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Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty delivers a slam dunk on Showmax

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I started watching Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty last night and it’s laugh-out-loud funny, which I hadn’t been expecting somehow. And, like Ted Lasso, whether or not you’re a sports fan is completely irrelevant.

One of Rotten Tomatoes’ Most Anticipated Series of 2022, HBO’s sports drama Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty is now available to binge on Showmax.

Winning Time dramatises the professional and personal lives of the legendary players and coaches of one of basketball’s most revered and dominant dynasties – the Los Angeles Lakers, a team that defined an American era, both on and off the court.

“Most people think of the NBA now as one of the biggest sports leagues in the world, but in 1979, the NBA was bottom of the barrel,” explains Oscar winner Adam McKay (Succession, Don’t Look Up), who directed the series pilot. “Winning Time picks up where Dr. Jerry Buss is buying a team in a league that some people aren’t even sure is going to continue.”

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

Although the Lakers were already an established and formidable team, the arrival of Buss (played by Oscar nominee John C. Reilly from Chicago, Boogie Nights, and Magnolia) changed everything, beginning with the audience experience.

“Jerry thought, ‘This is a great game,’” says Reilly. “‘All you have to do is make a place that people really want to come to, and make it entertaining.’”

“[Jerry’s] goal was to make it like theatre, and to just have it be a high-energy night and event,” says Critics Choice Award winner Jason Segel (Forgetting Sarah Marshall, How I Met Your Mother), who plays coach Paul Westhead. “It became where you needed to be if you wanted to be seen.”

On the court, it was Coach Jack McKinney (played by Critics Choice award nominee Tracy Letts, from Ford vs Ferrari, Lady Bird), who helped instal the Lakers’ killer fast break offence. “Just the pace alone made the game so much more exciting to watch,” says Reilly.

Of course, the magic ingredient was the players themselves, headlined by the likes of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Stormin’ Norman Nixon and the man many fans still consider the greatest point guard of all time, Earvin ‘Magic’ Johnson.

“Buss was looking for showmanship, and there was no player better suited to that than Magic Johnson,” says series writer and co-creator Max Borenstein (Godzilla vs. Kong). As Reilly puts it, “Jerry and Magic shared a sense of obligation to the audience to entertain.”

Finding the actors to step into the players’ oversize shoes was no mean feat. In addition to convincingly capturing the essence of their larger-than-life (and still living) subjects, the actors had to be athletic, and very tall – 1.8m (or 6 ft 2 in) is considered fairly short for a basketball player. And, they had to be able to move – both on the court and off.

At the show’s Los Angeles premiere, McKay revealed that the casting process was “one of the greatest challenges I have ever encountered. How do you cast Magic Johnson? How do you cast Kareem Abdul-Jabbar?”.

The team got lucky with actor DeVaughn Nixon (Snowfall, Runaways), who stepped up to play his real-life father, Norm Nixon, but filling the other iconic roles would take a wide net, and a willingness to bet on unknown talent.

They finally found their Magic Johnson in former college football player and screen newcomer Quincy Isaiah, who had been for hundreds of auditions and was about to throw in the towel and join the military when Winning Time snapped him up, while professional basketball player and educator Dr. Solomon Hughes makes his acting debut as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

Read Also: Award-winning, record-breaking Africa Month recommendations from Showmax

But could the actors deliver the goods on the court? An intensive basketball bootcamp with show consultant and former Laker Rick Fox tested them to the limits, and then basketball tech Idan Ravin, known as The Hoops Whisperer, came in to nail down the characters’ iconic playing styles.

“The training regime was brutal,” says Nixon. And it had to be. As Ravin says, “It’s one thing to say, ‘Okay, I’m just playing a basketball player on TV.’ That’s easy. It’s another thing to play a basketball player that everybody knows.”

The cast also includes Oscar winners Adrien Brody (The French Dispatch, Succession, The Pianist) and Sally Field (Maniac, Forrest Gump, Brothers & Sisters), Emmy winner Julianne Nicholson (Mare of Easttown, I, Tonya), Emmy nominee Gaby Hoffman (Transparent, Girls) and Screen Actors Guild nominee Jason Clarke (Mudbound, Zero Dark Thirty).

Inspired by Jeff Pearlman’s no-holds-barred book Showtime: Magic, Kareem, Riley, and the Los Angeles Lakers Dynasty of the 1980s, Winning Time has an 84% critics’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with the critics’ consensus saying, “Winning Time pairs a larger-than-life roster of characters with whiplash style to deliver an absolute slam dunk.”

Vogue declared it “the escapist sports drama we need now,” while Rolling Stone called the show, “a hell of a lot of fun to watch.”

HBO has already renewed Winning Time for a second season.

Watch Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty on Showmax: https://www.showmax.com/eng/tvseries/zwlnmori-winning-time-the-rise-of-the-lakers-dynasty
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Apple Music’s Africa Now Radio this Friday with Ruger

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This Week’s Episode Features a Conversation With Ruger, 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, July 1st at 9a Lagos/London / 10a Johannesburg/Paris / 1a LA / 4a NYC on Apple Music 1 and broadcast on Cool FM in Nigeria every Sunday at 6pm.

Cover Star Interview
Nigerian Afropop star Ruger joins Dadaboy Ehiz via FaceTime on Apple Music 1 to talk about his latest track, “Girlfriend.” He also discusses his new album, ‘The Second Wave (Deluxe),’ recording music in unusual places, and reaffirming his talent.

The Big 5
Dadaboy Ehiz shares the 5 hottest new African tracks of the moment. This week’s selection includes new tracks from Ibraah feat. Maud Elka, Timaya, Mlindo The Vocalist feat. Madumane, Yemi Alade, and Sampa the Great feat. Chef 187, Tio Nason and Mwanje.

Africa Rising 
Ghanaian Afro-fusion singer-songwriter Gyakie is the latest Africa Rising cover star, a campaign which shines a light on the next generation of African superstars, and this week’s show features her singles, “FOR MY BABY,” and “SOMETHING.” Listen HERE.

Read Also: Headie One Releases “Bigger Than Life” Featuring Dutch Rapper Frenna

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 South African singer-songwriter Samthing Soweto and his single, “Amagents,” from Apple Music’s Mzansi Hits playlist, showcasing South Africa’s biggest hits. Listen HERE.

Tune in and listen to the full episode this Friday July 1st at 9a Lagos/London / 10a Johannesburg/Paris / 1a LA / 4a NYC on Apple Music 1 at apple.co/_AfricaNow or on Cool FM in Nigeria every Sunday at 6pm.

RUGER ON RELEASING A DELUXE EDITION OF ‘THE SECOND WAVE’

 

It was only right for us to do that, because these songs were supposed to be on that from the beginning. We were supposed to release like 7 songs, but we cut it down to 4. Then, the idea came from releasing ‘The Second Wave’ EP. We said that we’d release 4 songs, then release 3 additional songs as a deluxe. Then, as life goes on new vibes came from the studio, so we said we’re not even putting those additional 3 songs, we’re going to put new additional 3 songs. That’s how it happened, and I’m happy with how it’s going. Thank God for everything.

Read Also: Nigeria’s new hiphop star, Portable granted bail after reporting himself to police

RUGER ON HIS GRATITUDE AND DETERMINATION

 

I feel good, I feel blessed going to every country that I go to. Netherlands, Australia… People singing my songs word for word. It’s an amazing feeling because not every artist comes out within a year and that song travels that far, but I am a testimony. I thank God and I thank everyone that enjoys my music as it comes out every time. It’s just encouragement for me to work harder and keep doing my best. Never going to the studio to do any mediocre sounds, never going to the studio to say “Whatever I drop they’re going to listen,” I go into the studio giving my 100% best and God will do the rest for me.

RUGER ON FAST-CONSUMING FANS

 

People tend to forget how good Ruger is. People are fast consumers so they consume what they have now and then… Do they forget about you? I don’t know but I feel like if they don’t hear anything from you in a while they feel like “Where’s Ruger?” They should always know that whenever Ruger comes through, it’s always a 100% vibe so these songs are very personal songs to me – “Girlfriend” is a personal song, “WeWe” is a personal song, “Warning” is a personal song – it’s just me stating about my personal experiences, and people who can relate to what I’m talking about, can relate. I feel like these songs are going to go very far, I’m proud of what I’ve done in the studio and I’m thankful to everyone supporting me in every little way they can. I’ll keep giving my best.

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Efia Odo, Sista Afia and more open up their lives in GH Queens, now streaming on Showmax

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Binge-watch all 10 episodes of the reality series, plus an explosive 3-part reunion. Reality fans buckle up: the Ghanaian queens have arrived in full swing on Showmax. Expect drama and chaos in the first reality show of its kind in Ghana.

(more…)

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2022 Tour de France to take Showmax Pro subscribers on 109th edition journey

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The 2022 Tour de France is on track for its 109th edition. It will kick off on 1 July in Copenhagen (starting abroad for the 24th time) with the final stage finishing at the Champs Élysées in Paris on 24 July. Riders will cover a total of 3 328 km across flat, hilly and mountain stages.

Showmax Pro subscribers across the African continent (excluding those in South Africa, Mauritius and Lesotho) will be able to join the ride live to see who will finish the race in the coveted yellow jersey.

Slovenian cyclist Tadej Pogačar, winner of both the 2020 and 2021 editions, is the clear favourite to bring home his third title in a row. The 23-year-old is riding for UAE Team Emirates. His compatriot Primož Roglič of Team Jumbo Visma has three Tour de France stages to his name and is also among the contenders. Others include Welshman Geraint Thomas, riding for Ineos Grenadiers, and last year’s runner-up, Jonas Vingegaard.

Two South African riders, Lotto-Soudal’s Reinardt Janse van Rensburg and Intermarché–Wanty–Gobert Matériaux’s Louis Mentjies, will be looking to make their country proud in the French tour.

Read also:SXSW Announces New Event in Australia

Other riders to keep an eye out for include Kenyan-born and four-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome, who will want to pick up a recent win with his last victory coming in 2017. He will be racing for Isreal-Premier Tech.

The 109th men’s edition of the Tour de France will be followed by the first ever edition of the Tour de France Femmes, one of women’s cycling’s two grand tours. This comes after years of campaigning to get an equivalent to the men’s tour, with the action getting underway from the 24 to 31 July. What many are calling a race for the history books will begin on the Champs-Élysées in Paris and finish at La Super Planche des Belles-Filles. The historic race will see riders compete in eight stages and cover 1 029km.

It has been announced that 24 teams are set to go head to head in the eight-day race. Frenchwoman Aude Biannic is looking to impress at her debut Tour Femmes in her home country with home support. Boasting Annemiek van Vleuten on their roster, Movistar are setting out to achieve overall victory at the Tour de France Femmes – a race that holds extra significance for teammate Breton Biannic, who will be challenging at home.

Elisa Longo Borghini is fresh off a 34-kilometre win at Paris-Roubaix and the Italian will now be 100% focused on paddling to victory at Tour Femmes.

Showmax Pro subscribers across Africa excluding South Africa, Mauritius and Lesotho can follow all the racing action at this year’s Tour de France and Tour de France Femmes.

Why Showmax Pro?

Showmax Pro is a streaming service available for Showmax subscribers in Africa that bundles the existing Showmax entertainment offering with music channels, news and live sports streaming from SuperSport. You can tune in from any of your favourite gadgets, anywhere you are in the globe.

Subscribers can live stream the latest seasons of the English Premier League, LaLiga, Serie A, UEFA Europa and UEFA Conference leagues, the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers and more.

The platform also offers a wide range of other live sports events including athletics, professional boxing, and the world’s biggest marathons.

Stream on two devices at the same time when you subscribe to Showmax Pro.
To learn more and join the Pros, visit showmax.com to subscribe to Showmax Pro.

Join the conversation on social media

Twitter: @ShowmaxPro
Instagram: @ShowmaxPro
Facebook: @ShowmaxOnline

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Falz talks about ‘BAHD’ collaborators and more on Apple Music’s Africa Now Radio

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This Week’s Episode Features a Conversation With Falz, 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, June 24th at 9a Lagos/London / 10a Johannesburg/Paris / 1a LA / 4a NYC on Apple Music 1 and broadcast on Cool FM in Nigeria every Sunday at 6pm.

Cover Star Interview
Nigerian singer, rapper and actor Falz joins Dadaboy Ehiz via FaceTime on Apple Music 1 to talk about his latest track, “Knee Down (feat. Chike).” He also discusses his new album, ‘B A H D,’ what keeps him inspired, and how he spends his time in between projects.

Read Also: Samsney Recruits Black Sherif, Kelyvnboy And Darkovibes On His New Single, ‘Kuacha’

The Big 5
Dadaboy Ehiz shares the 5 hottest new African tracks of the moment. This week’s selection includes new tracks from Samthing Soweto, Ruger, Krizbeatz, Bella Shmurda & Ravyanny, Scorpion Kings, and KO-C feat. Innoss’B.

Africa Rising 
South African amapiano DJ-producer duo TxC 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 their single, “Too Deep (feat. Dinky Kunene & TNK MusiQ).” Listen HERE.

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 Tanzanian Afrobeats singer-songwriter Mimi Mars and her single, “La La (feat. Marioo),” from Apple Music’s EA Wave playlist, showcasing East Africa’s biggest hits. Listen HERE.

Tune in and listen to the full episode this Friday June 24th at 9a Lagos/London / 10a Johannesburg/Paris / 1a LA / 4a NYC on Apple Music 1 at apple.co/_AfricaNow or on Cool FM in Nigeria every Sunday at 6pm.

Falz on what to expect from ‘B A H D’

Expect something sexy, expect naughty Falz, expect emotional Falz, vulnerable Falz… it’s like a blend of all these different emotions.

A lot of people look at me like “Ok this guy is a responsible soul, he’s always fighting for our lives but he’s now coming on a sexy thing.” There are so many different sides to me already so I feel like people are already used to me being this guy with such multiplicity in his person.

Falz on staying inspired

I just consume other forms of art, I listen to other artists, try to pay attention to stuff I’m generally into, stuff that I like, trying to draw inspiration from that. If I listen to a completely different genre, I’m like “I need to challenge myself. I can do this. Why can’t I do this?” That’s how I stay inspired.

Falz on BAHD collaborators

I always wanted to work with all these guys that I have on the project, so this project just presented the perfect opportunity to make that happen. It was pretty simple thankfully and shout out to them, it was seamless. It was just like “Yo, I’m working on this project, let’s make one happen” and everyone came through. Every single collaboration has its own story but everything was pretty straight forward and beautiful to create.

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Journey of The Beats, Showmax Original music docu-series premieres, includes companion Spotify playlist with each episode

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Journey of The Beats, Showmax Original music docu-series premieres, includes companion Spotify playlist with each episode

“Music is the fuel that fires up our souls. It’s the oldest form of communication, predating language itself. African music is synonymous with the word Afrobeats.” So begins the first episode of Journey of the Beats, a new docu-series that follows the journey of Nigerian and black music through the years, and is now streaming exclusively on Showmax.

Told through the lens of music historians and some of Nigeria’s biggest artists, like 2Baba, P-Square, Onyeka Onwenu, Daddy Showkey, Flavour, and D’Banj, the 10-part documentary series traces the origins of Afrobeats that has taken the world by storm.

Journey of the Beats is produced by creative entrepreneur and the creator of Storm Records, Obi Asika.

Watch the trailer for Journey of the Beats:

Each episode of the series is complemented by a Spotify playlist. Episode One: Origins and the Switch Up is curated by Ed Keazor, co-director and producer on Journey of the Beats and a historian, lawyer and musician.

Read Also: Superhero series ‘Peacemaker’ delivers something no one saw coming! Streaming on Showmax

This Spotify playlist of 103 songs straddles the grooves that made Nigeria dance from the dawn of time, with traditional drum and melodic tunes, through to the birth of modern popular music in the 1920s.

Find the Spotify playlist here: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/6zYlHpavDbsI8RpQJ5zbyC

The playlist covers the birth of highlife music, through to the influence of Latin and Caribbean genres like rhumba and calypso, US jazz, soul, RnB and funk, as well as the birth of a uniquely Nigerian sound, with juju, highlife, Fuji, and Afrobeat.

New episodes of the music documentary drop every Friday exclusively on Showmax. Afrobeats fans, documentary lovers and anyone who appreciates music can subscribe to watch the docuseries on www.showmax.com.

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African spectators to witness Wimbledon on Showmax Pro, courtesy of SuperSport

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It is a momentous occasion for tennis as the world’s oldest and most prestigious tennis tournament, the Wimbledon Champions, returns for its 135th edition from 27 June to 10 July 2022. Showmax Pro subscribers across Africa, excluding those in South Africa, Mauritius and Lesotho, will be able to live stream all the action from the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in London, courtesy of SuperSport.
Six-time champion Novak Djokovic looks to defend his title following his return to competitive tennis at Roland Garros in May, where he was knocked out of the tournament by a defeat against Rafael Nadal, who won the men’s singles title for a record 14th time and secured his second Grand Slam of the calendar year, having also won the Australian Open at the start of 2022.
These wins put Nadal at 22 Grand Slam titles in total – two ahead of both of his long-standing rivals, Djokovic and Roger Federer, who is currently injured. Djokovic leads their head-to-head by 30 wins to Nadal’s 28 – the Serbian has won the most finals, with 15 to Nadal’s 13, but Nadal will be boosted going into this year’s Wimbledon with the most Grand Slam wins in history.
This year is set to wow spectators as the 19-year-old newcomer Carlos Alcaraz, who is also the youngest player to defeat both Nadal and Djokovic, is one of the top contenders alongside 2021 Wimbledon runner-up, Matteo Berrettini, and Roland Garros runner-up, Casper Ruud. Stan Wawrinka returns following a 2021 surgery and will compete at Wimbledon for the first time since 2019 after receiving a wildcard.
In the women’s field, reigning champion Ashleigh Barty announced her retirement from professional tennis in March 2022. The ladies’ field is currently led by world number one, Iga Swiatek, who looks to extend her record-equalling 35-match winning run and secure a third Grand Slam title following her recent win and second French Open title at Roland Garros against Coco Gauff.
Top female contenders include four-time Grand Slam winner and local favourite, Emma Raducanu. This year will also see Serena Williams returning to Grand Slam tennis after being granted a main draw wild-card slot in this year’s field. Williams has won the most Grand Slam titles, including Wimbledon seven times, most recently winning on back-to-back occasions in 2015 and 2016. Naomi Osaka will miss out on this year’s action due to a last-minute injury.
Showmax Pro subscribers across Africa, excluding South Africa, Mauritius and Lesotho, have a front-row seat to catch all the action from one of the four Grand Slams at Wimbledon 2022, streaming live courtesy of SuperSport.
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