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Craft is the new wave: West Africa’s changing film industry

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MTFVery few things can win the hearts and minds of many in the way that film in West Africa has.   What sets this particular film industry apart from those in other African countries is that storylines are deeply rooted in everyday life, which is why industries such as Nigeria’s Nollywood and Ghana’s equivalent have managed to be fan favourites from as far as Rwanda to all the way in South Africa.   West Africa’s film industry, however, like many others, didn’t bloom in isolation.For renowned filmmakers and film industry leaders like Nigeria’s Femi Odugbemi, his journey into filmmaking was through photography.   “[Where I] grew up I lived near a photographer. He was the one that all the kids went to look at when he took photographs because we all had never really seen a camera. Maybe that was my beginning,” says Odugbemi. “I really remember very clearly the joy I felt watching him tell stories with his camera. And I loved the idea that he was shaping how people looked. I’m talking way back – 1967, 1968.”   Cinemas showing Indian and Chinese films were a plenty in 1960s Lagos, and Odugbemi savoured it, unearthing his love for storytelling and leading him into filmmaking. He has since become one of Nigeria’s and West Africa’s most prolific film and television industry professionals. The legacy he continues to craft is a deliberately steep for those that will come after him, and his intentions are to make sure that content and storytelling from Nollywood is rooted in craft and authenticity.   Insights from the World Bank explain that Nollywood creates up to 50 films a week, and up to 1,200 films a year. Hollywood and Bollywood, by extension, can produce up to 800 and 1600 films respectively. Hollywood also leads the way in terms of global industry size, followed by Bollywood and Nollywood comes third.   The average Nollywood production budget is incomparable to that of Hollywood: An average Nollywood film budget can however be at a maximum of 15,000 dollars, as opposed to the average Hollywood film production budget of up to 47.7 million dollars. Bollywood averages at 1.5 million dollars.   Despite the small budget, Nollywood is a part of almost every household on the continent. More recently, the smash-hit 2016 film “The Wedding Party”, directed by music video, television and film extraordinaire Kemi Adetiba, became the highest-grossing Nollywood film of all time. According to Quartz, it reportedly raked in just over 300 million naira (roughly over 800,000 US dollars) in Nigeria alone. The film’s 2017 sequel raked in over 70 million naira (around 200,000 US dollars) in its opening weekend.   In dollars, these may be small numbers for those comparing it to Hollywood and Bollywood hit films, but certainly not for Nigeria. “The Wedding Party” not only proved that Nollywood can go on to the big screen in Nigeria and compete with the staple Hollywood films, but it also set the bar for a new kind of Nollywood, where simple but authentic storytelling and high quality production are the key ingredients to make a film that can fill local and continental cinema seats.   High quality films such as “The Wedding Party” are not however as prevalent as they should be, which points to the fact that the level of technical skills among many Nigerian filmmakers are still a work in progress.   “Nigerian cinema 10 to 15 years ago was challenging. It’s better in lighting, audio even in production design. It’s getting better,” Odugbemi explains. “Proficiency and efficiency is good, [but] excellence is really ideal, and to be excellent in a consistent form. That is the goal of every winning industry.”   High quality film production and shooting runs throughout Odugbemi’s career, especially with involvement in top shows such as Nigerian soapie “Tinsel”, the much-loved film “Gidi Blues” and executive producing boundary-pushing recent films such as “The Eve”.   “Tinsel” which aired in 2008, was the first daily soap opera on the M-Net network in Nigeria at the time. His more recent Africa Magic soap opera “Battleground” is testament to the continued drive for high-quality content both on screen and behind the camera.   Alongside his legacy as one of the most important figures in Nollywood, his track record of consistency has recently earned him voting membership at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in the United States.   His latest role as the West Africa academy director for the Multichoice Talent Factory will also mean that Odugbemi’s talent and fine-tuned kills from decades of working in Nollywood will be passed on to the next generation of Nigerian filmmakers, many of whom need a strong basis of film training.   “Training is such an important next step for our industry. It’s got to become a foundational pillar [for] our industry,” says Odugbemi. “Every industry that prospers, whether it is architecture or sciences, its underpinning pillar is professional training. [We need] to pass that training on to generation next so that there is constant improvements in the outcome.”   Training as the key to authenticity   For young Ghanaian filmmaker Togbe Gavua, his training became a double-edged sword at his first attempts behind the camera. After completing film school studies in Vancouver, Gavua moved back to Ghana in 2014 with an itch to use his knowledge for filmmaking. He learned the Hollywood way, but what awaited him was different.   “I was privileged [to have been] trained in North America, in the Hollywood system. I was initially very spoiled in the sense that certain roles and certain [parts] within the film reel that I expected to exist did not exist out here,” says Gavua. “It was up to me to step up and fill in those positions.”   Gavua has to do what most filmmakers did – retrofit his Hollywood knowledge with Ghanaian storytelling and film style in order to make a balanced film. Like Nollywood, Ghana’s film industry thrives from a strong home base. In the 1990s, however, Ghana’s film market had to battle that of Nigeria, as Nollywood films flooded the Ghanaian market. Nollywood’s size at the time was already burgeoning.   Today, filmmakers like Gavua are proving that while Nollywood still remains a household name, a new wave of Ghanaian films and industry creatives are working hard to create local films and television for Ghanaians and by Ghanaians.   Gavua’s 2015 debut short film “Sophie”, which he wrote and directed, proved exactly that when it picked up a Silicon Valley Africa award in California, as well as an award in Ghana. It also gave Gavua the validation he needed to continue creating films in Ghana and for Ghanaians.   “It made me feel good that a project that I put my heart into was appreciated by [local] audiences. It did way better than I expected it to,” he explains. “[Sophie] was one of those projects where I just really wanted to get my hands into something outside the film school circuit. I just wanted to prove to myself that I can make a coherent film.”   His next film “Lucky” which is his first full-length feature film, is bursting with the energy and richness of everyday Ghanaian life through the eyes of university student Lucky. It’s set for release this year, and was shot in 13 days. Despite a stellar storyline and equally strong screenplay, Gavua’s biggest challenge was making sure that he continued to create high-quality films, especially on the back of “Sophie” and its success and standard.   High quality production invariably means more money, none of which young filmmakers often have on hand. Getting local investors in local film would be another hurdle, especially when local film industries like Kumawood are notorious for small budgets and low quality finished products.   “In this part of the world, especially in West Africa, it’s difficult to let investors understand how they can make their money back from investing in a film. Most of the films here don’t really put that big amount of money in the product, so it’s just difficult to get investors to wrap their head around investing into the film in order to get high quality,” says Gavua.   “Lucky” managed to get investors, but Ghana still grapples with fully formalising and structuring its entire industry and distribution market. This is even despite the country’s parliament passing a bill to regulate locally-produced films. The Development and Classification of Film Bill also aims to push for a legal framework on the development, distribution, exhibition and marketing of films. It’s a clear indication from some of the highest offices in the land that more formalised structure and oversight is needed in Ghana’s film industry as a whole.   For the lucky few like Gavua, who formally studied filmmaking, managing the shortfalls of the industry will be difficult but not impossible, as they can fall back on their training, patch the gaping holes and produce quality films.   For the rest, whether as a professional by experience alone, or looking to learn from the experts, a lack of formalised training could become a stumbling block for their work in future.   Film is a craft, after all, and one that needs to be studied in order to create authentic African stories. This is Gavua’s most important talisman as he continues his journey into filmmaking.   “Film and cinema is a language of its own, it’s a whole entire craft that must be studied and understood. I feel like that’s where we’re lacking in Kumawood and in the Ghana film industry in general – just understanding the language of cinema and telling our everyday stories in that language,” he says.  ]]>

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Showmax News: Best reality shows to stream on Showmax

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When it comes to reality television in Africa, Showmax is at the forefront of it all. Whatever you like, there are hours of reality television to keep you hooked and entertained.

 

SHOWMAX ORIGINALS

 

The Real Housewives of Durban S4 Reunion Part 2 | Stream from Wednesday, 22 May 

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MaBlerh is hosting The Real Housewives of Durban reunion for the second year in a row. 

 

Going into the reunion, the ladies seemed split into two core groups: on the one side, Sorisha Naidoo, Slee Ndlovu, and newcomers Ameigh Thompson and Angel Ndlela; and on the other, Jojo Robinson, Maria Valaskatzis, Nonku Williams, and newcomer Zama Ngcobo. With the ladies from each camp not seeing eye to eye, viewers had a lot of unanswered questions. 

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In Part 1 of the reunion, we saw the ladies facing off and confronting each other on the things that have happened in the season. OG Sorisha Naidoo and newcomer Zama Ngcobo came face to face and confronted each other on why their budding friendship ended. The ladies addressed everything that viewers wanted to hear about, from age-shaming to body-shaming. Nothing was off limits. 

 

The first season of The Real Housewives of Durban set a then-record on Showmax for the most first-day views and went on to be released in 28 territories outside Africa on hayu, not to mention on Peacock and Bravo, the original home of The Real Housewives franchise. Seasons 2 and 3 were among the 10 most streamed titles on Showmax in their launch years and are currently streaming on hayu. 

 

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The Real Housewives Ultimate Girls Trip – South Africa S1 | Mondays from 27 May

 

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The Real Housewives Ultimate Girls Trip – South Africa is the spinoff that fans have been waiting for, taking eight of South Africa’s most iconic Housewives on a luxury trip to Jamaica. 

 

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The Real Housewives Ultimate Girls Trip South Africa dream cast includes Beverley Steyn (The Real Housewives of Cape Town S1); Christall Kay (The Real Housewives of Johannesburg S1-S2); LaConco (The Real Housewives of Durban S1-S2); Lethabo Lejoy Mathatho (The Real Housewives of Johannesburg S2-S3); Liz Prins (The Real Housewives of Gqeberha S1); Londie London (The Real Housewives of Durban S2); Melany Viljoen (The Real Housewives of Pretoria S1); and the longest-serving Housewife in Africa, Nonku Williams (The Real Housewives of Durban S1-S4).

 

The Real Housewives Ultimate Girls Trip – South Africa is produced by GOAT Productions, the creative minds behind Unfollowed, one of the 10 most streamed South African shows on Showmax in 2023, and last year’s South African Film and Television Award winner Life With Kelly Khumalo S3.

 

The Real Housewives of Nairobi S2 | New episodes on Fridays

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Named Best TV Show at the 2024 Kalasha Awards, Season 1 of The Real Houses of Nairobi had all of Kenya talking on its way to becoming the biggest Showmax Original in Kenya yet, while Season 2 has trended in Kenya every Friday since its launch.

 

In Season 2, actress and entrepreneur Minne Kariuki returns, along with Vera Sidika, who’s eager to reintroduce herself, and business mogul and tastemaker Dr Catherine Masitsa. They are joined by new cast members, including lawyer and professional bodybuilder Farah Esmail, beauty and aesthetics entrepreneur Xenah Nyambu, and entrepreneur Reja Keji Ladu.

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The Real Housewives of Nairobi is produced by Eugene Mbugua’s D&R Studios (formerly Young Rich Television) and is part of The Real Housewives franchise, licensed as a format by NBCUniversal Formats, which is part of Universal International Studios, a division of Universal Studio Group.

 

INTERNATIONAL REALITY TV

 

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Survivor S45 | Binge from 22 May

 

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Five-time Emmy Award-winning host Jeff Probst once again welcomes 18 new castaways to the idyllic Mamanuca Islands in Fiji for Season 45 of Survivor, the mega-successful grand-daddy of reality competition shows.

 

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Now in its 24th year, the show has won seven Emmys and continues to deliver the drama as contestants are stranded in a remote location with little more than the clothes on their back. They must survive a series of gruelling challenges – and each other – for 26 days in a bid to outwit, outplay, outlast and, ultimately, become the Sole Survivor. And take home a cool $1 million, of course.

 

This season’s line-up of castaways includes singer-songwriter J. Maya and Season 44 returnee Bruce Perreault.

 

Jerrod Carmichael Reality Show S1 | First on Showmax | Binge from 22 May

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Jerrod Carmichael Reality Show is a darkly funny reality series about the Emmy-winning comedian’s tumultuous quest for love, sex, and truth.

 

The HBO Original had its world premiere at SXSW in March 2024 and currently has a 95% critics’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes

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Time says, “Jerrod Carmichael Reality Show makes reality TV – hilariously, painfully – real again,” while The Hollywood Reporter says, “I laughed and covered my eyes in mortification in equal measure — and since I finished my screeners, I haven’t stopped thinking about it.”

 

We’re Here S4 | First On Showmax | Fridays from 24 May

 

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In Season 4 of HBO’s Emmy, Peabody, and GLAAD award-winning unscripted series We’re Here, Sasha Velour, Priyanka, Jaida Essence Hall, and Latrice Royale continue the show’s mission of spreading love and connection across small-town America through the art of drag. 

This season, the queens work with participants in Murfreesboro, Tennessee and Tulsa, Oklahoma, as well as in surrounding towns, while taking an in-depth, immersive look at recent anti-LGBTQ+ legislation and the effect it has had on the community.

 

Season 4 got praise from Deadline for being a light in the darkness: “In a world where the shadows of intolerance loom, the spectacle of We’re Here emerges not just as a beacon of light but as a bold declaration of presence.” The Los Angeles Timeshailed it as “uniquely affirming and vital.” Wired called it “an essential reminder that queer people are fighting for justice and visibility across the US,” and Decider lauded it for managing “to find the light even in the darkest of circumstances,” proclaiming it the “most relevant reality show on television.”

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The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City S4 | First on Showmax | New episodes on Thursdays

 

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The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City peeks into the unconventional personal and professional lives of successful women navigating an ultra-exclusive social circle in Salt Lake City, Utah, where religion, status and perfection are praised to the highest degree.

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The 10th instalment of mega-successful Real Housewives franchise, The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City was nominated for an MTV TV Award for Best New Unscripted Series when it debuted in 2020, and it’s been no stranger to controversy, with one cast member fired from the show for her insensitive social media posts and another now serving a six-and-a-half-year sentence in jail for wire fraud. 

 

Season 4 is off to a salty start as the Housewives dig up old feuds and start new rivalries, leading up to a shocking betrayal. Plus, there’s a new face in the Housewives’ exclusive circle, as Angie introduces Monica Garcia (who used to work for Jen Shah), in a development that the LA Times says has “made The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City unhinged, unmissable TV.”

 

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Love Undercover S1 | First On Showmax | New episodes on Thursdays

 

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Today’s athletes are mega stars with extreme wealth, giant fandoms and lavish lifestyles. You could even call them royalty. And naturally, with any royal story, a fairytale is never too far away. 

 

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Love Undercover is a modern-day fairytale meets buddy comedy about an elite group of international soccer stars who come to the United States on a secret quest for true love. We’ll follow the likes of Jamie O’Hara (ex-Tottenham Hotspurs) and Ryan Babel (ex-Liverpool) on an epic journey filled with drama, heartbreak and self-discovery. 

 

Can they win over the ladies without their fame and fortune? Will they manage to keep their true identities a secret? And will any of them fall for an American princess before inviting them back to their home countries and testing their relationships on the global stage?

 

For these men, finding love is the #1 goal.

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The Bachelorette S20 | Binge now

 

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In Season 20 of The Bachelorette, 27-year-old Charity Lawson, a child and family therapist from Georgia, is out to find The One. …But what if there’s more than one? 

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Our favourite romantic thrill-ride is set to bring us all the ups and downs (and a little bit of help from a secret undercover agent) as Charity finds herself falling in love – with multiple guys. And as the feelings get more intense, some men start to question whether they’re ready to give Charity what she wants. Will her love story have a happy ending?

 

The Bachelorette won the 2021 MTV TV Award for Best Dating Show, and has earned multiple nominations at both the People’s Choice and Teen Choice Awards.

 

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Bachelor in Paradise S9 | First on Showmax | Binge now

 

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This season on Bachelor in Paradise, things get wetter and wilder than ever before as the hit reality show returns with a new cast of standouts and fan favourites from The Bachelor and The Bachelorette

 

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New arrivals shake up the status quo immediately and love triangles turn into love squares and beyond as sexy dates have some couples changing their minds every week.

 

LA Fire & Rescue | Binge now

 

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A real-life series from Emmy-winning executive producer Dick Wolf (Law & Order), LA Fire & Rescue follows the day-to-day emergencies and personal stories of the firefighters, paramedics and lifeguards of the Los Angeles County Fire Department – through wildfire suppression, medical emergencies, violent crimes, freeway accidents, house fires, industrial fires, natural disasters and more. 

 

These heroes are responsible for protecting over four million people on the ground, in the air and on the beaches in the second largest metropolitan area in the United States.

Enhance your streaming entertainment experience by adding Showmax to your DStv subscription at a discounted rate. Download the MyDStv App or visit the DStv website to sign up.

 

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Empowering tomorrow’s stars: The role of education in cultivating talent and sustainability in the African entertainment industry

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The African continent is ripe with unrealised potential. Its people, their abilities, and their powerful relationships promise a wealth of future achievements if only they can be fully actualised. The key to the people of our continent becoming all that they might be, lies in one singular intervention: education.

Fortunately, education is widely prized across our continent, and it is a shared aspiration amongst almost all Africans. In this spirit, as the continent prepares to celebrate the founding of the African Union (AU) on Africa Day on May 25, the AU has chosen “The Year of Education” as its theme for 2024.

Expressed more thoroughly, the theme is “Educate an African fit for the 21st Century: Building resilient education systems for increased access to inclusive, lifelong, quality, and relevant learning in Africa.” 

Given the key concern of “resilient education” in this theme, it’s useful to consider how organisations are addressing Africa’s education challenge, and how they are ensuring the skills that students gain is directly relevant to their future development, and that of the continent. 

Relevant training

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One such organisation is the MultiChoice Talent Factory (MTF), an initiative by pan-African entertainment company MultiChoice. MTF consists of three offerings – MTF Academies in major African capitals provide hands-on, relevant training for aspiring TV and film professionals; the MTF portal, allows professionals to network and find work opportunities, while MTF masterclasses offer an ongoing programme of professional development.

Most influential of these MTF offerings are the MTF Academies in Nairobi, Lagos and Lusaka. The Academies equip aspiring industry professionals with the crucial “sustainable education” it takes to thrive in the rapidly changing film-and-television sector.

Now in its sixth year in Rest of Africa, the programme offers a comprehensive, fully paid 12-month industry-readiness course that gives participants the invaluable opportunity to learn from industry experts in fields such as scripting, directing, producing, cinematography, commissioning and editing. 

This focus on hands-on experience ensures that graduates emerge not just qualified, but with practical, proven ability to work in the sector. This focus on directly relevant skills gives the industry a pipeline of trained professionals entering the job market, and also gives the hundreds of young people emerging from MTF Academies every year, a good chance of finding careers. 

An MTF survey has found that around 92% of MTF Academy graduates go on to work in the creative sector. Many of these young professionals go on to careers at MultiChoice, which bills itself as “Africa’s most-loved storyteller”.

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Unlocking youth potential

This level of absorption demonstrates another benefit of education in the African development journey: it unlocks the massive potential of the continent’s youthful population.

MTF Academy students consistently win awards at film festivals, have their work shown on major platforms and go on to great career success. 

These successes underscore how directly relevant, industry-focused training will rapidly generate real benefits. The success that MultiChoice has found by training its own industry professionals offers an instructive case for corporates in other sectors.

This is especially true in Africa, where the continent’s enormous cohort of young people represents its greatest global opportunity – but only if this opportunity is converted through education. 

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Education is what will transform Africa’s 400 million young people aged between 15 and 35 into a generation of doctors, lawyers, financiers, engineers and media professionals. 

In the words of the African Union, “… such a youthful population calls for an increase of investment in economic and social development factors, in order to improve the development index of African nations.”

The MTF training programme is an intentional development initiative in this vein. It is designed to create careers for aspiring film and televisions professionals, but also to directly address the needs of MultiChoice, the media sector, and the African economy. 

Cultural impact

Another critical value proposition of this pipeline from training to production in the creative sector is its cultural impact. Training African creatives equips them to tell African stories. 

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As dynamic, highly skilled African creatives go on to produce content that resonates powerfully with African audiences, it drives engagement, enriches the businesses and allows Africa’s people to see themselves reflected in powerful entertainment content with world-class entertainment values. 

It’s an innovative approach to the idea of “educating Africa”, in that it equips Africans to educate other Africans – culturally and spiritually – through the telling of African stories. These African stories also allow Africa to show the rest of the world the power of its history and the talent of its people, as our productions take their rightful place on global content platforms.

As Africa Day draws near, this dual approach to African self-actualisation has never been more relevant. The continent is developing the abilities of its people through education and training; but also enhancing its standing in the world, by producing goods, services and creative output that will add value, entertain and inspire. To educate the world about the power of Africa. 

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Season Two of The HBO Original Drama Series HOUSE OF THE DRAGON Debuts June 17th on M-Net and Showmax Express from the US

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The eight-episode second season of HBO Original drama series House of the Dragon debuts in the US on Sunday 16 June – and will be available on M-Net (DStv Channel 101) Express from the US at 1am on Monday 17 June and make its prime-time premiere at 7pm on the same day. The series will also be available on Showmax.

 

Westeros is on the brink of a bloody civil war with the Green and Black Councils fighting for King Aegon and Queen Rhaenyra, respectively. As each side believes theirs to be the rightful seat on the Iron Throne, the Green and Black trailers reflect those two perspectives in separate yet complementary halves of the same story. For global audiences, “All Must Choose” their side of House Targaryen as the realm fractures in season two.
Logline: Based on George R.R. Martin’s “Fire & Blood,” the series, set 200 years before the events of “Game of Thrones,” tells the story of House Targaryen.
Season two returning cast: Matt Smith, Olivia Cooke, Emma D’Arcy, Eve Best, Steve Toussaint, Fabien Frankel, Ewan Mitchell, Tom Glynn-Carney, Sonoya Mizuno, and Rhys Ifans. Additional returning cast includes Harry Collett, Bethany Antonia, Phoebe Campbell, Phia Saban, Jefferson Hall, and Matthew Needham.
Season two new cast: Abubakar Salim as Alyn of Hull, Gayle Rankin as Alys Rivers, Freddie Fox as Ser Gwayne Hightower, Simon Russell Beale as Ser Simon Strong, Clinton Liberty as Addam of Hull, Jamie Kenna as Ser Alfred Broome, Kieran Bew as Hugh, Tom Bennett as Ulf, Tom Taylor as Lord Cregan Stark, and Vincent Regan as Ser Rickard Thorne.
Season two credits: Co-Creator/Executive Producer, George R.R. Martin; Co-Creator/Showrunner/Executive Producer, Ryan Condal; Executive Producers Sara Hess, Alan Taylor, Melissa Bernstein, Kevin de la Noy, Loni Peristere, Vince Gerardis. Based on George R.R. Martin’s “Fire & Blood.”

 

Pick your side of House Targaryen on your DStv or stream it on Showmax, each week from Monday, 17 June 2024. 

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AMVCA: Tune In for a Night of Elegance and Achievement this Saturday on Africa Magic

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The anticipation is palpable as the 10th edition of the Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice Awards, scheduled for 11 May 2024, in Lagos approaches. Viewers are invited to witness the splendour of this prestigious event, broadcasting live on Africa Magic from 3pm on DStv and GOtv.

Reflecting the rich diversity and innovation of African cinema and television, this year’s awards promise some thrilling adjustments with the introduction of exciting new categories such as Best Actor and Best Actress in leading or supporting roles. With a total of 27 categories, including 16 non-voting and 9 audience voting categories, along with two esteemed recognition awards the Lifetime Achievement and Trailblazer Awards – there’s ample opportunity to honour exceptional African talent.

Kicking off the festivities with a prime view of the red carpet hosted by celebrity personalities Toke Makinwa and Uti Nwachukwu viewers can watch the continent’s biggest stars strut their stuff in dazzling creations from some of Africa’s most talented fashion designers from 3pm before settling into the prestigious awards at 6pm.

The main award will be hosted by renowned television host and current host of Nigerian Idols IK Osakioduwa and will feature musical performances from Nigeria’s popular performers Seyi Sodimu, Shaffy Bello, Adekunle Gold, KCee, Chike and Congolese soukous singer Awilo Logomba throughout the awards ceremony.

Save the date for this Saturday, 11 May, and tune in for the live broadcast across all Africa Magic Channels on DStv and GOtv. Don’t miss this remarkable celebration of African creativity and achievement!

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Keep your DStv subscription activated to ensure you don’t miss the star-studded event! To upgrade, reconnect or manage your subscription download the MyDStv app on your mobile app store or visit www.dstv.com to join in on the excitement and manage your account. You can also catch all the action while on the move. Stream all content on the DStv Stream app by downloading it from the app store. 

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The Queens of Durban are not Holding Back!

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The Real Housewives of Durban reunion will air on Showmax in two parts on 15 and 22 May 2024, following a dramatic Season 4 finale. It saw the ladies separated into two groups and tea spilt from all directions, with accusations of witchcraft, infidelity, control and alcoholism. 

We chatted with all the ladies to get a sense of how they are feeling about the reunion, which will be hosted by MaBlerh, and facing up to everything that’s happened this season.  Newcomers Ameigh Thompson, Angel Ndlela and Zama Ngcobo are all feeling nervous about their first reunion but that won’t stop them from showing up.

Zama, who has been involved in some of the biggest feuds in the season, says she won’t run away from anything that happened. “I am not a coward,” she says. “What I said on the show is how I feel. People think I won’t show up to the reunion because I am scared. I am not. I am going to go in there and speak my mind. I will not be intimidated by anyone.”

Angel says she’s looking forward to the reunion. “I am glad that I will have the chance to tell my side of the story, while providing clarity where need be,” she says. “Watching the show, I learned a lot of things about myself. It was an amazing experience.” 

Ameigh feels like the show has made her stronger and more resolute in her decisions. “Watching myself has been very interesting,” she says. “The journey has made me realise that I am the person I have always known I am. I have been through a lot as a person and a mom, and I hope that my story has helped other women who are in similar situations. There is a light at the end of every tunnel.”

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For the OG’s who have done this from the beginning, they understand better than anyone that reunions are a game-changer. Nonku Williams is very clear on what needs to be said and done. “I have been doing this for so long,” she says. “The reason why I am still here is because I understand the assignment. Some people come here, and they want to be what they are not and that is why it does not land. I will always be me and that is my superpower.”

Sorisha Naidoo is done trying to make peace where there is none. “I know what my boundaries are, especially when it comes to friendships,” she says. “I know who my friends are and I know the people who I want to move forward with. And that takes the load off me because I don’t have to please everyone.”

JoJo Robinson, who joined the show in Season 2, says this season has been her calmest yet. “Season 4 has been very relaxed for me,” she says. “I had a very intense Season 3 but just like that, things changed. I’m glad I came back.” Maria Valaskatzis and Slee Ndlovu, who both joined the show in Season 3, have been at the centre of some of the biggest conflicts this season. 

“My game plan for this reunion is just to speak the truth,” says Maria. “I am not going to tiptoe around anything and anyone.” Slee feels like she wants to get to the bottom of things that were said about her. “My biggest thing for this reunion is the witchcraft accusations,” she says. “I need the people who accused me of that to tell me what they mean by that, because I am confused and offended.”

Re-watch S4 ahead of the reunion: 

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The second season of The Real Housewives of Nairobi premieres on Showmax on 10 May 2024, with new episodes every Friday. The Real Housewives of Nairobi follows the lives of the most stylish, opulent and hardworking women in Kenya as they navigate their relationships and careers. Season 2 features returning cast members Dr Catherine Masitsa, Minne Kariuki and Vera Sidika, who will be joined by newcomers Farah Esmail, Reja Keji Ladu and Zena Nyambu.

Enhance your streaming entertainment experience by adding Showmax to your DStv subscription at a discounted rate. Download the MyDStv App or visit the DStv website to sign up.

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Radio & TV

2024 MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs) to air LIVE on DStv

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2024 MTV VMAs Logo

MTV has announced the 2024 “VMAs” will make its return to New York on Tuesday, September 10th at the UBS Arena. Airing LIVE on MTV, DStv Channel 130 on Wednesday, 11 September at 1:00am WAT and 2:00am CAT around the world in more than 150 countries. This year’s global fan-filled phenomenon will celebrate the best music videos of the past year with supersized performances, epic tributes, and unforgettable appearances from the world’s biggest celebrities.

“We’re excited to bring this year’s VMAs to UBS Arena, one of the country’s newest and most cutting edge venues,” said Bruce Gillmer, President of Music, Music Talent, Programming & Events, Paramount and Chief Content Officer, Music, Paramount+. “Celebrating one of music’s biggest nights with the incredible, robust New York area fans is something we’ve been looking forward to since the moment last year’s show ended.”

“It’s an honor to host MTV and the VMAs at UBS Arena,” said Mark Shulman, Senior Vice President of Programming, UBS Arena. “This is the culmination of bringing a world class event to a venue that offers state of the art capabilities and the best in fan amenities. We look forward to welcoming this year’s top artists, fans, and viewers worldwide to experience our arena and campus at Belmont Park.”

“We are excited to welcome back the MTV Video Music Awards to New York State,” said New York Governor Kathy Hochul. “From its origins at Radio City Music Hall in 1984 to this September’s event at the UBS Arena, the VMAs continue to captivate millions, showcasing the very best in music video artistry. As we prepare to host this 40th anniversary event, let’s embrace the spirit of creativity and innovation that defines our state’s cultural landscape.”

The “VMAs” will air across MTV’s global footprint of linear and digital platforms in more than 150 countries and territories, reaching over 319 million households.

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Additional details will be announced closer to the show. Follow @MTV and @VMAs on social to keep up with all-things #VMAs.

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