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It may have taken us sometime to get here but African female filmmakers are taking over the film and TV industry in the continent, and the world. From Nigeria’s Mo Abudu building a global TV empire to South Africa’s Connie Ferguson channeling her years of experience into production to Kenya’s Wanuri Kahiu captivating judges at the Cannes 2018 with her film Rafiki. In no particular order, Showmax celebrates these 7 African female producers for the milestones they have made in the industry.
Arguably the most prolific TV producer in Kenya, Dorothy Ghettuba’s name has been imprinted in some of the biggest TV shows that have captivated audience from 2009 to date. Under her company Spielworks Media whose motto is “telling African stories,” Ghettuba has produced award-winning TV shows like the hit Swahili telenovela Sumu La Penzi, Lies that Bind, Jane and Abel, Saints which was and still is Kenya’s first ever medical drama entrepreneur, just to name a few. It has been a while since Ghettuba gave us a new obsession but we all can’t wait for the next gem she is going to unleash.
For now, we will enjoy the ones we have, Jane and Abel is available on Showmax.
Erica Anyadike revealed in a past interview with Showmax that she would love to be on the set of Issa Rae’s Insecure and Donald Glover’s Atlanta, and honestly, those two shows would be lucky to have her. A Wits University alum, Anyadike is the creator and producer of Wrath and the beloved How To Find a Husband, a show whose only flaw was to deny its fans the much-needed season 2. Featuring three fan-favourites Mumbi Maina, Sarah Hassan and Lizz Njagah, HTFAH chronicles the dating realities faced by young women in Kenya and the pressure to find a good man and finally settle down. How To Find a Husband and Wrath are streaming on Showmax.
Nigerian Omolola Adeleke isn’t afraid to wear her heart on her sleeve, and nothing captures this better than her latest and most successful TV show This Is It. A fairytale rom-com, This Is It revolves around the lives of newlywed coupe Tomide and Dede, who despite all the challenges and drama of new marriage, just want to love each other and figure “this marriage” thing out. In a world where TV shows thrive on turbulence and drama (some unnecessary), This Is It is exactly the show you need to watch if you are looking for a cute, sweet love story. So good is the show that it has been nominated for the Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice Awards 2018 in the Best TV Series category. Stream This Is It S1 and 2 now on Showmax.
In 2013, Appie Matere, the Executive Producer at Zamaradi Productions, helmed one of the biggest productions to ever grace our screens – Kona, an M-Net original telenovela that introduced us to Oyange family in the aftermath of the death of family’s partriach and their struggles as they try to control the wealth he left behind – a boxing gym which acts more as a safe space where young men come to battle their demons. An instant hit with viewers, Kona features the indomnitable Nini Wacera, Brenda Wairimu and Lwanda Jawar, and is available to stream on Showmax.
Shirley Frimpong Manso
Fierce in her quest in transforming Ghana’s television scene, Shirley Frimpong Manso might as well be the face (behind the scenes) of modern cinema in Ghana. From creating political thriller Shampaign, a series that captivated a nation and changed how women are portrayed in TV to the show Adams Apples that gave actress Jocelyn Dumas her entry into the “major leagues” of television and turned her into a household name. Shampaign and Adams Apples S1 and 2 are streaming now on Showmax.
A 2014 AMVCA nominee, Grace Kahaki is the director that brought to life the explosive psychological thriller New Beginnings under Insignia Productions. Featuring Joed Kariuki, Mugambi Nthiga and Maya Hayakawa, New Beginnings sheds light into the perils of love in a world where obsession and passion are constantly colliding. Stream New Beginnings on Showmax. Kahaki is also the director of the comedy series Arnold and Bundi, also on Showmax.
In the ever competitive world of television, 2014 was Lucy Chodota’s year. She was the latest TV producer to shake up the industry when she debuted her TV show Rush. An ambitious project starring former news anchor Janet Mbugua, Maryanne Nungo and songstress Wendy Kimani, and likened to Nicole Amarteifo’s African City, Rush was the fast-paced drama we all needed, and still yearn for a second season that could have been. Rush is available to stream on Showmax.
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