Tag Archives: Showmax

Khanyi Mbau set for Comedy Central roast

South African actress Khanyi Mbau is set to become the first African woman ‘roasted’ on Comedy Central Africa and on streaming platform Showmax.

Khanyi Mbau

She will be subjected to thought-provoking jokes and comments by the Roastmaster, comedian Mpho Popps, and other African personalities.

“So this year, I am switching up the roast. I need a room the size of a football field, they can change under a tree, the carpet must have their names so I can step on them. You can’t master a queen so we do not have a master this year,” stated Mbau.

Popps said: “This is just one of those career milestones that I couldn’t have imagined happening. Khanyi Mbau is a legend and an entertainment icon. For me to be the chosen one to throw her on to the flames to be roasted is not only historical but legendary as well. As the Roastmaster I say, may the thickest skin win!”

Dillon Khan, VP of Comedy Central Africa, said: “Mpho Popps is no stranger to our channel. He was first introduced to our audiences on Comedy Central Live at Parkers and we, at Comedy Central Africa, have enjoyed collaborating with him on various other projects.

“He did the opening set for the Roast of Somizi and had a very amazing performance. So being the Roastmaster is a natural fit – a bit like the chemistry between him and Khanyi that is guaranteed to be electrifying.”

“We’re huge fans of Mpho Popps from Strictly Come Dancing and his work on classics on Showmax like Ayeye, Thina Sobalili and the Roast of Somizi, so we can’t wait to watch him dance circles around anyone who steps out of line,” added Candice Fangueiro, Showmax’s head of content.

The Comedy Central Roast of Khanyi Mbau will debut on Comedy Central (DStv 122) and Showmax on August 8 at 21.00.

The Comedy Central Roast is a South African version of the international format of one-off specials that originated on US cable network Comedy Central, in which a celeb is subjected to jokes at their expense.

Comedy Central Africa has so far roasted celebs including singer Steve Hofmeyr in 2012, businessman Kenny Kunene in 2014, actor Somizi Mhlongo in 2018 and rapper AKA in 2019.

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Uti Nwachukwu to host RHOL reunion

Uti Nwachukwu

Nigerian media personality Uti Nwachukwu will host a reunion show featuring the stars of reality series The Real Housewives of Lagos, to be carried by African streamer Showmax.

The reunion show will be made available on Showmax on July 1 and 8, shortly after the conclusion of the The Real Housewives’ first season.

The series follows the opulent lives of six of the most glamorous women in Lagos: Carolyna Hutchings, Laura Ikeji-Kanu, Chioma Ikokwu, Toyin Lawani-Adebayo, Iyabo Ojo and Mariam Timmer.

The reunion will see the women sit down with the Big Brother Africa 5 winner to discuss issues raised by the series and situations that happened off-camera.

Nwachukwu said: “The Real Housewives of Lagos has been a huge part of my Fridays since it premiered and I’m so excited to be able to sit down with the amazing cast to talk about the show.

“Being a lover of reality TV and also an ex-participant of a reality show myself, this feels like home and I will definitely be having a good time speaking to the ladies at this reunion.”

“The first season of The Real Housewives of Lagos has been really exciting. The decision to have Uti host the reunion was just perfect as he is a product and lover of reality TV and has the right energy to anchor the show,” said Candice Fangueiro, head of content at Showmax Africa.

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BBNaija S7 online auditions begin

Reality TV show Big Brother Naija (BBNaija) has begun online auditions for its seventh season.

Nigerian men and women aged over 21 year on July 1 need to record a two-minute video of themselves stating why they should be picked to be part of the show. The videos can be uploaded here. Applications close on May 30.

John Ugbe, CEO of MultiChoice Nigeria, said: “We are set to make history once again with the seventh season of a show that is widely regarded as Africa’s biggest entertainment showcase and a major socio-economic driver in Nigeria. This season promises to top previous seasons in terms of production values, entertainment content, and economic impact.

“The BBNaija reality show remains one of our core investments in bringing quality TV entertainment to millions of our subscribers across the continent on our DStv and GOtv platforms and beyond through our online streaming service, Showmax. We are ramping up efforts to deliver another BBNaija experience to our customers, partner brands and fans of the show.”

The headline sponsor for BBNaija S7 is Abeg while the associate sponsor is Flutterwave.

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Africa & I, Ayinla win at PAFF

Africa & I

African films Africa & I and Ayinla have emerged winners at the recent Pan African Film & Arts Festival (PAFF) in Los Angeles.

South African documentary Africa & I (1×90’), directed by Othmane Zolati and Chris Green (Chasing the Sun), follows 20-year-old adventurer Zolati who spent four years walking, cycling and skateboarding his way south through Africa, from Morocco to Cape Town.

The film is produced by Cape Town prodco Both Worlds Pictures (Puppet Nation ZA, Recipes for Love & Murder), in partnership with MultiChoice-owned African streamer Showmax and the National Film & Video Foundation of South Africa. Worldwide sales of Africa & I are handled by Big Media (US) and Paradoxal (France).

Ayinla, directed by Nigerian filmmaker Tunde Kelani, tells the story of Nigerian musician Ayinla Omowura, who used Apala music to address issues in contemporary society, commending and criticising various governmental and individual acts.

Sponsored by the First Bank of Nigeria and distributed by FilmOne (Nigeria), Ayinla will debut soon on Netflix.

At PAFF, the 30th edition of which concluded on May 2, Africa & I won in the Best First Feature Documentary category, while Ayinla took home the Programmers’ Award: Narrative Feature.

On Instagram, Kelani said: “Congratulations to our talents, crew, executive producers, producers, and our rep team in Los Angeles and Pakistan. Thanks and God’s blessings.”

PAFF is a non-profit corporation in Los Angeles that states its goal is to promote cultural understanding among peoples of African descent through exhibiting art and film.

The full list of PAFF 2022 award winner can be found here.

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Showmax orders four Kenyan originals

Igiza is about twin sisters at war with each other

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.

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Showmax lines up new African titles


African streaming service Showmax has lined up a number of African titles that will air on its platform this month.

They include the new drama series Umbuso, which will premiere on April 3; season two of MnaKwethu Happily Ever After on April 7; The Real Housewives of Lagos on April 8; new South African drama series Umkhokha on 11 April; and S3 of Gomora on April 25.

Umbuso follows a street-smart businessman and a politician, two old comrades determined to secure a post-struggle legacy for themselves and their families. The show stars Sphamandla Dhludhlu, Bathabile Mashigo and Bahumi Mhlongo.

MnaKwethu Happily Ever After is a reality show hosted by Musa Mseleku about polygamy. In this new season, viewers will learn of family rejection and unexpected break-ups. The show features Qondanisa, Ngiga, Dulas and Bheki Cele.

The Real Housewives of Lagos is the first Nigerian instalment and 16th international version of the award-winning Real Housewives franchise from the US, and follows the success of The Real Housewives of Johannesburg and The Real Housewives of Durban.

The Real Housewives of Lagos follows the opulent lives of six of the most glamorous women in Nigeria’s capital city, namely businesswoman Carolyna Hutchings, influencer Laura Ikeji-Kanu, lawyer and luxury hair brand owner Chioma Ikokwu, celebrity stylist Toyin Lawani-Adebayo, Nollywood actress Iyabo Ojo and PR expert Mariam Timmer.

The show will be available exclusively on Showmax in more than 40 African countries.

Umkhokha, meanwhile, revolves around the bitter feud between two families vying for control of a church after the untimely death of its leader. It stars casts including Deli Malinga, S’Thandiwe Kgoroge, Linda Sokhulu, Nay Maps, Sibongile Ngubane and Kwezi Ndlovu. It is directed by Menga Nhlabathi and executive produced by Mandla KaNozulu and Nathi Ngwane.

Lastly, Gomora traces the inequality between rich and poor, following the lives of two families and how their worlds collide. It stars Connie Chiume, Katlego Danke and Zolisa Xaluva.

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Banijay takes format rights to Still Got It!

Banijay has acquired the exclusive format rights to Still Got It!, an original factual entertainment series from South Africa-based creative studio Rebelintown.

Still Got It!

Created by Jimmy Muteba, the format, which is known in South Africa as The Coolest OGs, sees people aged between 60 and 80 competing in a series of challenges with the help of the Gen Z crowd to see which of them has “still got it.” A cash prize is up for grabs for the person who impresses a panel of influential young judges.

The show debuted in June last year on free-to-air channel SABC and was licensed to SVoD platform Showmax in September.

Banijay is exclusively responsible for format sales outside of Africa. Rebelintown has retained the rights to distribute the format in Africa and will work in partnership with Banijay on a non-exclusive basis in North Africa.

“With a burgeoning creative industry in South Africa, it’s an exciting time to bring Rebelintown’s Still Got It! to the international market,” said Carlotta Rossi Spencer, head of format acquisitions at Banijay.

Jimmy Muteba, CEO of Rebelintown, added: “There is a growing movement which sees African creativity having its moment in the spotlight. This format cuts across generations and, with its universal nature, Still Got It! holds great potential to be adapted across the globe.”

Rebelintown’s other credits include Trace Music Star, a music talent search competition where the public can enter simply by recording their song on a phone call. The show was licensed to South Africa-based music channel Trace and later launched across 14 African countries over three seasons. The series, which features judges Wyclef Jean, Akon, Keri Hilson and Dawala, was also picked up in France.

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Showmax lines up Ghanaian drama Eno

Ken Attoh and Shirley Frimpong-Manso

African streaming service Showmax is set to premiere its first original Ghanaian drama series, titled Eno.

The 13-part series will debut next month. It tells the story of a single mother who is determined to meddle in her three daughters’ lives by steering them towards the path of rich suitors. However, her girls have minds of their own, and soon a mother’s dream becomes her daughters’ nightmare.

Eno is set in Accra and is directed and produced by award-winning filmmakers Shirley Frimpong-Manso and Ken Attoh under their production company Sparrow Studios.

The cast includes Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice winner Gloria Osei-Sarfo, as the mother, alongside Owusu-Poku, Esi Hammond and Emelia Asiedu who play her three daughters. Also featuring are award-winning actor John Dumelo, Godwin Namboh, Peter Ritchie, Brian Angels, Michael Katahena, Kabutey Ocansey and Kelvin Sarpong.

Frimpong-Manso said she has always been passionate about stories that put women at the centre. “I was immediately drawn to Eno because of its female-driven narrative,” she said.

“In spite of the fact that the main character is described as a woman who is cunning and even greedy, I love her zeal to succeed against all the odds. The fact that she is determined to see her daughters make better choices than she has shows me a mother’s honest attempt to right her past wrongs through the children she so dearly loves, even if she doesn’t get it right every single time.”

Attoh said Eno is fitting as a first Ghanaian original for Showmax and it will be loved by viewers as it is a visually entertaining, drama-filled and relatable African story with Ghanaian nuances. “It highlights some of the pressures we all experienced at one point growing up and even as adults, either from our parents or family members,” he added.

According to Frimpong-Manso, Eno is not an ordinary story. “As the first Showmax original in Ghana, working on Eno is both exciting and challenging, and its success will open doors to so many filmmakers in Ghana. The success of this series will set the stage for much more original Ghanaian-produced content on Showmax. I am convinced this will happen and help accelerate the growth of the Ghanaian film and TV industry,” she said.

Frimpong-Manso and Attoh are behind some of the biggest titles in Ghana, including the popular telenovela Dede, which won a Shirley award for Best Director at the 2021 Ghana Movie Awards; award-winning romantic drama The Perfect Picture and its sequel The Perfect Picture: Ten Years Later; and hit romcom Potato Potahto, which premiered at Cannes Film Festival in 2017.

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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


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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