The eighth Showmax Original in eight months, Temptation Island South Africa, launches this Thursday, 26 August 2021. Now the African streaming service has announced a diverse slate of eight more series – and three more movies – on their way, including Showmax’s first telenovela, romcom, and scripted West African Showmax Original.
This follows a steady flow of Showmax Originals in 2021, from critically acclaimed scripted series like DAM, Tali’s Baby Diary, Skemerdansand Crime and Justice, their co-production with CANAL+, to Devilsdorp, the record-breaking true-crime series everyone is talking about, to wildly popular reality TV series like Uthando Lodumo, which broke Showmax’s overall first-day views record, to I Am LAYCON, which set a Nigerian first-day record, to the second season of the 2021 South African Film and Television Award (SAFTA) winner Life With Kelly Khumalo S2.
“Despite strong international competition, our three most popular shows on Showmax in the first half of 2021 were all local,” says Candice Fangueiro, Showmax’s head of content. “So we’re delighted to introduce our next wave of Showmax Originals, a mix of returning favourites and groundbreaking firsts, from some of Africa’s most talented filmmakers.”
These include first seasons of the epic fantasy Blood Psalms, the telenovela The Wife, the romcom Troukoors, the comedy Ghana Jollof, the docu-series Seks in Afrikaans, the family thriller Desert Rose, and the survival horror Pulse, as well as the second season of the SAFTA-winning sitcom Black Tax, not to mention a three-film post-apocalyptic film slate, led by the critically acclaimed Glasshouse.
COMING SOON IN 2021
Showmax’s first epic fantasy: Blood Psalms, co-produced with CANAL+
Set in ancient Africa 11 000 years ago, Blood Psalms chronicles the rise to power of a fierce teenage princess who battles a world-ending prophecy to navigate her people through ancient curses, long-standing tribal vendettas and the wrath of the gods.
Show creators Layla Swart and Jahmil X.T. Qubeka from Yellowbone Entertainment were responsible for South Africa’s 2020 Oscar entry,Knuckle City. The boxing drama was the most awarded film at the 2020 SAFTAs, where it took home six awards, including Best Director for Qubeka and Best Editor for Swart, and the most nominated film at the 2020 Africa Movie Academy Awards (AMAAs), where it won two awards.
Co-produced with CANAL+, Blood Psalms’ heavy-weight ensemble cast includes eight SAFTA winners: Bongile Mantsai (Knuckle City), Hamilton Dlamini (Five Fingers For Marseilles), Hlubi Mboya (Isidingo), Mothusi Magano (Tsotsi, Hotel Rwanda), Siv Ngesi (Knuckle City, Still Breathing), Thishiwe Ziqubu (Hard To Get), Warren Masemola (The Republic, Tjovitjo), and Zolisa Xaluva (Gomora, Knuckle City), as well as SAFTA nominees Enhle Mbali Mlotshwa (Rockville, Loving Thokoza), Niza Jay (The Wound), Richard Lukunku (Happiness Is A Four-Letter Word, Black Sails), Sello Maake Ka Ncube (The Herd), Thando Thabethe (Housekeepers), Thembekile Komani (Knuckle City) and Zikhona Sodlaka (DiepCity), not to mention Faith Baloyi and Thabo Rametsi, the leads in the 2019 Berlinale Panorama opener Flatland, and Kalushi: The Story of Solomon Mahlangu respectively.
S2 of 2021 SAFTA-winning sitcom Black Tax
In the laugh-out-loud BET Africa original family sitcom Black Tax, Thuli is a single mom whose hard work as a real estate agent is just starting to pay off – when she realises she’s expected to take care of not just her cousin’s child, but her parents too. They’re experiencing financial difficulties and they’re here to stay. After all, the unspoken rule is that when you’re successful, you have to pay everyone back for the support they gave you when you were growing up.
SAFTA winner Jo-Anne Reyneke (Broken Vows, Isono) stars as Thuli, with Mandla Jwara (Isithembiso) nominated for Best Actor at the 2021 SAFTAs as her father. Industry legend Clementine Mosimane, a 2020 SAFTA winner for Poppie Nongena and 2021 nominee for How To Ruin Christmas: The Wedding, plays her mother, while comedians Sne Dladla and Jason Goliath also star.
Created by Meren Reddy, Joshua Rous and Luke Rous, who have 15 SAFTAs between them, Season 1 won the SAFTA for Best Scriptwriting In A TV Comedy, with four more nominations, including Best Comedy. A co-production between BET Africa and Showmax, Black Tax is being produced by Rous House Productions (Inconceivable, Elke Skewe Pot, High Rollers).
Showmax’s first telenovela: The Wife
1Magic’s The River and Mzansi Magic’s Gomora are among the top 10 shows on Showmax overall for the first half of 2021, but the African streaming service has never had a Showmax Original telenovela to call their own. Until now.
The Wife is based on Dudu Busani-Dube’s bestselling novels Hlomu the Wife, Zandile the Resolute, and Naledi His Love, which follow the lives of the eight Zulu brothers, a formidable crime family, through the eyes of the wives they marry. The 120-episode season will be split evenly between the three books, with the first 40 episodes focusing on Hlomu, a journalist who falls in love with a taxi driver, not knowing he’s behind the cash in transit heists she’s investigating.
The Wife is being produced by Stained Glass, the company behind SAFTA-winning shows like eHostela and Uzalo, South Africa’s most-watched soap opera.
Showmax’s first romcom: Troukoors
Pop the champagne! Troukoors, the first Showmax Original romcom, is now shooting.
Troukoors follows Jessica, a wedding planner who’s surrounded by love but struggling to find it for herself. Fangueiro says, “Troukoors is a light, sexy and bubbly romcom, like Younger meets The Bold Type meets Emily in Paris, but set against the splendour and romance of the Cape wedding industry.”
Troukoors is created by SAFTA winner Louis Pretorius and SAFTA nominee Albert Snyman, the creators of critically acclaimed and much loved shows like Die Boekklub, Fynskrif and Die Boland Moorde, with regular collaborator Nina Swart directing.
Showmax’s first West African comedy: Ghana Jollof
In Ghana Jollof, Africa Magic Viewers Choice Award (AMVCA) winner Funnybone and Africa Movie Academy Award (AMAA) nominee Akah Nnani star as two Nigerians who move to Ghana in search of greener pastures. The comedy is currently shooting in Lagos and Accra, with AMVCA nominee Diji Aderogba (About A Boy) directing.
The all-star Nigerian cast includes multi-award-winning comedian Basketmouth, who also executive produces; comedian/actor Buchi; and Uzor Arukwe, who starred as dreaded crime boss Knight in Sugar Rush.
The equally impressive Ghanaian cast includes AMAA nominee Joselyn Dumas; heartthrobs Mawuli Gavor (Chief Daddy) and James Gardiner, who currently stars in Ghana’s popular telenovela Dede; the uncontested ‘Queen of Ghana comedy’, Jacinta Ocansey; popular reality star Portia Freelove; model and actress Brihanna Kinte; veteran actor Jackson Albert Davies (Beasts of No Nation); actress Korkor Oyeba Mensah; and multiple award-winning comedian/actor Kalybos.