Africa isn’t short of entertainment and for those interested in Showmax series from the continent, there are plenty of options to choose from.
The popular streaming service is currently offering several awesome African highlights. We profile eight of them in this article.
Life With Kelly Khumalo
Kelly Khumalo struck fame at the age of 21 and is one of South Africa’s biggest music stars. Having won a Best Female Artist at the South African Music Awards and sold millions of albums, it’s a no brainer that her life should be interesting.
Kelly’s controversial personal life, including her relationships with reality TV star Jub Jub and the late Bafana Bafana captain Senzo Meyiwa as well as her famous “divorce” from her sister, Zandie, continues to intrigue.
Life With Kelly Khumalo is already proving to be a hit. Fans get to see the woman behind the headlines – a single mom about to release her new album Voice of Africa.
“I’ve always been an authentic person. So this reality show is not so much about trying to explain myself or trying to win people over. I just want people to see me for who I am. All I can do is live my truth and let people be inspired by that,” Kelly says. Here is the Life With Kelly Khumalo Showmax link.
Rafiki won the Outstanding Film – Limited Release accolade at the GLAAD Media Awards, which honours media for their representations of the LGBTQ community, in July 2020. It also boasts a 94 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes along with glowing reviews from critics.
As its name suggests, Rafiki (Kiswahili for friend) is a Kenyan film. It features Samantha Mugatsia as Kena and Sheila Munyiva as Ziki. The two fall in love and are forced to choose between happiness and safety in a country where the LGBTQ community is often ostracised.
Mugatsia won Best Actress at Carthage 2018 and FESPACO 2019 for her role, while Rafiki also won a nomination for the Un Certain Regard and Queer Palm Awards at Cannes 2018. Here is the Showmax Rafiki link.
Big Brother Naija 2020
Big Brother Naija Lockdown started on 19 July, 2020 and is already the most-watched live entertainment content ever on Showmax. With the popular show streaming 24/7, fans literally have hours upon hours of content. Of course, eviction every Sunday at 19h00 is the most popular part of the reality show.
According to Showmax, South Africans are big fans of Big Brother Naija 2020, accounting for 30 percent of the viewing. As would be expected, Nigeria accounts for around 50 percent and Kenya 15 percent. The finale is scheduled for 27 September, 2020. Catch Big Brother Naija 2020 here.
The Train of Salt and Sugar
If you’re into something a little more serious yet lighthearted, The Train of Salt and Sugar from Mozambique is a great option. It is set against a civil-war background and features two soldiers, Salomão and Taiar, and a young nurse named Rosa. Together with Mariamu, who is Rosa’s friend, they weave a story of entanglement amid bullets and laughter.
The Train of Salt and Sugar won the Independent Italian Critics Award for best film at Locarno in 2016 and Best Film at Carthage and Johannesburg. Find out more about it here.
Love Island UK S6
Season 6 of the BAFTA-winning reality show Love Island UK has a South Africa touch because it was filmed at a villa in Constantia, Cape Town. Laura Whitmore of Strictly Come Dancing and I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here! fame is the new host.
Follow all the drama here as the single hopefuls flirt, date, break up and make up while trying to win over viewers all at the same time for a grand prize of £50k (around R1.1 million at the time of publishing).
Joko Ya Hao
SAFTA winner Mmabatho Montsho directs this film inspired by the late struggle stalwart Winnie Madikizela-Mandela. It narrates the story of Nozizwe, a Christian woman defies the gender norms of the 1950s to join politics and fight the apartheid regime.
Joko Ya Hao was nominated for a 2020 SAFTA for Best Short Film and features local stars such as singer Simphiwe Dana, Jet Novuka, Khanya Mkangisa, Elliot Makhubo and Wandile Molebatsi. Here is the Joko Ya Hao Showmax link.
Kenyan music group Sauti Sol boasts an MTV Africa Music Award for Best Group, MTV Europe Music Award for Best African Act and four All Africa Music Awards. Their collaboration with local rapper Sho Madjozi won them some South African fans. With more than 150 million views on YouTube, they are a musical force to reckon with across the continent.
It’s no surprise then that they are now offering their fans a glimpse into their lives with the brand-new reality series Sol Family. Discover what band members Bien, Chimano, Polycarp and Savara are up to in this 13-part series here.
Mother To Mother
Sindiwe Magona’s novel Mother to Mother is dramatised in this film of the same title. Both the novel and documentary explore difficult topics of forgiveness, redemption and reconciliation linked to South Africa’s transition from apartheid.
Mother to Mother made its world premiere at the 2020 Encounters International Documentary Film Festival. Watch it here.