Streaming service Showmax is expanding its investment in Africa with its first original Kenyan series and second co-production with global broadcaster CANAL+. The leading media company and pay-TV operator and the internet TV service provider have begun production on Crime & Justice, a gritty police procedural and legal show set in Nairobi.
Crime & Justice features a heavy-weight cast with Sarah Hassan (Plan B, How to Find a Husband) and Alfred Munyua (Poacher, The First Grader, Sense8) starring as Makena and Silas, the two detectives at the heart of the topical show that follows one ripped-from-the-headlines case per episode, all the way through to the courtroom verdict.
“When I first read the script, I loved the delivery and realness of Silas as a character. 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, and I hope I’ll do justice to the role,” says Munyua.
Hassan says she is looking forward to playing a detective for the first time in her career. “This is a very different character; I’ve never played anything like Makena before. It’s very exciting to get a character that makes me grow as an actor.”
Hassan and Munyua are joined by Maqbul Mohammed (Varshita, Auntie Boss) as DCI Boss Kebo, Paul Ogola (Sense8, Kati Kati) as Prosecutor Sokoro and Brian Ogola (Lusala, Disconnect) as Caleb, the resident pathologist, as well as the stage and screen legend John Sibi-Okumu (The Constant Gardener, The First Grader), Muhugu Theuri (Pillow Talk, Pieces of Us), Brian Abajah (Sincerely Daisy), Martin Githinji (Sue na Jonnie, The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind) and Justin Mirichii (Rafiki, Watu Wote) in guest roles.
Crime & Justice is directed and produced by Adam Neutzsky-Wulff, whose slate of films and series include All The Little Things We Kill, starring Elizabeth Marvel (House of Cards, Homeland), and You Are Here, starring Teen Choice nominee Jason Dohring (Veronica Mars, iZombie, The Originals), Peter Vack (Love Life, The Bold Type), Lea Thompson (Switched at Birth, Back to the Future) and MTV Movie Award winner William Baldwin (Dirty Sexy Money, Gossip Girl, Parenthood).
Working alongside Adam in the production team is an all-star Kenyan crew, including co-producer Maureen Wanjiku (Subira, Kenya’s 2019 Oscar entry, East Africa’s Got Talent); two-time Kalasha award-winning lighting technician Walter Odhiambo (Plan B, 40 Sticks); cinematographer Sammy Maina (Lost in Africa, Country Queen), who’ll be taking over from Helge Gerull after episode 2; art director Eugene Oyoo (Kenya’s 2018 Oscar entry Supa Modo); and casting director Lorella Jowi (Watu Wote, Kenya’s first Oscar-nominated film).
While this is the first Kenyan Showmax Original, it is not the first foray into original Kenyan content for the MultiChoice Group, Showmax’s parent company. With more than 25 years of experience in Kenya with its video entertainment businesses GOtv and DStv, MultiChoice produces more than 10 original Kenyan productions each year, including some of the most popular series on its flagship East African channel, Maisha Magic, like Kina, Selina, Pete and Chozi. Showmax subscribers benefit from this wealth of content, as many of these much-loved shows are also available on the standalone streaming service.
“We are fundamentally an African business and are invested in telling African stories that reflect the lives, languages and cultures of the continent. 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,” says Yolisa Phahle, MultiChoice Group CEO for General Entertainment & Connected Video. “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.”
Crime & Justice follows the announcement of the first CANAL+ and MultiChoice co-production earlier this year, Blood Psalms, which will premiere on Showmax in 2021.
Based on ancient African mythology, Blood Psalms is an epic 10-part series that chronicles the rise to power of a fierce teenaged princess, Zazi (Bokang Phelane from Keeping Score, Emoyeni), who battles a world-ending prophecy to navigate her people through ancient curses, long-standing tribal vendettas, and the wrath of the Gods.
CANAL+, which will distribute Crime & Justice to its French-speaking base, is also committed to entertainment in Africa. Fabrice Faux, Chief Content Officer of CANAL+ INTERNATIONAL, says, “As part of our strategy of providing our subscribers with the best original content from the continent, we are proud to partner with Showmax and enrich myCanal as well as CANAL+ channels with such premium series.”
Media General Announces Its Preparedness To Celebrate March As Ghana Month
March 2021 is just around the corner and leading Ghanaian Media Company, the Media General Group has this week announced its preparedness to execute this year’s edition of its annual Ghana Month campaign.
Ghana Month is a month-long campaign which takes place in the month of March to coincide with the country’s independence celebrations. The campaign is to primarily project the country’s indigenous products and services as well as celebrate its rich cultural heritage.
According to management of the media conglomerate, the focus of this year’s Ghana Month campaign is to promote the essence of patronizing locally made products and services as the world battles the shattering effect of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Group Chief Executive Officer of the Media General Group, Beatrice Agyemang highlighted the economic impact of the campaign and what the country stands to gain when Ghanaians patronize products and services by local firms.
“Patronizing our locally manufactured products impacts directly on the manufacturing sector of the Ghanaian economy and this will serve as a major drive for economic growth and prosperity. We have China and India as examples to learn from. Their rapid growth were driven by their manufacturing sectors and their products were heavily patronized by their citizens. In addition, it will create more jobs, improve physical infrastructure and enterprises in the country”, she added.
Ms. Beatrice Agyemang further stated that “the Media General Group is a wholly owned Ghanaian business which has been championing the promotion of local content over the years. It remains our commitment to promote the agenda of supporting Ghanaian businesses at all times as our contribution to national development”.
Ghana Month will be launched on Monday 1st March 2021 with a durbar in Studio B, Adesa We, in partnership with the National Theatre of Ghana. Throughout the month, selected shows on radio and television will go big on Ghanaian culture and content including live band music, Ghanaian fashion, proverbs, folklore, legends and food.
Also within the month, there will be some iconic Ghanaian movies and interviews with legendary Ghanaian actors and musicians across the Media General platforms; TV3, Onua TV, 3FM, Onua FM, Connect FM in Takoradi, Akoma FM in Kumasi and www.3news,com.
MTV Base Introduces The Culture Squad And New VJs
ViacomCBS Networks Africa is spicing things up this year with their introduction of new faces and a new crew. The illoustrous network will be bringing into the scene ‘The Cultural Squad’ and viewers can also look forward to new VJs.
The Culture Squad is a team of visionaries, creatives, and trendsetters who are pushing the culture forward across the network’s youth brands MTV, MTV Base, and BET Africa. This platform will give African talent a bigger stage to showcase their distinct originality, highlighting how they are influencing cultural shifts, setting trends and leading the conversation through a VJ centred content portfolio.
VJs across the network’s Pan African platforms will be at the forefront of the culture hosting iconic moments, meeting industry movers at home and abroad, entertaining viewers across several shows and getting involved in meaningful causes that are close to their hearts.
Monde Twala, Senior Vice President and General Manager at ViacomCBS Networks Africa said: “Base Day is a celebration and recognition of the power of youth culture across Africa.
“MTV base will continue to partner with trendsetters across all our brands.
“The Culture Squad reaffirms that commitment and we are thrilled to welcome our new MTV Base VJs Shamiso and Uncle Vinny to the family, as we elevate African talent to even greater heights and open up the industry”
Joining as MTV Base’s newest VJs are TV presenter Shamiso and all-round “Cool kid” Uncle Vinny. “I was definitely thrilled to be chosen, and as a fairly new presenter, it was a great opportunity for me. Anyone who works in the industry aspires to be at MTV Base at some point in their career, but coming here has been even better. The people are all so kind and so willing to teach, I definitely feel like I am getting better at my craft”, said Shamiso.
Uncle Vinny has made a name for himself as a cultural curator and recently featured as a panelist on MTV Base Hottest MCs New Wave List. “It’s been really exciting joining the ViacomCBS Networks Africa family.
“This is honestly my first big presenting job so it’s kind of scary at the same time but everyone has been welcoming and have had patience with me. I am going to have to get used to the early call times though, but everyone has been amazing. One thing I am hoping to have is my own show and going international,” he said.
The Culture Squad will be made up of fan favourites. This includes South Africa’s MTV Base VJ Search 2017 competition winner, Tshego Koke, as well as Farieda “Pharoahfi” Metsileng and Nomalanga ‘The Flame’ Shozi.
Former Capital FM and Nation FM Presenter is Dead
Local media houses have reported that, former Capital FM and Nation FM presenter Jack Hillary Ojiambo is Dead. The news about his untimely demise was made public by his former employer Capital FM, who eulogized Ojiambo as a Jazz pioneer.
The late Ojiambo used to host the Jazz Club show on the Chris Kirubi owned station Ojiambo, who was also a lawyer by profession, was the founder and host of the “Jazz Club” show at Capital FM for 17 years, from 1996 to 2013.
In 2014, Ojiambo landed at Nation FM where he used to host a show dubbed Jazz Essentials but parted ways with the station in December 2015. In 2017, he ventured into politics, vying for the Dagoretti North Member of Parliament seat but lost to the incumbent Simba Arati.
Cause of death is yet to be made known.
Angela Bamford Ends Working Relationship With GHOne Tv – Sources Disclose
Angela Bamford who has been described as one of the hardworking fresh faces on Ghanaian television has ended her working relationship with the EIB Network. But her TLS Show has been repeating old episodes for some weeks now. Inside sources say she won’t be returning on the newest episodes of the show.
Angela was outdoored as the host of the show sometime early 2020. She was also co-host of all ladies talk show, Toast, in addition to reading the business news on the channel’s evening news bulletin.
It looks like she will not be returning for any of the programmes. The reason for her departure is unknown.
Angela has left at a time when the station has been introducing new faces to make up for the vacuum created by the channel’s previous known faces who have abandoned the station for various reasons.
She joins the likes of Berla Mundi, Cookie Tee, Giovani Caleb, KOD and Mz Dru among others who have all moved on from the EIB Group.
Angela Bamford had a stint with showbiz at an early age, from singing with the group D3, modelling at Exopa Model Agency and acting to TV host. Prior to joining Ghone TV, she also worked at Kwese TV (Former Viasat 1) and 4stye TV.
She joined Ghone TV in February 2020 and was one of the most commanding and interesting hosts on the channel.
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