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The Afro Cinema Pop-up channel line up on DStv and GOtv…celebrating African stories

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Africa Day commemorates the founding of the Organisation of African Unity, and it’s coming up this Tuesday, 25 May 2021. While pan-African travel remains a distant dream for now, it’s never been easier to explore our beautiful continent, thanks to Showmax’s catalogue of record-breaking and award-winning local content. There’s no single story that captures the diversity and wonder of Africa, but whatever you’re in the mood for, Showmax has a movie or a show for you:

FEEL LIKE SEEING AFRICA RULE THE WORLD?

NOUGHTS + CROSSES S1 | Alternative history series 

Noughts + Crosses was named one of “the 10 best British TV shows of 2020” by Mashable, who called it, “crucially important… a kind of drama/thriller/romance hybrid, mixing Game of Thrones-style political backstabbing with a very human story of discrimination and systemic oppression. The end result? A stunningly-crafted epic that’s every bit as tense as it is impactful.”

South African Masali Baduza (Trackers) and BAFTA winner Jack Rowan (Born To Kill, Peaky Blinders) play Sephy and Callum, two star-crossed lovers in the tradition of Romeo and Juliet, in an alternate universe where Africa colonised Europe, rather than the other way round. 

 

Based on Malorie Blackman’s multi-award-winning novel and shot largely in Cape Town with Film Afrika, the series also stars South African actress Bonnie Mbuli (Invictus, Wallander) as Sephy’s mom, Jasmine. Koby Adom – who is from Ghana, was born in Cote d’Ivoire, and grew up in London – is one of the two directors, while South African costume designer Dihantus Engelbrecht earned a Costume Design – Drama nomination from the 2020 Royal Television Society Awards in the UK for his work on the show.

TIME TO CELEBRATE AFRICANS ON A GLOBAL STAGE?
YVONNE ORJI: MOMMA, I MADE IT! | Nigerian comedy special

 

In her first HBO comedy special, Nigeria’s Yvonne Orji, better known as Molly from Insecure, has the audience rolling with laughter as she brings her razor-sharp wit and confidence to the stage. Both celebrating and poking fun at her strict, formative Nigerian-American upbringing, Yvonne shares her unique journey from pre-med to comedy, talks about parental pressures to get married, and takes us along to Lagos to meet her family and friends. 


Entertainment Weekly calls Momma, I Made It! “an hour of joy”, IndieWire hails it as “a rip-roaring standup special,” and Fast Company says it’s “the laugh the black community needs right now.”

 

In 2020, Yvonne also recently earned her first Emmy nomination and her fourth Black Reel nomination in a row as Molly in Insecure, while Momma, I Made It was nominated for a 2021 Image Award for Outstanding Variety Show (Series or Special).  


BEEN SLEEPING ON AFRICA’S NEXT SUPERSTAR?

IS’THUNZI | South African teen drama

 

South Africa’s Thuso Mbedu is making headlines globally right now as the star of The Underground Railroad, an adaptation of Colson Whitehead’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, directed by Oscar winner Barry Jenkins (Moonlight, If Beale Street Could Talk). Even Oprah is a fan, saying on Instagram that, “@thuso.mbedu gives the performance of a lifetime. Great things are coming for her and everyone will be saying her name after watching her as the superhero that is Cora.”

 

But celebrating Thuso Mbedu is stating the obvious for Mzansi Magic fans, who’ve already seen her earn back-to-back Best Actress nominations at the International Emmy Awards in 2017 and 2018 for her role as Winnie in the isiZulu teen drama Is’thunzi. The show also picked up South African Film and Television Awards (SAFTAs) for Best Actress and Actor for Mbedu and S’Dumo Mtshali (Isibaya, iNumber Number) respectively, not to mention nominations for the all-star cast of Pallance Dladla (DAM, Shadow), Thulane Shange (Uzalo, iNumber Number), and Zikhona Bali (DiepCity).  

 

So, if you’ve been sleeping on Mbedu, rather than wait for her next starring role, opposite Oscar winner Viola Davis (Fences, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom) in The Woman King, jump into her back catalogue on Showmax, which also includes roles on Isibaya S3 and MTV Shuga: Down South S2.

 

 

IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE?

RAFIKI | Kenyan romance

Wanuri Kahiu’s Rafiki was named Outstanding Film – Limited Release at the 2020 GLAAD Media Awards, which recognise and honour media for their fair, accurate and inclusive representations of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) community and the issues that affect their lives. Rafiki beat out the likes of Pedro Almodóvar’s Pain and Glory, nominated for both Oscars and Golden Globes; 2020 Golden Globe and BAFTA nominee Portrait of A Lady On Fire; Sundance audience award winner Brittany Runs a Marathon; and South African favourite Kanarie, starring Schalk Bezuidenhout.    


“Good Kenyan girls become good Kenyan wives,” but Kena (Samantha Mugatsia, who won Best Actress at Carthage 2018 and FESPACO 2019 for the role) and Ziki (Sheila Munyiva) long for something more. When love blossoms between them, the two girls are forced to choose between happiness and safety.

 

Winner of 17 international awards, the Kenyan romance has a 93% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with Variety calling it “impossible not to celebrate”; RogerEbert.com “a lyrical ode to finding a kindred spirit amidst an uncaring majority”; AV Club “bursting with life”; and Washington Post “a small revelation, not least because it marks the breakthrough of a filmmaker of such exhilarating, cheerfully courageous vision.”  


WANT A REMINDER OF THE POWER OF STORY?

LIYANA | Kingdom of Eswatini documentary


Winner of 35 awards, Liyana is a genre-defying documentary that tells the story of five children in the Kingdom of Eswatini who, with some guidance from South African storyteller Gcina Mhlope, turn past trauma into an original fable about a girl named Liyana, who embarks on a perilous quest to save her young twin brothers. The film weaves Liyana’s animated journey together with poetic documentary scenes to create an inspiring tale of perseverance and hope.

 

Liyana is the directorial debut of Swaziland-born and raised Aaron Kopp, with his wife Amanda. Before moving into directing, Aaron shot the Oscar-winning documentary Saving Face and the Oscar-nominated The Hunting Ground.

Liyana is executive produced by Emmy winner Thandiwe Newton (Westworld), produced by Oscar winner Daniel Junge (Saving Face), and edited by Davis Coombe (Chasing CoralChasing Ice). Nigerian Shofela Coker created the stunning animated artwork, while South African Philip Miller composed the score.


Entertainment Weekly hailed Liyana as “Gorgeous. Unlike any documentary you’ve ever seen,” while The Hollywood Reporter praised it as “A lyrical work, as bright and captivating as it is poignant.”

FEEL LIKE A SHARP SATIRE AND FEMINIST ALLEGORY?

I AM NOT A WITCH | Zambian satire

After a minor incident in her village, nine-year-old Shula is exiled to a travelling witch camp where she is told that if she tries to escape she will be transformed into a goat. As she navigates through her new life with her fellow witches and a government official who exploits her innocence for his own gain, she must decide whether to accept her fate or risk the consequences of seeking freedom.

 

Winner of 15 international awards, including the BAFTA for Best Debut for Zambian-born, Wales-raised director Rungano Nyoni, I Am Not A Witch has a 96% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes. As Variety put it, “It’s rare and exhilarating that a new filmmaker arrives on the scene so sure of herself and so willing to take bold, counter-intuitive chances… Invigorating, intriguing and provocative.” I Am Not A Witch is at #5 on The Guardian’s list of The 20 Best African Films, Ranked.

 

Nyoni was inspired by a spate of witch accusations aimed at women, which took place over a particularly dry summer in Zambia, and by her month-long stay at a 200-year-old witch camp in Ghana.

  

READY FOR A HOLIDAY IN THE MOUNTAINS

THE FORGOTTEN KINGDOM | Lesotho-set drama 

Atang (Zenzo Ngqobe from The River, Tsotsi) returns to a mountain village in Lesotho to bury his father. Expecting to return to the city quickly, he instead befriends an orphan herd-boy, is stirred by memories of his youth, and falls for a childhood friend, Dineo (Nozipho Nkelemba).

 

The Forgotten Kingdom won 15 international awards, including seven Audience Awards from American festivals, and Best Cinematography, Sound and Child Actor (Lebohang Ntsane) at the Africa Movie Academy Awards, where it earned another six nominations, including Best Film and Best Actor for Nqobe.

 

The Guardian called The Forgotten Kingdom a “pleasingly cinematic mini epic… combines classic realism with colourful characters, breath-taking vistas and a light dusting of the supernatural” while Radio Times, in their four-star review, praised the film as “heartfelt and touching… so genuine it’s hard to resist.”

 

GETTING TO KNOW ‘THE FATHER OF AFRICAN CINEMA’?  

LA NOIRE DE… (BLACK GIRL) | Senegalese drama 

Ousmane Sembène’s debut 1966 film, La Noire De… (Black Girl), is the story of a young Senegalese woman who is employed as a governess for a French family in Dakar and moves with them to the Riviera, where her comfortable duties as a nanny in a wealthy household are replaced by the drudgery and indignities of a maid.

Black Girl won the Tanit d’Or at Carthage in 1966, among other prizes, and was hailed by Oscar winner Martin Scorcese (The Irishman) as “an astonishing movie.” It’s at #3 on both the Tarifa-Tangiers African Film Festival’s list of the 10 best African films of all time and The Guardian’s list of The 20 Best African Films, Ranked.

Black Girl has a 97% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with The Village Voice saying its “dense with cold fury” and NPR adding that the film feels as timely today as it did half a century ago.”

Showmax is also home to Sembène’s Cannes winner Mooladé, his Venice winner Camp De Thiaroye; and his Berlin winner Emitaï.

  

FEEL LIKE A CRIME CLASSIC

CAIRO STATION | Egyptian crime film

In the 1958 classic Cairo Station, Youssef Chahine both directs and stars as Qinawi, a crippled newspaper vendor who falls for a lemonade seller, Hanouma, who is engaged to another station worker, Abu-Serih. As Abu-Serih tries to unionise the station workers, Qinawi’s fixation on Hanouma crosses the line from innocent crush to dangerous obsession. 

 

Cairo Station screened in competition at Berlin and was included in The Story of Film, the definitive history of cinema, while Chahine went on to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award from Cannes in 1997. The movie has a 100% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Time Out praised it as “a great overlooked masterpiece”, The Guardian as “unmissable”, The Hollywood Reporter as “a jewel of a film” and BBC as “an excellent thriller, and one that anticipates the serial killer genre that Hitchcock’s Psycho kick-started a few years later… a cinematic triumph.”

 

It’s at #4 on both The Guardian’s list of The 20 Best African Films, Ranked and Taste of Cinema’s list of 20 Essential African Films You Need To Watch. Showmax is also home to Chahine’s Alexandria Why?, which took home the Special Jury Prize and the C.I.D.A.L.C. Diploma at Berlin in 1979.

A TRIP BACK IN TIME?

YAABA (GRANDMOTHER) | Burkina Faso drama

 

Late Burkina Faso filmmaker Idrissa Ouedraogo – hailed by Variety as “a towering figure of African cinema” – came to international attention in 1989 with Yaaba (Grandmother), the story of two children who make friends with an old woman who has been outcast as a witch by her village.

 

At Cannes that year, Yaaba shared the FIPRESCI Critics’ Prize with Steven Soderbergh’s Sex, Lies and Videotape and also took a Special Mention from the Ecumenical Jury. Yaaba has an 86% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with The Los Angeles Times saying, “Yaaba’s power sneaks up on you… Flawless… Told in terms of the greatest elegance and simplicity.”

 

Yaaba is at #12 on both The Guardian’s list of The 20 Best African Films Ranked and Taste of Cinema’s list of 20 Essential African Films You Need To Watch.


A TREASURE TROVE OF AFRICAN CLASSICS

Of course, this one film per country approach is just a sampling, and misses out on Showmax Originals like the record-breaking Nigerian reality show, I Am Laycon, and the critically-acclaimed Kenyan crime drama Crime and Justice, not to mention classics like:

• Akin Omotoso’s The Ghost and The House of Truth, winner of the Grand Jury Prize at Urbanworld and Best Editing at the 2020 Africa Movie Academy Awards (AMAA). Set in Makoko, Nigeria, the crime drama stars BAFTA Breakthrough Brit winner Susan Wokoma (Enola Holmes) and AMAA Best Actress winner Kate Henshaw (Chief Daddy)

 Mugambi Nthiga’s drama Lusala, winner of the Rimbaud award at the 2020 Les Rimbaud du Cinéma, held in France at the oldest active cinema in the world, starring Brian Ogola (Crime and Justice, 18 Hours and Poacher) and child star Stycie Waweru (Jo in Supa Modo)

• Sara de Gouveia’s multi-award-winning The Sound of Masks, set in Mozambique and described by POV as “a wicked cool arts doc about the power of dance.”

• HBO’s 2019 Emmy-winning documentary, Stolen Daughters: Kidnapped By Boko Haram, which follows the story of one freed group of the Chibok Girls, who were kidnapped in Nigeria in 2014 by Islamic terrorist group Boko Haram.

• The heart-rending Kenyan superhero film Supa Modo, winner of over 50 international awards, including Best European Film For Children at the 2019 European Children’s Film Association Awards and a Children’s Jury Special Mention in the Generation 14Plus category at Berlin in 2018

• Njue Kevin’s 18 Hours, based on the true story of a rookie paramedic and his driver who spent 18 hours fighting to save the life of a road accident victim who was denied admission at multiple hospitals in Nairobi. In 2018, 18 Hours became the first Kenyan film to win Best Movie Overall at the Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice Awards.

• Mbithi Masya’s Kati Kati, about a young amnesiac who wakes up in the middle of the wilderness with no idea how she got there. The Kenyan film won the the FIPRESCI Critics Prize at Toronto in 2016, among other accolades.

• Leila Djansi’s Like Cotton Twines, named Best Film at Savannah Film Festival in 2016, stars four-time Black Reel nominee Jay Ellis (aka Lawrence in Insecure) as an American teacher in Ghana trying to save one of his students from religious slavery

The Kenyan crime drama Nairobi Half Life, which won the Breakthrough Audience Award at AFI in 2012 and four Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards in 2014. Lead actor Joseph Wairimu also picked up Best Actor at Durban and Most Promising Actor at the Africa Movie Academy Awards.
• The Ghana-set The Perfect Picture, winner of Best Director for Shirley Frimpong-Manso, Best Actress for Jackie Appiah and Best Supporting Actor for Adjetey Anang at the 2010 Africa Movie Academy Awards. Also look out for Frimpong-Manso’ hit new telenovela, Dede

 FESPACO Grand Prize winners like Mweze Ngangura’s Identity Pieces | Pièces d’identités (DRC, 1999), Gaston Kabore’s Buud Yam (Burkina Faso, 1997), Roger Gnoan M’Bala’s Au Nom Du Christ (Cote d’Ivoire, 1993) and Kwah Ansah’s Heritage Africa (Ghana, 1989)
• Dani Kouyaté’s Burkina Faso-set Keïta! l’Héritage du griot, which won a Special Mention and the OCIC Award at Amiens and theOumarou Ganda Prize at FESPACO 1995
Abderrahmane Sissako’s Mali-set La Vie Sur Terre / Life on Earthwhich won 10 international awards, including the Grand Prix at Fribourg 1999, and is ranked joint fifth on the Tarifa-Tangiers African Film Festival’s list of the 10 best African films of all time. 

• Flora Gomes’ Po Di Sangui / Tree of Blood, set in a Guinea-Bissau village where the trees planted upon the birth of each child begin falling rapidly and mysteriously. Tree of Blood competed for the Palme D’Or at Cannes in 1996 and won a Silver Tanit at Carthage, among other honours.

• Djibril Diop Mambéty’s 1992 classic Hyènes / Hyenas, nominated for the Palme d’Or at Cannes in 1992 and was ranked joint fifth on the Tarifa-Tangiers African Film Festival’s list of the 10 best African films of all time. 

• Raoul Peck’s Lumumba: Death Of A Prophet, about the assasination of the first prime minister of the post-colonial Democratic Republic of Congo. Lumumba won the Procirep Award at Cinema du Reel in 1992, among other international accolades, while Peck went on to earn an Oscar nomination for I Am Not Your Negro in 2017. 

• Moussa Sene Absa’s Madame Brouette, about a single mother in Senegal who sells goods from a wheelbarrow but dreams of opening a canteen. Madame Brouette won four international awards, including Best Music at Berlin.  Trailer:https://youtu.be/5h2b7bOyX0U

• Flora Gomes’ Cape Verde-set Nha Fala / My Voice My Voice, which won six international awards, including the Laterna Magic Prize at Venice in 2002, and was the only film from Africa to compete at Berlin that year. Grammy-nominated Cameroonian star Manu Dibango, who tragically passed away from Covid-19 in March 2020, wrote and produced the film’s music. 

• Haile Gerima’s Ethiopia-set Harvest: 3000 Years, which won the Prize of the Ecumenical Jury and the Silver Leopard at Locarno in 1976. Oscar-winner Martin Scorsese (The Irishman) presented a restored version of Harvest: 3000 Years at Cannes in 2006 and at Tribeca in 2008. As he wrote for Tribeca, the film “has a particular kind of urgency which few pictures possess. This is the story of an entire people, and its collective longing for justice and good faith. An epic, not in scale but in emotional and political scope.” The Tate Modern also honoured the film with a special screening in 2015. 

• Gaston Kabore’s Burkina Faso-set Zan Boko, winner of Best Screenplay at FESPACO 1989 and a Special Jury Award at Amiens 1988:

 

LOOKING FOR THE NEXT GENERATION OF AFRICAN FILMMAKERS?

Launching on Showmax on Africa Day, the MultiChoice Talent Factory Colours of Africa series features 16 short films made by 60 students from 13 countries across the continent, where you can be the first to discover the next Thuso Mbedu, Wanuri Kahiu or Ousmane Sembène. For more info on the MultiChoice Talent Factory, visit www.multichoicetalentfactory.com. 

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The Real Housewives of Lagos is set to debut early 2022 as a Showmax Original

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Following its success in 50 countries across Africa, The Real Housewives of Durban S1 has also launched in numerous international territories  

We’ve seen what The Real Housewives of Atlanta, Jersey, Durban and Melbourne get up to. Now it’s time to take a peek inside the opulent lives of some of the most affluent women in Lagos.

 

The Real Housewives of Lagos (RHOL) will be the first Nigerian instalment of the award-winning franchise, which is distributed internationally by NBCUniversal Formats, a division of Universal Studio Group. This also marks the 16th international version of The Real Housewives format and the third to be adapted in Africa.

RHOL will build on the success of the first two African editions. The Real Housewives of Johannesburg was one of the 10 most streamed local series on Showmax in 2019, while The Real Housewives of Durban (RHOD) broke records when it launched on the African streaming service in January 2021. RHOD has since launched with success in 50 countries across Africa, as well as on hayu in 27 territories internationally, including Canada, UK, Ireland, Spain, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Singapore and the Philippines. Season 2 of the hit show will return to Showmax early next year.

 

“We’ve seen audiences across Africa devour The Real Housewives of Johannesburg and The Real Housewives of Durban,” says Candice Fangueiro, Showmax’s head of content. “The Real Housewives franchise lends itself to localisation and we know our audience is going to love seeing the show reinvented Naija-style. We can’t wait to show the continent – and the world – another side of Lagos, with all the drama, high fashion and luxury you’d expect from The Real Housewives franchise.”

 

“We are so proud to build on the international success of The Real Housewives of Johannesburg and Durban with our partner Showmax,” added Ana Langenberg, SVP, Format Sales & Production, NBCUniversal International Formats. “The vibrancy of Lagos and its rich culture, fashion and opulence makes for the perfect setting for the show. We also can’t wait to see the second season of Durban come to life and deliver fans all over the world even more extravagance and entertainment.”

 

RHOL will be produced by Livespot 360. RHOD is produced by Let It Rain Films, with Thumeka Hlotshana attached to direct Season 2 and Emmy winner Lee Doig (Survivor USA) creative directing.

 

RHOL and RHOD S2 will be available first on Showmax in more than 40 African countries in early 2022.

 

RHOL will be the second Showmax Original reality series in Nigeria, following on from the success of I Am LAYCON, starring Big Brother Naija S5 winner Lekan Agbeleshe, which set a Nigerian first-day record for Showmax when it launched in February 2021.

Audiences can relive the drama and excitement of Seasons 1-2 of The Real Housewives of Johannesburg on Showmax here and S1 of The Real Housewives of Durbanhere.

 

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Life at 50°C: New study from BBC reveals that extremely hot days have doubled in past 40 years

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Days where the temperature exceeds 50C degrees have doubled since the 1980s, and now occur in more parts of the world, according to new analysis from the BBC.

 

The analysis was commissioned by the BBC World Service for their new series, Life at 50°C and carried out by BBC News’ data journalism unit. It reveals that temperatures reached 50C or more on 14 days per year on average between 1980 and 2009, but since 2010 the number of days that has surpassed the extraordinary temperature is now 26.

 

BBC News examined data across a forty-year period and found that the total number of days above 50C increased in each decade since 1980. The BBC’s research also found significant increases in maximum temperatures around the world.

 

Days above 50C mostly occurred in places in the Middle East and the Gulf. Scientists expect even more areas to break the 50C mark in future.

 

The BBC’s Life at 50°C analysis also revealed that the number of days over 45C has increased by around two weeks per year on average when comparing the same forty-year period.

 

Dr Friederike Otto, a leading climate scientist from the University of Oxford, told the BBC that she believes the increase in the days and places above 50C “can be 100% attributed to the burning of fossil fuels.”

 

Extreme heat can make disasters, such as wildfires and droughts more likely, and can have devastating consequences for human health. It can also parch the land as higher temperatures boost evaporation from the soil. Increasing temperatures could even lead to many parts of the planet becoming too hot for people to live in.

 

Heat stress conditions could affect as many as 1.2 billion people around the world by 2100 if current levels of global warming continue, according to a Rutgers University study published last year. This figure is at least four times more than those affected today.

 

The research was carried out to launch the BBC’s Life at 50°C. The series, which will run across BBC outlets and digital platforms, presents the reality of climate change through stories of people around the world and explores how communities living in cities and rural areas have had to adapt their lives to cope with extreme heat. It has been produced by BBC News Arabic, in collaboration with BBC News Mundo, BBC News Urdu, and BBC News Hindi as well as the BBC’s other Indian language services.

 

Highlights include four-half hour programmes on BBC World News TV channel and a collection of ambitious digital films on the BBC News YouTube channel, with stories filmed in Nigeria, Pakistan, Australia, Mexico, India, Mauritania, Iraq, and Gulf states.

 

Life at 50°C launches with Nigeria Burning. In the film, Farouk digs wells by hand in Kilankwa, central Nigeria. Joy cooks tapioca in the extreme heat of illegal gas flares in the Niger Delta. Now climate change is making their lives even harder; this year Farouk and his team have to dig down to an unprecedented 27 feet before they find water. Their stories show how ordinary Nigerians are exposed to the hardship of extreme heat. Haruna, who works with Farouk says: “When I was a boy the weather was not this harsh.” Digging the well exposes Farouk and his team to temperatures too hot for their instruments to measure, and while she knows it’s ‘bad’ for her health, Joy braves heats of 90C to cook by the flares to make income to help to support her family.

 

Watch Nigeria Burning here:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/world-africa-58549010  (3 mins)

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EbonyLife’s Castle & Castle is back for Season 2 on Netflix – Globally

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After its’ sensational 2018 debut, fans of EbonyLife’s Castle & Castle have finally been rewarded for their unwavering devotion. Season 2 of the eagerly anticipated Legal procedural drama series is now streaming globally and exclusive to Netflix.

Castle’s galaxy of stars comprising Richard Mofe-Damijo, Dakore Egbuson-Akande, Denola Grey, Blossom Chukwujekwu, Deyemi Okanlawon, Dorcas Shola Fapson, Eku Edewor, Bimbo Manuel, Daniel Etim Effiong, Ade Laoye, Anee Icha, Kevin Ushi, Jude Chukwuma and guest star- Patrick Doyle reprise their roles in Season 2.

Directors Kayode Kasum and Walter Taylaur pilot the Castle universe, which welcomes talented actors like Bisola Aiyeola, Bimbo Ademoye, Ikechukwu Onunaku, Gregory Ojefua, Mimi Chaka, Kenneth Okolie, Elozonam Ogbolu and Maurice Sam to its’ sophomore season.

Nigerian entertainment fans can enjoy Castle & Castle season 2 and other exciting Nigerian stories like King of Boys: Return of the King and a wide variety of international content — uninterrupted and without ads — from NGN1, 200 per month on the Mobile plan, which is now available alongside the Basic, Standard & Premium plans.

Watch Season 2 of Castle & Castle Here.

It has been six months since Remi and Tega Castle went up against each other in a court of law for the very first time. A case that has divided the loyalties in the firm and has separated Lagos’s most admirable couple. Their son, Ben has returned to Law School to normalise his UK-earned law degree in Nigeria with his parents hardly on speaking terms.

In the wake of the victory, Castle & Castle’s prestige has surged and the company has moved to a new office and is flush with new clients. But it’s a hollow victory for Remi, who finds herself alone at the helm.

Tega has been suspended for some months from practicing law and ostracized, he is back at university, teaching. Life has taken Tega full circle to precisely where he and Remi met under scandalous circumstances some 20-years ago.
Will the couple be able to forgive each other for choosing different sides of the law or will their resentment towards each other destroy that which they built on love?

Credits

· Directors: Kayode Kasum and Walter Taylaur
· Executive Producer: Mo Abudu
· Producers: Temidayo Abudu and Adeola Osunkojo
· Creative Producer: Heidi Uys
· Key Cast: Richard Mofe-Damijo (Tega Castle), Dakore Egbuson-Akande (Remi Castle),

Denola Grey (Ben Castle), Blossom Chukwujekwu (Malik Mustapha), Deyemi Okanlawon (Kwabena Mills), Eku Edewor (Nneka), Dorcas Shola Fapson (Doshima), Bimbo Manuel

(Duke Akintola), Daniel Etim Effiong (Mike Amenechi) , Ade Laoye (Morenike Athol), Anee Icha (Stella), Kevin Ushi (Mr Monday), Jude Chukwuma (Captain) and guest star- Patrick Doyle (as Otunba).

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Radio & TV

BET Africa’s first original drama series Isono celebrates the 200th episode milestone

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ISONO, BET Africa’s first original daily drama marked its 200th episode milestone since its launch last year September. The first original vernacular daily drama co-produced with Clive Morris Production proved to be a strong contender with multiple nods at the recently announced Royalty Soapie Awards 2021, where it has scored eight nominations.

As ISONO celebrates the 200th episode milestone, the star-studded African cast continues to entertain and intrigue viewers across the continent as they deliver a compelling storyline of love, pain and betrayal. The gripping and suspenseful original daily drama recently welcomed veteran actors Jack Devnarain, Kevin Smith, legendary Nandi Nyembe and young and talented Paballo Mavundla.

“We are thrilled to celebrate this significant milestone on BET Africa’s ISONO. A big thanks & congratulations to the incredible cast, crew and our audiences across the continent who have inspired us to continue to bring local productions to the continent,” commented Monde Twala, Senior Vice President and General Manager at ViacomCBS Networks Africa and BET International Peer Lead. “As the channel that celebrates black culture, excellence and entertainment, we are proud to create and showcase authentic African storytelling for the culture, by the culture.”

ISONO recognises the amazing delivery of authentic and rich African storytelling by female leads, award-winning and legendary Nthati Moshesh, Moshidi Motshegwa, Charmaine Mtinta, and popular presenter Lalla Hirayama. The young smoking guns, Bohang Moeko, Didintle Khunou, Senzo Radebe, TK Sebothoma, Anga ‘Naakmusiq’ Makubalo, Ayanda Nhlapo and Natasha Thahane, continue to bring passion, excitement and action to the storyline. The young and rising stars Kgosi Mongake, Tshepo Ledwaba, Mpho Sibeko and Mpule Matlhola brought the House of Grace orphanage storyline to life by showing off their musical talents.

BET Africa and Clive Morris Productions introduced new faces and upcoming talent from Dimpho More to Omphemetse Tolo. Celebrating cross-cultural diversity and rounding off the Pan African talent pool, ISONO further included cast members from Nigeria, Anthony Oseyeni, Christin Osifuye and Chioma to expand and depict multiple narratives and continental resonance.

Manchester Mahlogonolo Mahapa who led ISONO’s narrative and creative direction said, “The show hitting its 200th episode is a major milestone and no easy feat to accomplish particularly under COVID-19 restrictions. It has been a real learning curve and also nothing short of amazing. We set out to create an authentic daily drama like no other for an African audience and we have seen it land in ways that excite us and shows us that there is an appetite for a gritty show like ISONO.”

In tonight’s 200th episode of ISONO, Simon is tangled in a web of lies, so desperate to cover each lie with another that he starts acting on compulsion, and it does not end well for him. Gabriel is ready to face Sarah while Siviwe’s memory is triggered. Could this be the end of Mother Mary’s empire?

For riveting drama and the best in African content, catch BET Africa’s original daily drama ISONO, where Dark Secrets Lead to Deadly Sin on BET AFRICA (DStv Channel 129, GOtv Channel 21) at 20:30 WAT/21:30 CAT, where the suspenseful original daily drama airs Monday to Thursday.

For more information on BET Africa’s original daily drama visit www.betafrica.tv, like and chat to us on Facebook atwww.facebook.com/BETinAfrica, and join the conversation on Twitter and Instagram @BET_Africa using the hashtag #ISONOBET #BETAFRICAORIGINAL

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Critically acclaimed Obama documentary now streaming on Showmax

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HBO’s Obama: In Pursuit of a More Perfect Union chronicles the personal and political journey of President Barack Obama as America grapples with its racial history.

 

Directed by seven-time Emmy winner Peter Kunhardt and executive produced by The New Yorker‘s Jelani Cobb, the three-part docuseries has a 91% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with RogerEbert.comcalling it “a comprehensive and compelling analysis… Kunhardt’s film brightly illuminates how essential the discussion of Obama’s handling of race is to American culture as a whole, especially when it was no accident that every president before him was a white man.”

 

Timed to coincide with the former president’s 60th birthday, Obama: In Pursuit of a More Perfect Union features the likes of politician Jesse Jackson, professorsHenry Louis Gates Jr. and Cornel West, political consultant David Axelrod, authors Michael Eric Dyson and Ta-Nehisi Coates, reverends Alvin Love and Jeremiah Wright, New Yorker editor David Remnick, speechwriter Jon Favreau and journalists Laura Washington and Michele Norris. Interspersed with his own speeches and news interviews, the series begins with Obama’s childhood and takes us through his perspective as the son of a white mother from Kansas and an African father, his spiritual formation by a generation of Black leaders, and his hopes for a more inclusive America.

But, as Los Angeles Times, says, “HBO’s new documentary goes places the Obama media machine might not have… It ultimately sets itself apart by taking a deeper look at the multitude of issues that surfaced after America finally chose its first Black president.”

 

EVERYTHING ON SHOWMAX IN SEPTEMBER

To see everything on Showmax in September 2021, including The White Lotus, 2021 Emmy nominee Gangs of London, 2021 Oscar nominees Tenet and Minari, and Flatland, the South African film that opened the Berlin Panorama, click here. Please note this release schedule is subject to change.

 

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Apple Music’s Africa Now Radio Features Makhadzi This Sunday

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This Week’s Episode Features a Conversation With Makhadzi, the 5 Hottest Tracks of the Week, Africa Rising and LootLove’s Favourite Track of the Week!

Tune in to Africa Now Radio With LootLove This Sunday, September 12th at 2p Lagos/London / 3p Johannesburg/Paris / 6a LA / 9a NYC on Apple Music 1 and broadcast on Cool FM in Nigeria every Sunday at 6pm.

 

Cover Star Interview
The chart-topping South African singer Makhadzi joins LootLove via FaceTime on Apple Music 1 to talk about her latest track, “Salungano (feat. Kabza De Small).” She also discusses her new album, African Queen, breaking streaming records — her 2020 album, Kokovha, is the most streamed South African Female Album on Apple Music in 2021 year to date — how she experiments with the amapiano wave, and the African artists she’d love to work with next.

The Big 5
LootLove shares the 5 hottest new African tracks of the moment. This week’s selection includes new tracks from Tems; Mellow & Sleazy and Felo Le Tee (feat. DJ Maphorisa, Madumane & Young Stunna); Killertunes & Nissi; Stonebwoy & Focalistic; and Zakes Bantwini & Kasango.

Africa Rising
South African amapiano singer-songwriter Aymos is the latest artist featured from the Africa Rising playlist, a campaign which shines a light on the next generation of African superstars, and this week’s show features two singles from his latest album, Yimi Lo—“Risasekile (feat. TO Starquality & Mas Musiq),” and title track, “Yimi Lo.” Listen HERE.

Loot Loves
Each week, LootLove chooses her favourite track, taken from one of Apple Music’s African playlists. This week she features Nigerian superstar Wizkid and his single, “Mood (feat. Buju),” from Apple Music’s Naija Hits playlist. Listen HERE (and find a roundup of all LootLove’s selections on Apple Music’s LootLoves playlist, HERE).

Tune in and listen to the full episode this Sunday, September 12th at 2p Lagos/London / 3p Johannesburg/Paris / 6a LA / 9a NYC on Apple Music 1 at apple.co/_AfricaNow or on Cool FM in Nigeria every Sunday at 6pm.

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Makhadzi on adapting to and experimenting with amapiano

LootLove: You also play with different sounds. You’ve obviously adapting to this incredible wave of amapiano. How has that been experimenting on the new sound?

Makhadzi: To me it was not difficult because I believe as an artist, I can sing anything as long as I get a right beat. And then the only thing I must do is to come up with a nice melody because I’m singing in my language. I’m using my language when I sing and most of the people they don’t understand my language. But the only thing that I have to make sure [foreign language ] it’s a nice melody with a nice beat.

Makhadzi on the meaning behind “Salungano” with Kabza De Small

“Salungano” is a storyteller actually. I was telling a story “yesterday I had a dream, I was with you, you were covering me and now am seeing you live. Just cover me live, I had a dream yesterday, I was with you, you were buying me drinks and now am seeing you live, please buy me drinks.” “Salungano” is a story teller.

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