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From Nicole Amarteiffo’s audacious An African City to Leila Djansi’s progressive 40 & Single (coming soon to Showmax), African TV shows have mastered the art of storytelling and show us a side of Africa we didn’t even know existed.
When was the last time you watched an African show? If you paused before answering this or if your mind went totally blank trying to remember that show you watched back in 2016, then this post is for you. Yep, we are going down the rabbit hole in search of great African shows; here are our top 5 must-watch shows on Showmax right now.
Pascal Tokodi and Celestine Gachuhi are a match made in heaven in Selina, a Swahili telenovela that puts a local spin on the Cinderella story. Directed by award-winning director Reuben Odanga, Selina follows the life of a humble girl from the village, Selina (Gachuhu), who’s sold off to work as a maid to a wealthy family by her jealous step-mother but fate leads her right to the arms of her prince charming, Nelson (Tokodi). But star-crossed romance isn’t an easy battle to win, and Nelson and Selina prove that they have what it takes to fight for their love despite all the challenges thrown at them. Watch now »
Gripping plotline, check. Suspense, check. On-the-edge-of-your-seat drama, check. Brilliant acting, check. The River tells the story of two families – the wealthy Dlaminis and the poor Mokoenas – whose different lives collide when power and greed come into play. The River has all the recipes that great shows are made of, including a villain – Lindiwe Dlamini – who will make your heart stop every time she appears on screen, concocting her evil plans with no more than a stare. If not for the storyline, at least watch The River for this woman – she will not disappoint. Watch now »
Two-time Emmy nominee Thuso Mbedu is the feisty and defiant teen who will do anything to get the life she wants in the South African drama Is’Thunzi. It’s a powerful role that not only earned her two Emmy nominations, it also earned her a spot in the coveted Forbes Africa 30 Under 30 most promising young change-makers alongside fellow actress Nomzamo Mbatha (Isibaya) and Cassper Nyovest (Fill Up the Dome, Behind the Story: Cassper Nyovest). Watch now »
You can also catch Thuso as the strong-willed Ipeleng in MTV Shuga Down South.
An Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice winner and the most successful soapie to ever come out of Nigeria, Tinsel is set in the glamorous and cut-throat world of filmmaking and follows the rivalry between two families who dominate the industry. Tinsel, which has been on air since 2008, has featured some of the best actors from Nigeria and Ghana, including Kenya’s very own Lizz Njagah (How to Find a Husband, Jane and Abel) in earlier seasons. Watch now »
Nigerian filmmaker Lowladee gives us the best of both worlds when she pairs Kenyan heartthroab Nick Mutuma (Shuga, Disconnect) and Nigeria’s Chy Nwakanma in this fairytale romance about a young newlywed couple navigating their first year of marriage. Unlike many shows out there, This Is It is aspirational about marriage – it gives us a perfect couple and a perfect love story – the challenges they face in their day-to-day lives don’t stand a chance. Watch now »
More African shows to stream on Showmax:
Check out the Showmax series catalogue for more African and international binge-worthy shows.
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