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Who Would’ve Been the Bachelorette If It Wasn’t Hannah Brown?

  During The Bachelor’s After the Final Rose special on Tuesday night, the franchise officially named their next lead: Hannah Brown (aka Alabama Hannah or Hannah Beast) is the Bachelorette. (And they already unleashed the identities of all of her suitors, too!) Hannah, 24, was widely considered the frontrunner for the gig after her relatable […]

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During The Bachelor’s After the Final Rose special on Tuesday night, the franchise officially named their next lead: Hannah Brown (aka Alabama Hannah or Hannah Beast) is the Bachelorette. (And they already unleashed the identities of all of her suitors, too!)

Hannah Brown
Hannah Brown

Hannah, 24, was widely considered the frontrunner for the gig after her relatable and self-professed “hot mess” turn on Colton Underwood’s season. But she was just one of five women being considered to be ABC’s leading lady for The Bachelorette’s 15th season.

In an exclusive interview with E! News, Robert Mills, ABC’s Senior Vice President, Alternative Series, Specials & Late-Night Programming, revealed who really was in contention to land the gig.

While women from previous seasons were rumored to be in the mix (especially Danielle Maltby), Mills confirmed that aside from Hannah, the four other women they met with were all from Colton Underwood’s season.

“We met with Hannah G, we met with Tayshia,” he revealed, “we met with Caelynn and we met with Demi.”

Yes, Demi Burnett, the outspoken 23-year-old from Texas who basically walked through the mansion door with a customized neon sign reading “villain” above her head.

During her time on the show, Demi was at the center of a lot of storylines, beginning with greeting Colton with this line straight out of the limo: “So, I have not dated a virgin since I was 12, but I’m excited to give it another shot.”

Aside from her numerous comments about Colton’s virginity, Demi also had a surprising emotional backstory, as she revealed her mother was in federal prison, and wasn’t afraid to go up against the other women in the house…with most usually going home the same episode they clashed with her. (Examples: Tracy and Courtney.)

Of course, any longtime Bachelor viewer knows the word villain isn’t so black and white in the franchise.

“I don’t think even a villain is even what a villain anymore,” Mills acknowledged. “With Demi, we thought she was going to be a villain. She’s like a Corinne [Olympios] or she’s like a Tierra [LiCausi] or one of these other sort of classic villains, and then you thought, no, she’s not like that. She speaks her mind and she’s very open.”

But longtime Bachelor viewers also know any contestant—male or female—who is even in the running to be the most polarizing contestant in the house and on social media usually isn’t in the running to be the next lead.

But Mills said, “She was a strong contender.”

In fact, Demi was probably the No. 2 choice if Hannah turned down the job or if something would’ve happened. “I think Demi would be a really interesting season,” Mills said.

And Demi was definitely interested. When we spoke with her at the Women Tell All taping (post-pacifier incident with Courtney), she immediately pointed to herself and said “This girl right here!” when we asked who should be the next Bachelorette.

“Of course, everyone wants to be the Bachelorette!” she said.

Just a few seasons ago, a polarizing contestant like Demi would’ve never even be considered for the lead gig, with Mills admitting, “We would say we reject it out of hand. We’d say, no, they can’t.”

But then a trip to Mexico changed everything, as the launch of Bachelor in Paradise in 2014 opened up a new well of storytelling for some of the more controversial

“You saw the villains get redemption and those are sometimes the best stories that we tell,” Mills said. “I think that’s when we started to say nobody can ever be discounted.”

The perfect example of this redemption arc was Nick Viall, who went from two-time Bachelorette villain/finalist to surprising fan-favorite to unexpected Bachelor thanks to his time on Bachelor in Paradise.

“We’re starting to learn from that, so that’s why we were like, ‘We should at least meet with Demi.’ Let’s just embrace something we’ve never done before. We’re so far in now. You’ve got to try something different.”

Of course, they ultimately went with Hannah, but of the meeting with the 23-year-old spitfire, Mills said, “It was certainly fun to sit with Demi and imagine what that season would’ve been like and we know it would’ve been great.”

Aside from Demi, producers also sat down with the three women who rounded out Colton’s final four: Caelynn Miller-Keyes, Hannah’s one-time pageant rival; Tayshia Adams, the divorcee who was ready for marriage and always down for an adrenaline-themed date, and Hannah Godwin, the content creator who was blindsided when Colton broke up with her.”

When it came to Hannah G., Mills explained she “was clearly still really heartbroken. It’s very hard. On one hand, that’s a great story of somebody getting over someone they were in love with. But it happened so quickly, that was kind of the worry there.”

After her impressive performance during the After the Final Rose special, where viewers got to see her stand up for herself and get the answers she needed from Colton, many fans were hoping to see Hannah G. named as the next lead, lamenting her lack of screen-time during Colton’s season as it failed to show off her personality.

“It’s much more sped up,” Mills said of the casting process for the Bachelorette vs. the Bachelor, as the former goes into production just days after they finish up the latter.

“With The Bachelor, we have even Bachelor in paradise too where we can gauge for a potential lead,” he explained, “It’s totally different.”

Regardless of Tell All or After the Final Rose performances, Mills said the decision to name Hannah B. as the next Bachelorette was made “pretty quickly.” And fun fact: They had already picked her before the Women Tell All taping on Feb. 22.

“We met all these girls over a one-week span maybe three or four weeks ago. We sort of knew immediately. It was like, wow, OK, it’s Hannah B.”

Still, Mills said, “They were all great,” noting, “Tayshia and Caleynn would’ve been fantastic seasons” as well.

“The guys we have are fantastic and they were excited about all of these women, so I think any of them would’ve been great. But that being said, I’m super excited about Hannah B. I think it’s going to be awesome.”

While some questioned Hannah’s ability to, you know, speak on-camera when put on the spot after her infamous toast (or lack thereof) during her first one-on-one date with Colton or sort or freezing when giving out her first rose after meeting her first five men on Tuesday night, the 24-year-old proved to have some acting chops.

“It would be something I would want to do if given the opportunity,” Hannah, who obviously knew at that point that she was in fact the next Bachelorette, told E! News at the Women Tell All taping when we asked if she would be interested in being the next Bachelorette. “I would love the opportunity and to find somebody, I think it can happen here. I really, really believe in this being a way you can find your person.”

The Bachelorette premieres Monday, May 13 on ABC.

Source: E!News

 

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BBC Africa Eye investigates Kenya’s disturbing rise in cases of gender-based violence

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When the Covid pandemic hit Kenya, the number of cases linked to gender-based violence exploded as lockdowns forced many women indoors with their abusers.

In April 2021 Mary Mugambi was living as a single mother with her three kids. Her ex-husband wanted her back.

She says “He came in and when I awoke, he was holding a panga (machete). I asked him what the problem was as we had not argued. He started cutting me on the leg. He slashed my legs twice and once on my hand. My daughter heard the noise, and woke up. She saw that I was slashed and bleeding all over the house. When my daughter raised her head he struck her with the machete cutting her head and she died immediately.”

The life-threatening blows to Mary’s legs, arm and stomach left her unable to work, struggling to care for her remaining two children. Her two year old son witnessed the attack. Her ex-husband denies the allegations.

Authoritative statistics are hard to come by but according to Kenya’s Demographic and Health Survey 40% of Kenyan women, married or once married, have suffered physical or sexual violence.

Calls to a national helpline rose by more than 300% in the first two weeks of the pandemic. Within a year, Kenya had recorded over 5000 cases of gender-based violence.

It has been described as Kenya’s ‘hidden epidemic’.

But activists say that the true scale of the problem is far bigger, with a combination of fear, stigma and a lack of trust meaning only an estimated 3% of domestic attacks are ever reported to the police. Even when they are, many cases can take years before reaching court.

One organisation on the frontline fighting for survivors is Usikimye. It was co-founded in 2019 by Njeri Migwe and runs a safe house and a 24 hour helpline.

Njeri says “It’s terrifying. It’s scary. And the perpetrator will of course threaten you. And most people tend not to show up in court. So I wish there were a shorter time to finish the court cases, like let’s say 3 months, 6 months. So that these cases close when it is still fresh for the victims, and so that the victims can stop living in fear.”

In response to the rising number of cases, the Kenyan authorities have repeatedly stated their commitment to tackling gender-based violence, introducing a national tollfree helpline and allocating funding for one-stop support centres for survivors.

But among men, Gender based violence remains a largely taboo subject in Kenya. Africa Eye reporter Tom Odula investigates the deep-seated roots behind the crisis, discovers the trauma behind the shocking statistics, and explores the impact that Kenya’s sluggish legal system often leaves survivors with little hope of justice.

Watch the news piece (8:40 mins):

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/world-africa-60089165

Watch the full documentary on YouTube (26:32 mins):

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Big Brother Mzansi: Meet the colourful housemates

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2022 brought with it the revival of a reality television fan-favourite in the form of Big Brother Mzansi (BBMzansi) and the show seems to be a smash hit on social media.

The show began trending from the second the premiere episode aired on Sunday evening and it continued trending well into Monday.

The show’s new host, Lawrence Maleka, also seems to be part of the reason fans are so enamoured with the show. Maleka was recently unveiled as the show’s host, taking over from Lungile Radu.

Big Brother Mzansi is the modern version of Big Brother South Africa, which first aired in South Africa in 2001. The live shows back then were hosted by TV legends Mark Pilgrim, Gerry Rantseli (now Gerry Elsdon) and Zuraida Jardine.

After 13 years, the show rebranded as Big Brother Mzansi, with Radu in the driver’s seat as the show’s host.

Maleka is the new face billed to usher in a new era of Big Brother, which unveiled an interesting set of housemates on Sunday evening.

Meet the Big Brother Mzansi housemates:

Gugu Refiloe Bonga, aka Terry Treasure, is a 26-year-old from Johannesburg. Terry says she is honest almost to her own detriment. The OnlyFans adult content creator says she has a very big personality and stands for acceptance and non-judgment. She doesn’t like fake people and considers herself to be very open.

Big Brother Mzansi 2022 housemates: Terry Treasure | Picture: Supplied
Adindu Asuzu, aka Zino, is a 21-year-old from Johannesburg who is self-confessed mommy’s boy. This season’s youngest housemate describes himself as both bubbly and mellow. He reckons he won’t start drama – but will be the one to end it. He says his Nigerian side won’t let people take advantage of him.

Keamogetswe Motlhale, aka QV, is a 23-year-old from Mahikeng. Self-described as easy-going, Keamogetswe is a sharp-shooter and straight talker. She says she has no interest in keeping her annoyance to herself when someone gets on her wrong side. She describes herself as a tomboy.

Libo Njomba, aka Libo, is a 32-year-old from Johannesburg. Born in Uitenhage, Libo says he is an avid lover of life who enjoys the outdoors. He says people are his weakness and, as a result, he tends to befriend “strange characters” – but also considers himself a loner.

Gashwan Brandon Mthombeni, aka Gash1, is a 28-year-old from Pretoria. Having overcome a troubled past, Gashwan describes himself as a deep thinker with varied interests and talents. He’s deeply spiritual and enjoys giving people advice and motivation.

Luthando Mthembu, aka B.U, is a 31-year-old from Johannesburg. The aspiring musician says one of the highlights of his life was quitting his high-flying corporate job to follow his artistic dreams. A vegan, he is focused on centering himself.

Mvelo Ntuli, aka Mvelo, is a 28-year-old from Johannesburg. Describing himself as loud and lovable, Mvelo is a lover of people and passionate about education. Bubbly and candid, he hides a more complex side behind his infectious humour.

Naledi Mogadime, aka Nale, is a 24-year-old from Pretoria. A self-described “fine gyal, not a sad gyal”, the model is as much a firecracker as she is calm and zen. She considers her ability to understand and analyse people her strength. Naledi predicts that she might not be everyone’s cup of tea in the beginning of her time at the Big Brother Mzansi house.

Michelle Dimpho Mvundla, aka Mphowabadimo, is a 27-year-old from Daveyton. The sangoma describes herself as outgoing and kind, but says she has “zero tolerance for nonsense”. She is also a doting mom who considers herself to be a nurturer who loves cheering people up when they’re not feeling their best.

Norman Nhlapo is a 24-year-old from Johannesburg. The daycare worker says he has an adaptable personality and is a sporty person. Despite a tough upbringing, he says his life has been a “bundle of blessings”. He runs a non-profit organisation and daycare with his mother.

Rethabile Potsane, aka Dinkybliss, is a 29-year-old from Johannesburg. Rethabile describes herself as “loud and proud” and says she can transform people’s moods and lift spirits when she is around. More of a boys’ girl than a girls’ girl, she enjoys socialising and loves fashion.

Thando Mcopela, aka Acacia, is a 30-year-old Soweto resident who is family orientated and describes herself as a free spirit and a risk-taker. She also says she is a foodie who loves community and togetherness. She considers herself relatable and is as comfortable ekasi as she is in upmarket suburbs.

Tulani Madala, aka Tulz, is a 28-year-old radio DJ from Johannesburg. The velvet-voiced straight-shooter says he has a softness beneath his tough exterior. He also says he is currently single because he was “badly behaved” in the heyday of his career.

Thato Mokoena is a 28-year-old from the Vaal who says she is not one to limit herself. Thato is an accountant and TikToker who describes herself as a “world within worlds”. Bubbly and energetic, she’s bluntly honest and is comfortable with her transparent nature.

Themba Karabo Mabaso is a 30-year-old heavily-inked tattoo artist from Johannesburg. He describes himself as “simple”, “basic” and “normal”, and says despite his attention-grabbing looks, he doesn’t actively seek the spotlight. And yet he is a housemate on Big Brother Mzansi…

Thobeka Mtshali, aka Venus, is a 25-year-old from Richards Bay. In her own words, when it comes to her “you just never know what you’re gonna get”. She says she embodies creativity as she writes music, makes beats and plays the piano. She considers herself to be a layered person.

Ukho Samela, aka Sis Tamara, is a 25-year-old from Johannesburg. The multifaceted and bubbly Ukho goes by the pronouns he/ him/ she/ her/ they/ them. Known as “Sis Tamara”, they describe themselves as “a gender non-conforming experience”. They are also passionate about trans and queer representation.

Yolanda Glover, aka Yoli, is a 30-year-old from Durban who says she is outgoing and effervescent and describes herself as “Berocca without the medicine”. She loves being around people and says they are drawn to her infectious energy. She can sometimes be too honest and upfront and says she’s an open book.

There is also a daily highlight show on Mzansi Magic (DStv channel 161), Tuesdays to Fridays, starting on 25 January 2022 at 10:30pm.

Sunday eviction shows begin on 30 January at 6pm and will be broadcast on Mzansi Magic.

This season will also see the return of fan favourite segments such as Shower Hour at 10pm on Mondays to Thursdays on Mzansi Magic, Saturday night parties with Channel O (DStv channel 320) and Friday night games.

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Apple Music launches Rap Life Radio, Africa Edition with Ebro Darden and LootLove

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Apple Music today launches a new monthly on-demand African edition of Rap Life Radio, presented by hip hop aficionado, Ebro Darden and South African TV presenter and radio personality, LootLove (real name Luthando Shosha). Rap Life Radio, Africa Edition will serve as a companion to Apple Music’s flagship hip hop playlist, Rap Life.

 

“The Rap Life brand, playlist and radio show, is something we hope artists and fans of hip hop all over the world can connect through. LootLove stepping in for a special edition ‘Rap Life Africa’ helps us keep building that bridge. This is dope!” exclaimed Ebro.

 

“I’m super excited about the launch of the monthly African Edition of Rap Life Radio with Ebro on Apple Music. This is a phenomenal way to kick off 2022! It’s going to be magical! I’ve watched South African hip-hop grow from its infancy to a really commercial space here and it’s been a beautiful journey to witness. Watching it from a continental perspective has also been really exciting, African hip-hop is really taking up space! I’m excited about the likes of Blxckie, KashCPT and LucasRaps,” says LootLove.

 

During each episode of Rap Life, Africa Edition; Ebro and LootLove will chat about all the breaking news from the world of African hip-hop, while featuring some of the hottest new releases from across the continent. Ebro and LootLove will also discuss how African artists are shaping hip-hop and rap on the continent and around the world.

 

The first episode of Rap Life Radio, Africa Edition; launches on Friday 21 January and features new music from South African rapper A-Reece, Ghanaian rapper Amerado and Nigerian singer-songwriter LADIPOE.

 

Rap Life Radio, Africa Edition with Ebro Darden & LootLove will be available on demand on Apple Music every month, as well as the Rap Life playlist featuring the hottest new tracks and trends from across the African continent.

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Apple Music’s latest Africa Rising artist is FAVE

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Apple Music today announced the latest featured artist in its Africa Rising artist development program as 21-year-old Nigerian-born singer-songwriter, FAVE (real name Chidozie Godsfavour).

 

“Being on Apple Music’s Africa Rising program takes me one step closer to the dream: a gateway to the world stage. I’m proud to represent Africa with my voice and in my lyrics,” FAVE told Apple Music.

 

Having shown a penchant for singing from the early age of 6, it was only at the age of 19 that FAVE decided to embark on a career in music. Right off the bat her debut single “M.O.M.M.S.” (2019) showcased her impressive range and powerful tone, featuring in two of Nollywood’s most prominent TV series.

 

FAVE immediately followed this up with the reggae-infused single “DAL” (2020) and the Afrobeats-rooted “N.B.U (Nobody But You)” (2020), the latter of which was based off a freestyle that went viral on social media, before featuring on two tracks off superstar rapper Olamide’s 9th studio album, UY Scuti (2021).

 

FAVE’s debut EP, Riddim 5, is a fiery five-track release that fuses catchy Afro-pop melodies and groove-inducing Caribbean influences with a neo-R&B feel, anchored by the viral hit “Baby Riddim” which to date has racked up over 45 million streams across all platforms. With unique storytelling abilities, FAVE explores universal themes of love and heartbreak whilst making music that resonates deeply with her global audience.

 

The latest music from FAVE along with that of Africa’s hottest new artists, is available now on the Apple Music Africa Rising Playlist.

 

Apple Music’s Africa Rising, is an exclusive artist development programme and companion playlist geared towards identifying, showcasing and elevating rising talent and introducing the next generation of African superstars. Africa Rising alumni to date include: Omah Lay, Manu Worldstar, Tems, Amaarae, Ayra Starr, Yaw Tog, Blxckie, Nikita Kering and Buju. Africa Rising sees Apple Music select six artists every year who each receive a minimum of two months of editorial support across the Apple Music platform including a launch interview with Nadeska on Apple Music 1. Nadeska has also launched a new weekly Africa Rising feature on her show highlighting the hottest new artists on the continent.

 

Africa Rising is the latest of many Apple Music initiatives aimed at taking African talent to the world. Now available in 33 countries across Sub-Saharan Africa, Apple Music 1 is home to Africa Now Radio with host LootLove which has featured interviews with some of the continent’s hottest artists such as Tiwa Savage, Yemi Alade, Cassper Nyovest, Mr Eazi, Patoranking, Rayvanny, Kiddominant, Mayorkun, Fireboy DML, Adekunle Gold, Master KG, Yaw Tog, Blxckie, Nikita Kering and Buju.

 

Apple Music also selected Nigerian Afrobeats singer-songwriter Tems as its Up Next artist in 2021, Nigerian Afropop star Rema in 2020, Grammy Award-winning Afrofusion superstar Burna Boy in 2019, and Nigerian singer and entrepreneur Mr Eazi in 2017. Up Next is Apple Music’s global emerging artist program.

 

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Assemblies of God Ghana Launches TV station – (AGTV)

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Assemblies of God, Ghana has launched a television station – AGTV – in a bid to widen the outreach of the gospel across the world.

Sunday’s launch at the Assemblies of God Headquarters in Accra attracted senior members of the clergy, church members and other invited guests.

The free to air television network would show a variety of programs including sermons, gospel music, Christine movies, news bulletins and sports highlights.

Launching the station, the General Superintendent of Assemblies of God, Ghana, Rev. Professor Paul Frimpong-Manso, said the vision for the television station was hatched during initial variant of COVID-19 which necessitated the closure of churches and other public gatherings. According to him, a lot more souls can be reached through the power of television.

“With about 6,000 AG churches and almost 700,000 membership across the country, the TV station owned by AG was handy in reaching the entire nation for Christ. Rev Frimpong – Manso expressed the Church’s gratitude to all its pastors and members for their immense support in making the vision of the AGTV attainable.

The General Manager of AGTV Mr. Abraham Asare, emphasized that the objectives of the

channel are to be a point of reference as the leading Christian television station in Ghana,

and make the gospel of Jesus Christ common through the broadcast of life changing messages. They also seek to promote relevant AG church activities and programs, thereby presenting AG as the church of choice.

Whiles providing quality Christian entertaining programs and Broadcast programs

that give guidance and hope to the Christian youth, he further stated that

AGTV shall be the preferred destination for businesses with quick returns for their investments.

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Dating in Nairobi laid bare as Single Kiasi (Singleish) premieres, also available in 33 countries in the diaspora

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Single Kiasi (Singleish), the new Kenyan Showmax Original, is now streaming, with new episodes releasing every Thursday. The show will also be available to Kenyans in the UK, France and 31 other countries in the diaspora.

What does the pursuit for the one look like for 30-something women in Nairobi?

Sintamei (Gathoni Mutua) is trying to start a family with her loving husband Kevin (Lucarelli Onyango) while also building her career as a corporate lawyer.

Rebecca (Faith Kibathi) is all about motherhood, being a housewife and staying loyal to her “husband” Eric (Michael Munyoki), even though he doesn’t have a shilling to his name.

And Mariah (Minne Kariuki) is all about expensive gifts and traveling to the best destinations her rich sponsor’s money can buy, while chasing the next social media high and sharing slay queen dating tips with her many followers. “Paris was amazing. If your guy takes you to Dubai, please dump him,” she tells her fans while on a private jet from her vacation in France.

When we catch up with them in the first episode of Single Kiasi, they seem to have their lives and their romantic relationships under control. But dating in Nairobi can be hectic, and it doesn’t take long before the men of Single Kiasi prove the popular saying in the city’s dating scene: “Men will embarrass you unprovoked,” as reiterated by Mariah.

In the course of the 13 episodes, Single Kiasi follows Sintamei, Rebecca and Mariah as they go through the ups and downs of love and dating in Nairobi while also reminding us that, at the end of the day, friendship is the most powerful relationship they can have.

Single Kiasi is the second Showmax Original series in Kenya after the Kalasha-winning Crime and Justice.

The show is adapted from the popular South African series Unmarried, which already has successful adaptations in Nigeria (Unmarried Nigeria) and Ghana (To Have and To Have Hold).

“It’s a universal story of womanhood, love and friendship,” says producer and director Grace Kahaki. “But we had to make some changes here and there for the story to fit to who we are as Kenyans.”

For instance, Single Kiasi incorporates a Kikuyu traditional marriage ceremony (nguracio) in place of a church wedding.

“In the South African version, one of the leading women has an affair with a security guard but we felt that this wasn’t authentic to the Kenyan setting so changed the guard to an intern, which is more reflective of what happens here,” Kahaki says.

Single Kiasi tackles important issues that Kenyan women go through, such as sexism in the workplace like when Sintamei is passed over for a promotion that she clearly deserves, sexual assault like in the case of Mariah who is forced to confront a past she’d rather forget, and women (and mothers) finding their own identities outside of what society expects of them like Rebecca getting to relive her youth which she missed out on by marrying too young.

“This show aims to look at women through our three main characters and allow them to choose what label they want to attach to themselves, be it single, married, wife, career woman, mother, etc,” Kahaki says.

Kahaki co-produced and co-directed Single Kiasi alongside her Insignia Productions counterpart Philippe Bresson, and Robby Bresson (Simiyu Samurai).

 

Catch episode 1 of Single Kiasi, now streaming on Showmax, with new episodes releasing every Thursday.

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