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From Peacemaker to Westworld S4 to Winning Time, here are the best international series on Showmax in June




1st seasons of Winning Time, Peacemaker, Station Eleven, Uprising; new My Brilliant Friend, Westworld & Devils

Among Rotten Tomatoes’ Most Anticipated Series of 2022, Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty dramatises the professional and personal lives of the players and coaches of one of sports’ most revered and dominant dynasties – a team that defined an American era, both on and off the basketball court.
Already renewed for a second season, the HBO sports drama has an 84% critics’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes, where the critics’ consensus says, “Winning Time pairs a larger-than-life roster of characters with whiplash style to deliver an absolute slam dunk.”
Newcomers Quincy Isaiah and Solomon Hughes star as Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar respectively, while DeVaughn Nixon (SnowfallRunaways) plays his real-life father, NBA star Stormin’ Norman Nixon. The star-studded cast also includes Oscar nominee John C Reilly, Screen Actors Guild nominee Jason Clarke, and Critics Choice winner Jason Segel, not to mention Oscar winners Sally Field and Adrien Brody, Emmy winner Julianne Nicholson, Emmy nominee Gaby Hoffman and Critics Choice nominee Tracy Letts.
PEACEMAKER | Binge now, first on Showmax
John Cena reprises his Critics Choice Super Award-nominated role as Peacemaker, fighting for peace at any cost – no matter how many people he has to kill to get it. The hotly anticipated first series in the DC Extended Universe, HBO Max’s Peacemaker picks up where The Suicide Squad movie left off, with Peacemaker returning home after recovering from his encounter with Bloodsport – only to discover that his freedom comes at a price.
Created by multi-award-winning showrunner James Gunn (The Suicide SquadGuardians of the Galaxy), the eight-episode series also stars Emmy nominee Danielle Brooks (Orange is the New Black), Nigerian-British actor Chukwudi Iwuji (Designated SurvivorThe Underground Railroad, and next year’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3), Freddie Stroma (Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince), MTV Movie Award nominee Robert Patrick (Perry Mason), and Jennifer Holland, reprising her role from The Suicide Squad as Emilia Harcourt. Plus, keep your eyes peeled for some ‘super’ cameos.
One of Rotten Tomatoes’ most anticipated series of 2022, Peacemaker has a 94% critics’ rating on the review aggregator, where the consensus calls the show “a bloody good time that gives writer-director James Gunn full permission to let his freak flag fly.”
HBO Max recently renewed Peacemaker for a second season, while Cena is up for Best Comedic Performance at the 2022 MTV Movie + TV Awards for the role.
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Named Best Science Fiction/Fantasy Series at the 2022 Critics Choice Super Awards, Station Eleven follows the scattered survivors of a devastating global pandemic as they attempt to rebuild the world anew and hold on to the best of what’s been lost.
Based on the Arthur C Clarke Award-winning 2014 novel by Emily St John Mandel, the dystopian sci-fi drama has a 98% critics’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with Observer saying, “Station Eleven is not about a pandemic, not really – it’s about the way art, community, and family endure even after the end of civilization as we know it.”
As Kirsten Raymonde, Mackenzie Davis (Terminator: Dark FateBlade Runner 2049) was named Best Actress in a Science Fiction/Fantasy Series at the 2022 Critics Choice Super Awards. She stars alongside the likes of Teen Choice nominee Himesh Patel (Don’t Look UpYesterday), Cannes winner Gael García Bernal (Y tu mamá también, The Motorcyle Diaries), and Screen Actors Guild winner Lori Petty (Orange is the New BlackTank Girl).
Station Eleven is created by Patrick Somerville (ManiacThe LeftoversMade for Love) and directed by the likes of three-time Emmy nominee Hiro Murai (Atlanta, and the Grammy-winning Childish Gambino music video This Is America).
WESTWORLD S4 | Weekly from 27 June, first on Showmax
One of Rotten Tomatoes’ most anticipated series of 2022, Westworld is a dark odyssey about the fate of sentient life on Earth. As Rotten Tomatoes says, “We have no idea what’s in store for Westworld’s fourth season, which is exactly how the producers of the sci-fi killer-robot series like it. Will it finally come to war between humans and AI? No idea…” But, they add, “The previous three Certified Fresh seasons have us hooked for life.”
The eight-episode fourth season brings back Thandiwe Newton in her Emmy-winning role as Maeve, as well as Evan Rachel Wood, Jeffrey Wright, and Ed Harris in their Emmy-nominated performances as Dolores, Bernard and The Man In Black respectively. Three-time Emmy winner Aaron Paul, Emmy nominee Tessa Thompson and Screen Actors Guild nominees Luke Hemsworth and Angela Sarafyan are also returning, with Oscar winner Ariana DeBose (West Side Story) joining the cast this season as a recurring guest star.
Inspired by the film written by Michael Crichton, Westworld has won seven Emmys to date, with a further 45 nominations, and has twice been named Best Science Fiction Series by the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films. It has an 81% critics’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes and an 8.6/10 rating on IMDb.
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The Italian drama series My Brilliant Friend returns for a third season, based on Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay, the third book in author Elena Ferrante’s bestselling Neapolitan Novels series, which follows the coming-of-age story of two young women growing up on the outskirts of Naples during the latter half of the 20th century.
Season 3 picks up with Lila (Gaia Girace) raising her young son alone and working in a factory under the toughest of conditions, while Elena (Margherita Mazzucco) has authored a successful novel. As they each navigate life’s hopes and uncertainties, Elena and Lila remain united by their ambivalent yet undeniable bond.
Season 3 has a 100% critics’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with AV Club praising it as “one of the most honest, unsentimental depictions of friendship – female or otherwise – in either literature or television.” The series has been nominated for a Peabody Award, a Critics Choice Award and three Italian Golden Globes, where it won Best Breakthrough Actress for Ludovica Nasti.
The fourth and final season, based on the final novel in Ferrante’s series, The Story of the Lost Child, was recently greenlit.
UPRISING | Binge now
From Oscar-winning filmmaker Sir Steve McQueen (Small Axe, 12 Years a Slave) and BAFTA nominee James Rogan (Putin: A Russian Spy StoryMonty Python: The Meaning of Live), Uprising recently won the 2022 BAFTA Award for Best Factual Series.
The three-part BBC miniseries tells the extraordinary story of three intertwined events from 1981: the New Cross Fire, which killed 13 young Black people; the Black People’s Day of Action; and the Brixton riots – turning points that would go on to define race relations in the UK for a generation.
Uprising has a 100% critics’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes, where the critics’ consensus says, “Honest, harrowing, and heartbreaking, Uprising is an incredible feat of documentary storytelling from Steve McQueen.”
MAYANS M.C. S4 | Binge from 15 June, first on Showmax
A spin-off of the acclaimed biker gang drama Sons of AnarchyMayans M.C. S4 brings the threat of all-out war after the failed attempt to join the charters under a single king.
Executive produced by Elgin James and Emmy-nominated Sons of Anarchy creator Kurt Sutter, Mayans M.C. holds an 86% critics’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes. For his starring role as Ezekiel “EZ” Reyes, JD Pardo won Best Actor in a TV Drama at the 2021 Imagen Awards, where Mayans M.C. was up for Best Primetime Drama and Oscar nominee Edward James Olmos (Battlestar Galactica) was nominated for Best Supporting Actor.
The returning cast includes Emmy nominee Richard Cabral (American CrimeLethal Weapon) in a Critics Choice-nominated performance as Johnny ‘Coco’ Cruz; Clayton Cardenas (American Crime) as EZ’s brother Angel; and Carla Baratta, in an Imagen-nominated performance as Luisa ‘Adelita’ Espina. Critics Choice nominees Sarah Bolger (Into the BadlandsThe Tudors) and Raoul Max Trujillo (SicarioRiddick) also return, as does Screen Actors Guild nominee Michael Irby (Barry, True Detective).
Emmy nominee Christopher Meloni reprises his iconic Law & Order: Special Victims Unit role as Elliot Stabler in the hit spinoff Law & Order: Organized Crime. Searching for justice as he tries to piece his life back together, Stabler joins the NYPD’s Organized Crime Task Force, led by Sergeant Ayanna Bell (Danielle Moné Truitt), to go after NYC’s most powerful crime syndicate.
From Emmy-winning franchise creator Dick Wolf and Emmy-winning series creator Ilene Chaiken (The L Word: Generation QEmpireThe Handmaid’s Tale), Law & Order: Organized Crime also stars ​​Emmy nominee Dylan McDermott (The PracticeAmerican Horror Story) and Tamara Taylor (Bones’ Camille Saroyan, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.), with Special Victims Unit’s Mariska Hargitay guest starring as Captain Olivia Benson, Stabler’s former partner.
Following a single story-arc over this season’s eight episodes, this gritty, topical entry into the Law & Order canon has already been renewed for a 24-episode second season. Meloni and McDermott were nominated as Best Actor and Supporting Actor respectively at the 2021 Hollywood Critics Association Television Awards, where Law & Order: Organized Crime was up for Best Broadcast Network Drama Series.
You can also binge Season 21 of the six-time Emmy-winning series Law & Order: Special Victims Unit on Showmax now.
DEVILS S2 | Binge now, first on Showmax
Emmy nominee Patrick Dempsey (McDreamy in Grey’s Anatomy) and Venice and Berlin winner Alessandro Borghi (Suburra) co-star in Devils, an adaptation of the bestselling book by Italian trader Guido Maria Brera – an insider’s look at the world of millionaire investment bankers.
The hit Sky Italia series, which sold to 160 territories globally, centres on Massimo Ruggero, a charismatic and fearless Italian investment banker, and his former mentor, Dominic, as they aim to profit from the Brexit fallout.
Emmy nominee Nick Hurran (Sherlock) is back as director, while the returning cast includes International Emmy winner Lars Mikkelsen (House of CardsThe Witcher), Black Reel nominee Malachi Kirby (Roots, Black Mirror), and BAFTA nominee Laia Costa (Victoria).
SHINING VALE | Binge now, first on Showmax
In Shining Vale, a dysfunctional family moves to a small town, not realising their new house has a terrible history. No one seems to notice anything weird except for Pat (Emmy nominee Courteney Cox, aka Monica in Friends). The celebrated author of a raunchy female empowerment novel, Pat is convinced she’s either depressed or possessed – turns out, the symptoms are exactly the same.
The horror comedy also stars Oscar nominee Greg Kinnear (As Good As It GetsLittle Miss Sunshine) and four-time Emmy nominee Judith Light (tick, tick…BOOM!Ugly Betty), along with the likes of Oscar winner Mira Sorvino (Mighty AphroditeRomy and Michele’s High School Reunion) and Emmy nominee Sherilyn Fenn (Twin Peaks).
Shining Vale is created by Emmy-nominated writer and executive producer Sharon Horgan (DivorceCatastrophe). As AV Club says, “Shining Vale boasts all of the best horror elements: a haunted house, a descent into madness, gaslighting, sex, drugs, Christianity, and Courteney Cox.”
SUPERSTORE S6 | Binge now
The Cloud 9 staff find themselves fielding panic buying, personal space issues, and suddenly being considered pandemic heroes as Superstore launches into its final season and crosses the 100-episode mark in the process.
All our favourites are back – Golden Globe winner America Ferrera (Ugly Betty), Emmy nominees Ben Feldman (Silicon Valley), Mark McKinney (The Kids in the Hall) and Colton Dunn (Key and Peele), alongside Kaliko Kauahi (Raven’s Home) and Nichole Sakura (Shameless).
Plus, since we last saw them, Lauren Ash – who plays Cloud 9 veteran Dina – was nominated for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy at the Hollywood Critics Association Television Awards, where Nico Santos won Best Supporting Actor (and psst… there are even better things on the horizon for Mateo this season). 2021 also brought the show its third nomination for a GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Comedy Series, while the series finale was nominated for the 2022 Writers Guild of America Award for Best Episodic Comedy.
The 15-episode Season 6 has a 93% critics’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with the critics’ consensus saying, “As funny and poignant as ever, Superstore closes up shop with a superb sixth season that solidifies its place as one of TV’s greatest workplace comedies.”
THE BAY S2 | Binge now
British police drama The Bay is back for a second season. Demoted to Detective Constable following her suspension, Lisa Armstrong (three-time BAFTA Scotland nominee Morven Christie from Grantchester) takes on a new investigation after a solicitor is shot on his doorstep, while her personal life becomes complicated when Andy (BAFTA nominee Joe Absolom from A Confession), her ex-husband and the father of her kids, returns to Morecambe.
This season’s guest cast includes BAFTA Scotland winner James Cosmo (Farder Coram in His Dark Materials and Game of Thrones’ Night’s Watch Commander Jeor Mormont) and Steven Robertson (Harlots, T2 Trainspotting).
Season 1 picked up nominations for Best Actress at the Scotland BAFTAs and Best Director at the Wales BAFTAs, as well as for Best Drama Script at the 2020 Irish Film and Television Academy Awards. With Season 2’s viewership up to 7.9 million in the UK, The Bay has already been renewed for a third and fourth season.
Showmax content featured prominently at the British Academy Television Awards (BAFTA TV Awards), held on 8 May 2022. In addition to Uprising’s win for Factual Series, Succession won Best Supporting Actor for Matthew Macfadyen. Time, coming to Showmax on 1 July 2022, was also named Best Miniseries and Leading Actor (Sean Bean).
To see everything on Showmax in June 2022, including the Showmax Original horror Pulse, starring SAFTA winner Tarryn Wyngaard and Thapelo Mokoena; the hit films Godzilla vs. Kong and Zack Snyder’s Justice League; and critically acclaimed documentaries like Black Power: A British Story of ResistanceStreet Gang: How We Got To Sesame Street, and John Lewis: Good Trouble, click here.
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Radio & TV

Apple Music’s Africa Now Radio Pays Tribute to Costa Titch



Apple Music’s Africa Now Radio Pays Tribute to Costa Titch

This Week’s Episode Features a Special Tribute to Costa Titch, the 5 Hottest Tracks of the Week, Africa Rising and Dadaboy Ehiz’s Favourite Track of the Week!

Tune in to Africa Now Radio with Dadaboy Ehiz this Friday, March 24th at 8a London / 9a Lagos/Paris / 10a Johannesburg / 1a LA / 4a NYC on Apple Music 1 and broadcast on YFM Accra every Sunday at 2pm, YFM Kumasi on Saturdays at 3pm and YFM Takoradi on Saturdays at 6pm.

A Tribute to Costa Titch
This week, Dadaboy Ehiz hosts a special tribute to South African hip-hop and amapiano star, Costantino “Costa Titch” Tsobanoglou, who tragically passed away this month. To celebrate his life and legacy, Capetonian rapper YoungstaCPT—one of Costa Titch’s most frequent collaborators—reflects on Costa Titch’s impact on South Africa’s music and cultural scenes.

Read Also: Costa Titch Tragically Dies After Collapsing While Performing At Ultra Music Festival

“As an artist, Costa really upped the level of stage presence and performance value,” YoungstaCPT tells Apple Music 1. “With [his] dancing, he understood how to let music connect with the body. So I think he had advantage on most of us because he was able to create music that was guaranteed to make people move. He always made us want to perform better. And you saw how particular [he] was—every line, every snare, every bass drop. Somebody that kind of studied the game, and then found a way to fit into it and become successful. And it’ll be difficult for us to come to terms with this loss and even find someone to fill that void. May his soul rest in peace and fly with the angels.”

The Big 5
Dadaboy Ehiz shares the 5 hottest new African tracks of the moment. This week’s selection includes new tracks from K.O feat. Young Stunna, Diamond Platnumz & Oxlade, Karyendasoul & Msaki, Victony, Rema & Tempoe feat. Don Toliver, Nonso Amadi feat. Zinoleesky, and Odumodublvck.

Africa Rising 
South African R&B singer-songwriter Vuyina is the latest artist featured from Apple Music’s Africa Rising playlist, a campaign which shines a light on the next generation of African superstars, and this week’s show features her singles, “Isimilo” and “Andisoze.” ListenHERE.

Dadaboy’s Song of the Week
Each week, Dadaboy Ehiz chooses his favourite track from one of Apple Music’s African playlists. This week, he spotlights Nigerian street-pop star Bella Shmurda’s collab with South African rapper Nasty C, “Philo (Remix)”, from Apple Music’s Naija Hits playlist. Listen HERE (and find a roundup of all Dadaboy’s selections on Apple Music’s Dadaboy’s Playlist, HERE).

Tune in and listen to the full episode this Friday, March 24th at 8a London / 9a Lagos/Paris / 10a Johannesburg / 1a LA / 4a NYC  on Apple Music 1 at and broadcast on YFM Accra every Sunday at 2pm, YFM Kumasi on Saturdays at 3pm and YFM Takoradi on Saturdays at 6pm.

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Radio & TV

How Kingsley Yamoah filmed The Billionaire’s Wife while grieving his younger sister



How Kingsley Yamoah filmed The Billionaire’s Wife while grieving his younger sister
On the day of his audition for his role in the new Ghanaian Showmax Original The Billionaire’s Wife, Kingsley Yamoah received the tragic news of his younger sister’s passing in an accident. “I was broken and shattered beyond words. I started to wonder if I could do the job,” he says.
Kingsley plays the no-nonsense billionaire Bill Gyimah, who is described as a “brute, firm and stern man who’s gone through the mill to become rich.”
Currently streaming exclusively on Showmax, with new episodes releasing every Thursday, The Billionaire’s Wife tells the story of Adepa, a 19-year-old from the slums of Ashaiman who marries an old billionaire with the aim of turning her fortunes around, only to find out that being a billionaire’s wife is the toughest thing she’s ever done.
In the interview below, Kingsley tells us more about his character Bill, what attracted him to the role, overcoming his grief to get into character and more.
How did this role come about?
I got a message from the show’s line producer, Dzifa Abla, just a few days before New Year’s Eve. I’ve always wanted to work with Ad-Visors so I showed up for the meeting. After a 7-hour process of auditions and read throughs, I finally signed the contract. The year had started right, and filming was set to commence in four days. On my way back home, I got a call from my younger brother that the last of our siblings had been in an accident and died on the spot. I was broken, and I started to wonder if I could do the job. While pondering over the possibility of going through with the shoot and grieving, I received a heartfelt condolence message from production. That’s when I broke down and wept. After that I made the decision to carry on with the project.
What was it about this story, and your character Bill that made you want to be part of the project?
When I received information about the character, I got hooked. It said: “Bill is brute, firm and stern; he’s gone through the mill to become rich.” And I told myself, this is the character I can play with great joy. He has money, connections, influence and the corridors of power are his playground. He’s in this chaotic and unpredictable world of the rich and powerful, with all the possible scandals that the character is surrounded by, and yet he breezes through. It was mouthwatering. I was in a hurry to kill the role and I wouldn’t let this slip through my hands.
How does it feel to play a man like Bill – a billionaire who controls everything and gets the world to bend to his will?
I lived through the six weeks of filming on cloud 9. There were times I had to pinch myself and say, “Dude, it’s a script. Wake up.” The costumes, homes and cars – everything was made to look great and I had no other choice than to live in the moment.
Bill is a 55-year-old billionaire who’s just married a 19-year-old girl (Adepa). Did you ever find yourself wrestling with who he is?
When I met Andriana, who plays Adepa, I looked at her stature and age and thought of what I had to do to her during the shoot, and I cringed. Before our first scene, I had to sit with her to tell her about myself, and that my first born is six years older than her – just to let her know that I had no bad intentions. I was going to leave no stones unturned in doing what I had to do for the role; that was it.
Take us through your preparation process and how you got into character for this role.
I shut the outside world out for the six weeks we filmed the project. I had just lost my sister, and sympathies from the outside world weren’t going to help. I spent a lot of time with the acting coach Mawuli Akpabi. I singled out each character I had to deal with and how my countenance with them was going to be like, and also how I’d carry myself when two or three of them were with me at the same time. I spent a lot of time alone at the rooftop of the hotel we were staying in, just to get to feel like Bill. I was really alone. Everyone around me was there for a piece of the pie. I would pick a character and brood over all their schemes and work myself up over their schemes. There was a lot of work on the mindset.
What has been your highlight of working on this project?
Actually, it’s the aftermath. Everywhere I go on social media, The Billionaire’s Wife is in my face. The number of comments I get on people’s impression of the job and the questions that keep coming up about upcoming episodes makes me feel good and very grateful.
Looking at your acting career in the Ghanaian film/TV industry, what would you say has been your favourite role to play to date?
This is a tough one. All in all, it’s been the ” brute, firm, stern” roles. I’ve played some really comic roles as well, and I’m sure that will surprise many when they see me playing Bill in The Billionaire’s Wife.
This is the third Showmax Original title in Ghana, how does it feel to be part of this project?
I called the top hierarchy of Ad-Visors and told them I am really grateful that they “put my face on the map.” That really is how I feel. The experience of being a part of the third Showmax Original title in Ghana, for me, has been out of this world. I left the set with fresh weapons in my acting arsenal. I’m still trying to take in everything that is happening around me in connection to being a part of this project. I am still floating, imagining the endless opportunities this offers.
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Radio & TV

African Folktales, Reimagined short films by Netflix and UNESCO to Launch Globally on 29 March




Tales as old as time from across the African continent, reimagined and retold by a new generation of six storytellers come together, the African Folktales, Reimagined short films in partnership with United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), will launch on Netflix on 29 March 2023 .

The anthology of six short films was launched as part of Netflix’s partnership with UNESCO to support the next generation of storytellers who were provided with resources including a $90 000 budget and creative guidance by established filmmakers as mentors to bring their stories to life. The emerging filmmakers were selected in 2021 following a call for submission that resulted in over 2000 applications from 13 countries in the sub-Saharan Africa region. The 6 emerging storytellers from Nigeria, South Africa, Mauritania, Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania will see their respective short films, make their debut on Netflix, globally.

The African Folktales, Reimagined short film collection features a variety of African on-screen talent in stories by emerging African storytellers such as Mohamed Echkouna from Mauritania with Enmity Djinn; Walt Mzengi Corey from Tanzania with Katope; Korede Azeez from Nigeria with Zabin Halima (Halima’s Choice); Voline Ogutu from Kenya with Anyango and the Ogre; Loukman Ali from Uganda with Katera of the Punishment Island and Gcobisa Yako from South Africa with MaMlambo.

Synopsis / Key Cast & Crew

  • Zabin Halima (Halima’s Choice) – by Korede Azeez – Nigeria

With 99% of the world population uploaded into virtual worlds, a young girl from a secluded Fulani village inadvertently elopes with an AI to escape an arranged marriage. Genre: Sci-fi, Fantasy; Language: Hausa; Director: Korede Azeez; Producer: Kenneth Gyang; Cast: Habiba Ummi Mohammed; Adam Garba, Produced by Cinema Kpatakpata.

  • Anyango and the Ogre – by Voline Ogutu – Kenya

With the backdrop of a childhood folktale, 13-year-old Otis struggles to protect his younger siblings from a monster that lives inside their home.  Genre: Fantasy, Drama; Language: KiSwahili and English; Director: Voline Ogutu; Producer: Sarah Hassan; Cast: Trevor Jones Kamau; Sarah Hassan, Produced by Alfajiri Productions.

  • Katera of the Punishment Island – by Loukman Ali – Uganda

Abandoned on an island, a woman grieving the loss of her baby exacts revenge on the powerful man who put her there. Genre: Thriller; Language: Runyankole and English; Director & Producer: Loukman Ali; Cast: Karababiito Tracy; Michael Wawuyo JR; Production company: Loukout Films.

  • Katope – by Walt Mzengi Corey – Tanzania

A young child with magical origins sets out on a journey to help end the drought that is devastating the community – even if it means risking their own life. Genre: Fantasy, Drama; Language: KiSwahili and ciGogo; Director: Walt Mzengi Corey; Producer: Petrus Van Staden; Rebecca Mzengi Corey Cast: Jene Mahenyela Mwalimu; Rahele Matete;  Production company:  Solela Art and Film

  • Enmity Djinn – by Mohamed Echkouna – Mauritania

Three generations after he was last summoned, an ancient Enmity Djinn finds himself in an unfamiliar city confronted by a familiar foe. Genre: Fantasy/Drama; Language: Hassaniya Arabic and French; Director & Producer: Mohamed Echkouna; Cast: Zainabou Ahmed Mohamed; Mamadou Mokhtar N’diaye Gueye.

  • MaMlambo – by Gcobisa Yako – South Africa

The mystical river being, MaMlambo, watches over the sacred waters of discarded bodies. Genre: Drama; Language: isiXhosa; Director: Gcobisa Yako; Producer: Pakiso Albertus; Cast: Simphiwe Dana; Zikhona Bali

Each storyteller was partnered with a local production company and under the guidance of Netflix-appointed supervising producer, Steven Markovitz from Big World Cinema and industry mentors: Bongiwe Selane (mentor to Gcobisa); Jenna Bass (mentor to Korede); Pape Boye (mentor to Loukman); Femi Odugbemi (mentor to Mohamed); Leila Afua Djansi (mentor to Voline) and Tosh Gitonga (mentor to Walt) who provided guidance and nurtured the filmmakers on their journey to bring their stories to life.

UNESCO is proud to present the tales of Africa, reimagined by its emerging, homegrown talents. At the crossroads of tradition, innovation, heritage and creativity, African expressions in the 21st century are as diverse and dynamic as its people. The UNESCO-Netflix partnership represents our shared commitment to the audiovisual industries of Africa, which have the potential to generate US$20 billion in revenues annually. African creativity is a force for sustainable development, and we cannot wait for the audiences around the world to feel its unstoppable energy,” says Ernesto Ottone R., the UNESCO Assistant Director-General for Culture.

“We are excited to finally bring this anthology of short films created by the next generation of African storytellers to Netflix members around the world,” says Tendeka Matatu, Netflix’s Director of Film in Africa.This initiative is a testament to our ongoing efforts to strengthen the pipeline of African storytelling and to include voices from underrepresented communities. We’re grateful to our partners at UNESCO who walked this journey with us to provide an opportunity for the six emerging African filmmakers to create and showcase their reimagined folktales to the world, in their own languages, so that more people can see their lives reflected on screen.”

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Radio & TV

It’s 1000 shows for Bliss and Jackie!



Jk1000 3

Bliss Kingg and Jacquline Acquaye commemorated 1000 television episodes together as an on-screen duo, making a strong case as Ghana’s longest running television couple of this generation. Their on-screen chemistry is unmatched and their dedication and consistency to their craft has commanded respect from the Ghanaian media fraternity and the massive audience they have won over for the 1000 mornings they came together on TV.

The TV couple began their television journey on September 17, 2018 when they pioneered a lifestyle morning show which gradually gained popularity and unveiled a niche TV market in Ghana.

The debate will continue on first half of Oscar wilde’s infamous quote; ‘Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery’. If there is any truth to this, then Bliss Kingg and Jacquline Acquaye must be flattered by the proliferation of tv shows that have adopted this format and the many new school presenters who have clearly taken a page from their book; a proof of their dominance and consistency in Ghana’s television viewing culture.

Bliss and Jackie who were nicknamed ‘The rich kids’ by renowned media personality Dr. Randy Abbey during their first stint, gained recognition as the hosts of GMG+, the lifestyle morning program that was built to support ‘Good Morning Ghana’ and to boost MetroTV’s rebuilding process.

GMG+ became a sensation, delivering a new audience to the station, but after 23 months and 425 episodes, the duo shocked the public with their double resignation and said goodbye to their first ever home.

In what was considered by many as a blockbuster transfer, the power TV couple announced a big move and the first live episode of their current morning program ‘Xpressive’ aired on GHONEtv. Produced by Platinum Life Media, ‘Xpressive ‘ hit the ground running on September 7, 2020, going on to deliver some of the most viewed shows and interviews in recent times.

Continuing to deal with the rumors of their romantic connection, Bliss kingg and Jacquline Acquaye mostly look unperturbed and have truly demonstrated focus, consistency and team work.

Celebrating the milestone on their TV show last Friday; surprise guest Dr. Lawrence Tetteh acknowledged the duo for their persistence and commitment to excellence.

It was very happy moments as the champagne was flowing and they had a morning full of surprises as Imexco Ghana, Chezzy pizza, Turf and others came to the show to share a moment with them.

Wrapping up on their 1000th run, the television duo thanked Bola Ray and Nana Aba Anamoah for their support and promised their audience to get a 1000 shows more together.

Congratulations to Ghana’s longest running television couple, Bliss Kingg and Jacquline Acquaye.

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Radio & TV

New BBC Africa Eye investigation shines a light on Seychelles’ heroin epidemic



credit BBC Africa Eye.
credit BBC Africa Eye.

Known for its coral reefs and beautiful beaches, Seychelles, a tropical paradise located off the coast of east Africa, is visited by thousands of tourists. Yet, beyond the country’s multi-million dollar tourist industry, BBC Africa Eye shines a light on its heroin epidemic.

In a new investigation by BBC Africa Eye, Seychelles, Heroin and Me pieces together a complex picture of how political and socio-economic factors including poverty and a lack of rehabilitation centres, are contributing to what is now a drug epidemic.

According to Seychelles’ Government, based on population, Seychelles – which is made up of 115 islands – has the biggest heroin problem in the world, with around 10% of Seychellois dependent on the drug.

Presented by Joseph Fady Banane, the Seychellois support worker was one of the 10%. Now free of heroin, he uses his experience and role as a support worker to show viewers the true extent of the drug epidemic, whilst confronting his own painful past and reconnecting with the people he loves.

Meeting drug users, dealers, government officials and the communities caught in the middle, the film captures Fady’s journey as he gains first-hand access to their stories.

He told BBC Africa Eye how he was introduced to drugs: “I was 27 when I first took heroin. Business was not picking up, sitting outside Idecided to try my first couple of smokes, and that was it for five years. I still don’t know why I started smoking heroin, but part of it was just because I could – drugs were everywhere.” He added: “I became a stranger to my own mum, and my son was taken away.”

Throughout the film, individuals share details on the gruelling ripple effect of drugs in their communities and families.

Ravinia Jean, a mother, shares the impact of her son’s death Tony, who was heroin-dependent and a friend of Fady’s. “It is hard…it’s very painful.” She revealed her second son, Jude, is also using heroin and has been in and out of prison, where he is still able to buy the drug on credit. She said: “Parents have to pay for it because they will send people to collect the money…Of course you’re scared, they threaten you, they said they will kill him.”

However, there is still hope for drug-users like Jude. The documentary follows Jude’s journey towards recovery as he finally visits a councillor with hopes to recover from heroin-dependency.

The documentary also captures the common reality of drug-dependency passed from parents to children. Two brothers, Stefan and Roy (not their real names) are heroin-dependent – so was their mother. Stefan’s drug usage started from around the age of 12. He said: “I was looking after the drugs for somebody else… we said we were going to try it just for one day. We continued taking it until we ran out of drugs and that’s when I started getting sick. It was the drug withdrawal making me sick.”

Many people told the programme that drugs are used to escape the trauma of poverty. 25% of residents live below the poverty line, and in the last few years, use of crack cocaine in Seychelles has also increased. Latest figures show police seizures of cocaine have increased by almost 3,000% since 2018.1

Despite the scale of the problem, there is lack of support for heroin users due to the closures of all of the country’s residential rehabilitation centres which is contributing to the problem.

Revisiting the rehabilitation centre in Les Canelé that saved his life, which is no longer open to heroin users, Fady reflects on the consequences of the closures. “Back then, these rehab centres were helping hundreds of people. Rehab saved me from heroin, but with these programmes now closed – there’s not much help for anyone else, and many users have to fight their dependency alone.”

The only consistent support left for many users is a free methadone programme, a heroin substitute which can be used to detox.

The BBC Africa Eye investigation also revealed many women are resorting to sex work to aid their heroin-dependency. One woman told BBC Africa Eye: “No one will give you anything for free, so you have to do something.”

It is estimated two tonnes of heroin comes into Seychelles every year, which are mainly smuggled from Afghanistan via Iran through the Indian Ocean.2 In response, the government has resorted to a “war on drugs” approach, and the documentary explores whether this approach risks further alienating the drug-using community.

BBC Africa Eye obtained an exclusive interview with Seychelles President Wavel Ramkalalwan to understand the “war on drugs” approach. He said:  “Communities, villages cannot be controlled by the drug lords, by drug addicts. This is why we have we have taken the approach that we need to disrupt those activities. It’s an all-out war on drugs in order for me to save our people.”

On what was being done to address the lack of rehabilitation centres, he revealed: “We have received a grant from the UAE to build a proper rehabilitation centre. And, and so we are going in that direction.”

BBC Africa: Seychelles, Heroin and Me is available on the BBC Africa YouTube channel on Monday 6 March 2023, here.

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