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Highly-anticipated African fantasy series Blood Psalms unveils trailer

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Blood Psalms

Showmax has just dropped the trailer for Blood Psalms, an epic, action-packed African fantasy series. A co-production with CANAL+, Blood Psalms will premiere on Showmax on 28 September 2022, with new episodes every Wednesday for 11 weeks. Blood Psalms will also have its world premiere in Cape Town on Wednesday, 24 August 2022 as the opening night screening at MIP Africa, part of FAME Week Africa.

In Ancient Africa, one thousand years after the fall of Atlantis, the five surviving houses of Kemet find themselves beset with fears of a prophesied end of days.

Bokang Phelane (Keeping Score, Isidingo) has the role of a lifetime as Princess Zazi, a fiercely determined teenage princess who must navigate primordial curses, long-standing ancestral vendettas, and her inexplicable role as the damning prophecy’s chief harbinger.

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Mothusi Magano, winner of four SAFTAs and an African Movie Academy Award, plays her father, mad king Letsha, while SAFTA winner and 2022 DSTV Mzansi Viewers’ Choice nominee Zolisa Xaluva (Gomora, Knuckle City) plays General Toka, the head of her father’s Akachi army.

“Blood Psalms is the biggest and most ambitious series we’ve ever made, completely unlike any other African series you’ve ever seen,” says Nomsa Philiso, executive head: programming at MultiChoice. “We couldn’t be more excited.”

“This show was specifically created as a reimagining of ourselves as Africans, as an answer to ‘Who are we?’,” says Phelane. “It’s done in a very entertaining way, with a lot of drama and action.”

“Blood Psalms is a heck of a ride and it’s never been done before,” says Magano. “For Africans, mostly, our history goes back 200 years. That’s what we’ve been given, and it’s from Western perspectives. We really don’t know anything much about our own history. So Blood Psalms poses a lot of questions and will give people a lot to think about.”

The trailer gives us our first glimpses of the star-studded cast, which includes SAFTA winners Bongile Mantsai (Knuckle City), Hamilton Dlamini (Five Fingers For Marseilles), Hlubi Mboya (Isidingo), S’dumo Mtshali (iNumber Number, Is’thunzi), Siv Ngesi (DAM), Thishiwe Ziqubu (The Imposter), and Warren Masemola (The Republic), as well as SAFTA nominees Enhle Mbali Mlotshwa (Rockville), Niza Jay (The Wound), Richard Lukunku (Happiness Is A Four-Letter Word), Sello Maake kaNcube (The Herd), Thando Thabethe (Reyka), Thembekile Komani (Knuckle City) and Zikhona Sodlaka (The Wife), not to mention Africa Movie Academy Award (AMAA) nominee Faniswa Yisa (Knuckle City, DAM) and the likes of Faith Baloyi (Flatland), Lemogang Tsipa (Shaka Ilembe), and Thabo Rametsi (Kalushi, Silverton Siege).

“I got to witness the greats at work,” says Phelane. “The cast is filled with actors who have inspired me from quite early on in my life to pursue acting.”

“One thing that was brilliant for us was no use of an English word, whatsoever,” says Maake kaNcube. “That was a big challenge even for a lot of actors, you know, because most of the time we are used to performing and doing a mixture of African languages and English. This time, the dialogue is purely in African languages.”

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 AMAAs, where it won two awards.

Qubeka is a Peabody Award-winning filmmaker, whose films have screened at Toronto, Rotterdam, London, and Pusan, among other festivals, and earned good reviews everywhere from Guardian to Variety, Globe and Mail to The Hollywood Reporter. His films include Of Good Report, which won seven SAFTAs, including Best Film and Best Director; South African Oscar entry Sew The Winter To My Skin, which won three SAFTAs, including Best Film, as well as the Artistic Achievement Prize at Luxor African Film Festival; and Stillborn, which won the SAFTA for Best Short Film.

“What we’re trying to do is to reclaim the continent’s history from an African perspective,” says Swart. “Blood Psalms draws from elements of a multitude of African mythologies and looks at various different tribes in Season 1 – the Akachi, the Uchawi, the Ku’ua, the Chini, and Great Nziwemabwe – as they migrated south from Kemet, which is now Egypt, and formed their cultures.”

Shot in the Eastern Cape, Gauteng and North West provinces, Blood Psalms is a Showmax Original in partnership with CANAL+, the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition, the Eastern Cape Economic Development Corporation (ECDC) and the MultiChoice Innovation Fund, which supports South Africa’s most exciting entrepreneurs, enabling them to bring their unique, innovative and creative business ideas to life.

Add Blood Psalms to your Showmax watchlist:
https://www.showmax.com/eng/tvseries/376jbv7a-blood-psalms

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Showmax confirms The Real Housewives of Nairobi, slated to begin production in September

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African streaming service Showmax, in partnership with NBCUniversal Formats, is bringing The Real Housewives to Nairobi.
The Real Housewives of Nairobi, which will debut in 2023 as a Showmax Original, is the 22nd international version of The Real Housewives format and the sixth to be adapted in Africa.
The Real Housewives of Nairobi builds on the success of other African franchises like The Real Housewives of Johannesburg, which was one of the 10 most streamed domestic series on Showmax in 2019, as well as Durban (RHOD) and Lagos (RHOLagos), which both broke records on Showmax and were trending #1 on Twitter in their respective countries.
Denise Mwende, Showmax Content Specialist in East Africa, said: “As an African streaming platform, Showmax is dedicated to telling diverse African stories, and celebrity reality TV remains a genre that excites our viewers across Africa. We love to watch other people’s lives, and The Real Housewives of Nairobi is a chance to get a much closer look at Nairobi’s elite.”
The Real Housewives of Nairobi is being produced by Eugene Mbugua’s D&R Studios (formerly Young Rich Television), the production company behind Kenya’s biggest docu-reality shows and Showmax favourites like the 2021 Kalasha nominee Sol Family; the 2021 Kalasha nominee and 2022 Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice (AMVCA) nominee This Love; 2022 reality series Kyallo Kulture; 2018 Kalasha nominee Stori Yangu and 2019 Kalasha winner Our Perfect Wedding.
“The team at D&R Studios is very stoked about the opportunity to produce The Real Housewives of Nairobi,” said Mbugua. “We’ve had a long and good relationship with Showmax, and are very excited to now be working together on an international format. We’ve gone through a very rigorous process of being shortlisted and are now geared up and ready to start production.”
“D&R Studios already has a portfolio of celebrity reality content like Sol Family, This Love and Kyallo Kulture under their belt. They understand the structure, and are willing to work hand in hand with our local teams and NBCUniversal to bring the Nairobi franchise to life,” added Denise Mwende.
On what the audience can expect with Nairobi, following the success of other African franchises, Mbugua said, “There’s quite a bit of pressure from the audience to deliver a stellar show but if what we’ve seen in the casting process is anything to go by, Nairobi promises to hold its own. Fans can expect surprises in everything, from the choice of the cast to the storylines. The Real Housewives of Nairobi is going to be the show to watch.”
As you wait for The Real Housewives of Nairobi, you can binge-watch these African franchises on Showmax: The Real Housewives of Lagos, The Real Housewives of Durban S1-2 and The Real Housewives of Johannesburg S1-2.
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This Week On Miss Malaika Ghana – Our Culture, Our Heritage!!

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This Week On Miss Malaika Ghana – Our Culture, Our Heritage!!

In an immature society culture is an import; for a mature one it is a native manufacture which eventually becomes an export. – Northrop Frye. (more…)

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Apple Music’s Africa Now Radio features K.O this Friday !

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This Week’s Episode Features a Conversation With K.O, the 5 Hottest Tracks of the Week, Africa Rising and Dadaboy Ehiz’s Favourite Track of the Week! (more…)

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Spotify’s Fresh Finds Africa taps Preyé for September

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Preyé, Nigeria’s emerging soul powerhouse, has been selected as Spotify’s Fresh Finds Africa artist for September. (more…)

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Showmax titles were the biggest winner at Emmys 2022

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Showmax titles were the biggest winner at Emmys 2022
Showmax is the best place in Africa to stream international series, according to the Primetime Emmy Awards. Content on Showmax won 27 Emmys, including Outstanding Drama (HBO’s Succession) and Limited or Anthology Series (HBO’s The White Lotus, the Emmys’ biggest winner this year with 10.)

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Al Jazeera English is proud to announce its end of year slate of new international documentaries

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Al Jazeera English (AJE) is home to some of the best, most diverse and unique documentaries from around the globe. The Internationally aclaimed  broadcaster showcases a wide range of stories, storytellers, perspectives and genres, in films which offer insight, understanding, information and empathy, to complement its global news. AJE airs over 300 documentaries a year, in regular strands and stand-alone slots.

AJE’s latest slate premieres several themed series as well as powerful single documentaries. In ‘Bollywood Dreams’ audiences  follow some of the thousands of ‘strugglers’ across India, who pin their futures and hopes on Bollywood. In the USA, Colombia, Finland and Australia’s Torres Strait Islands we observe First Nation communities reclaim their heritage, combat environmental disaster and fight to sustain their lives and livelihoods. The award-winning ‘Africa Direct’ returns for a second series, with African filmmakers telling African stories in immersive, first-person short docs. AJE’s flagship strand Witness premieres several new films including from Ukraine, India, Iraq, Armenia, South Sudan, Algeria, Spain and Lebanon.

Beyond the premieres, AJE will show some outstanding environmental and football films again in November and December. Witness Australia’s bushfires up close, and experience the permafrost during COP. And while the world is glued to football fields, AJE goes off the pitch to understand six football clubs in the popular series ‘The Fans Who Make Football’.

AJE’s Documentaries unit accounts for around a quarter of the Channel’s total output. From immersive, character-led stories to issue-led exposures, the films prioritise the human lived experiences behind news stories. They aim to challenge prevailing narratives about people, places and power by elevating seldom-heard voices and featuring people telling their own stories.Its documentaries present a range of experiences, lives and views to help viewers think, understand, feel and connect with the world around them.

Our award-winning documentaries provide great range, depth and nuance to our daily news coverage,” said Giles Trendle, Managing Director of Al Jazeera English, “and we are lucky to have a talented and diverse team which works with a wide array of filmmakers from around the world.”

Ingrid Falk, Manager of Programmes said  “Stories are hugely important in shaping our understanding of the world, so we in the Documentaries unit focus as much on how we tell stories, and who tells them, as the subject matter itself. We try to shift the power of the storytelling itself towards those who have experience the events – we have the space to move away from presenters and reporters as authoritative voices towards first person narratives. Our philosophy is that when we see and hear from people directly, confidently, centred in their own stories, only then can we reimagine notions of authority and power. And in this very unequal world, that is an important thing to do.”

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