Belonging to the MultiChoice group Video streaming platform Showmax is focusing on growing its presence in East Africa, announcing that it is working on four originals for the Kenyan market, all slated for release in 2022.
The content list includes a feature film, a crime drama series set in Kibera, a high-stakes political thriller series set in a fictional county, and a thriller series. MultiChoice did not disclose how much it spent on original content.
The investment in Kenyan content follows the release of Kenya’s first original Showmax series, Crime and justicenow in its second season, its first original film, Baba Twins, and the drama series Single Kiasi.
The investment comes as Netflix increases its spending on original African content, announcing last week that it will inject 900 million rand into the production of South African content over the next two years. This commitment will cover four productions – one international and three local – which will shoot in South Africa in 2022 and 2023, Netflix said.
“South Africa is rapidly becoming one of the world’s leading locations for Netflix productions, with the country seen as a hotspot with a robust and talented film industry filled with local creatives to bring international stories to life. “, said the company.
Timothy Okwaro, MultiChoice channel director for East and Southern Africa, said of the Kenyan investment in Showmax Originals that the slate “talks about our localization strategy and focus on working with local, established and upcoming producers to ensure that we give our viewers what they want”.
Showmax is also expanding its catalog of originals elsewhere on the continent. He recently launched his first original about Ghana, called ENO. The first Nigerian episode of the ‘Real Housewives’ franchise – The Real Housewives of Lagos – will premiere next month. Original South African shows in development include The Wife, The Real Housewives of Durban and blood psalmsa fantasy series set in ancient Africa.