Spain, Italy, the Netherlands and the US, where the third season will premiere on USA Network this week.

The format sees four new couples heading to a luxury resort where they are joined by 24 single men and women looking to find everlasting love. The couples must decide whether to commit to each other or if they will ultimately give in to the temptation from the singles.

Banijay Rights handles international distribution for both the format and finished tape of the show.

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Showmax, MTN Nigeria in mobile data deal

MultiChoice-owned VoD service Showmax and the Nigerian arm of South African telco MTN have partnered to launch a data deal for mobile users.

Srinivas Rao

The offer will give subscribers access to Showmax’s full catalogue on a data-enabled mobile device. Content available includes Nigerian series and movies from Africa Magic such as telenovelas Riona and Enakhe and new seasons of Date My Family, Unmarried and My Siblings & I.

Also included in the offer are all Premier League, Serie A and La Liga football matches, plus a wide range of live sport from SuperSport including boxing and athletics.

Srinivas Rao, chief digital officer at MTN Nigeria, said: “Keeping up with our digitally savvy, always-on-the-go customers is an exciting challenge that is made easier with partners like Showmax. This alliance could not have come at a better time.”

Yolisa Phahle, CEO for general entertainment and connected video at MultiChoice Group, added: “Mobile streaming is an important consideration throughout Africa, which is why Showmax offers mobile-only versions of Showmax subscriptions. We’re proud to have an extensive collection of the continent’s most-loved original African content to share with MTN’s customers and to introduce them to the world of streaming on Showmax.”

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Showmax adds pop-up channels

MultiChoice-owned VoD service Showmax has added two pop-up channels that will be available until the end of March.

Yolisa Phahle

The addition of kykNET and Mzansi Magic will give Showmax users who don’t have access to the two DStv channels the ability to view them 24 hours a day.

MultiChoice Group CEO for general entertainment and connected video Yolisa Phahle said: “We’re always looking at ways of making the Showmax experience better for our customers.

“During last year’s lockdown, we gave subscribers access to live news channels. Now, following this month’s presidential address, South Africans will continue to spend more time at home, and so, once again, we’d like to make sure our customers have something extra.”

While Mzansi Magic is exclusive to South Africa, kykNET will be available to subscribers in Botswana, Namibia, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. The live streams will be available on all Showmax packages including Showmax, Showmax Mobile, Showmax Pro and Showmax Pro Mobile.

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Showmax, Canal+ coproduce crime drama

Alfred Munyua and Sarah Hassan

MultiChoice VoD service Showmax and France-based pay TV operator Canal+ have begun production on a gritty police procedural and legal show titled Crime & Justice.

The show is being directed and produced by Adam Neutzsky-Wulff (All The Little Things We Kill) and is set in Nairobi. It follows criminal cases through to the courtroom verdict and stars Sarah Hassan (How to Find a Husband) and Alfred Munyua (The First Grader, Sense8) playing detectives.

The show marks Showmax’s first original Kenyan series.

Munyua said the delivery and realness of his character attracted him to the show. “It’s not exaggerated and he’s no Rambo hero, he just tackles his cases the normal way. I found a very real edge with this script,” he added.

Hassan will play a detective for the first time and said: “This is a very different character; I’ve never played anything like it before. It’s very exciting to get a character that makes me grow as an actor.”

Other stars include Maqbul Mohammed, Paul Ogola and Brian Ogola. Muhugu Theuri, Brian Abajah, Martin Githinji and Justin Mirichii will guest star.

The production team consists of Neutzsky-Wulff and a Kenyan crew, including coproducer Maureen Wanjiku (Subira, East Africa’s Got Talent) as well as stage and screen icon John Sibi-Okumu.

Yolisa Phahle, CEO of general entertainment and connected video at MultiChoice, said: “We believe in African talent and look forward to shining the international spotlight on not only Kenyan stars but the Kenyan technical industry’s capabilities. We believe that streaming video is a powerful way to deliver these shared stories. This is one of many more Showmax originals we have in the pipeline across Africa.

“We are fundamentally an African business and are invested in telling African stories that reflect the lives, languages and cultures of the continent.”

Canal+ will distribute Crime & Justice to its French-speaking territories and is also committed to entertainment in Africa.

Fabrice Faux, chief content officer of Canal+ International, said: “As part of our strategy of providing our subscribers with the best original content from the continent, we are proud to partner with Showmax.”

Crime & Justice is set to come to Showmax and Canal+ in 2021 and is MultiChoice’s second copro with the French company after Blood Psalms, due to air this year.

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Showmax lines up Laycon series

MultiChoice VoD service Showmax is set to launch an original series about Big Brother Naija star Laycon in February.

Laycon

I Am Laycon will feature Big Brother Naija S5 winner Lekan Agbeleshe (aka Laycon) as he takes viewers on his journey to fame.

It will follow Laycon after the reality show as he settles into life as a star with his own reality TV show, while juggling his personal relationships and growing a music career in one of Africa’s biggest cities, Lagos.

Yolisa Phahle, CEO of general entertainment at MultiChoice, said: “Showmax is committed to supporting homegrown talent in Nigeria. Laycon is a hugely inspirational figure and the perfect choice to kickstart our original content here.

“Fans across Africa tuned in to see what it took to win Big Brother Naija, so we’re excited to take those fans along with Laycon on this journey as he adjusts to fame and life outside the house.”

Laycon added: “I am excited to continue my new life journey and embrace the new responsibilities of evolving not just myself but everyone around me. I want you to come along for the ride as you get to see the growth that you have supported and loved.”

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Showmax lines up SA thriller Dam

Dam

South African psychological thriller Dam is set to premiere on MultiChoice-owned African SVoD service Showmax in February 2021.

The show is written and directed by four-time SAFTA winner Alex Yazbek, produced by SAFTA-winning production company Picture Tree International and with three-time SAFTA winner Tom Marais as director of photography.

Shot in the Eastern Cape, the eight-part series follows a family and a town with dark secrets, and about how what you push down will eventually rise up.

It stars Silwerskerm Film Festival best actress winner Lea Vivier as a woman who returns from Chile to the Eastern Cape to bury her father, only to be tormented by spirits in the farm house she has inherited.

Other actors include SAFTA winner Pallance Dladla (Themba), Natasha Loring (Sienna), SAFTA winner Antoinette Louw (Dora), Fleur du Cap winner Faniswa Yisa (Lindiwe), aKing frontman Laudo Liebenberg, Gerald Steyn, SAFTA and DSTV Mzansi Viewers’ Choice Award winner Thembisa Mdoda-Nxumalo, Neil Sandilands and a host of others.

Candice Fanguiero, Showmax’s head of content, said: “It’s safe to say you’ve never seen anything like Dam on South African TV.”

Other upcoming Showmax originals expected in 2021 include the reality series Lebo M: Coming Home, which is due to air on December 2, as well as Jahmil XT Qubeka’s ancient Africa series Blood Psalms, a coproduction with Canal+ International.

Also on the slate for next year are the second season of the SAFTA-winning comedy Tali’s Wedding Diary; the Cape Flats neo-noir murder mystery Skemerdans; and Uthando Lodumo, a reality series about controversial celebrity couple Babes Wodumo and Mampintsha.

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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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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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