This post is inspired by the countless hours I spent during the easter weekend watching re-runs of long running South African soap ‘Generations‘. Southern Africans may be familiar with the show which can be compared to the ‘Bold and Beautiful’ ie rich powerful family being the center of the show. (Generations had the Mokora’s while Bold had the Forresters). Even though I had already watched those episodes many years ago, I didn’t mind re-watching because they reminded me of home (Africa) and seeing people of my color on TV, which American TV doesn’t really have. So I thought I’d share some new and old African centered TV shows in case anyone is as nostalgic as me
WHATS UP AFRICA
Funny man Ikenna Azuike hosts ‘Whats Up Africa’, a weekly video blog offering commentary on current affairs on the African continent mixed in with latest African music videos and a blog of the week. It’s great for laughs so tune in. Watch the latest episode below:
THE AMERICAN DREAM: AN AFRICAN TALE
I first heard about this show via Africa is A Country, then saw it on Clutch magazine . It’s something I can definitely relate to. ie people messing up my name (i’ve been called Monique Kapamawe and so many other things), the whole ‘Do you speak African thing’ etc. The best part is that you can email the show’s creators and have your own story told.
BIG BROTHER AFRICA
BBA is back for another season next month. My sisters kept me updated on every season since I hardly watch it anymore. Speaking of which, did you know Karen just got engaged? Cherise won the very first BBA. She’s Zambian and everyone fell in love with her famous ‘Tumba Dance’. I will definitely be tuning in this season because contestants enter as pairs, so it will be double the drama. I used to have dreams of being on BBA. Till I realized my parents would probably disown me for drinking, swearing or something.lol
This show which is broadcast on South African channel Vuzu Tv can be called ‘The African Version of CRIBS’ which was on MTV. South African socialities and celebrities give you sneak peeks into their fabulous houses, lives, shoes etc. Check out an episode featuring radio personality, reality tv star, tv host and fashionista Bonang Matheba. I WANT her entire wardrobe!lol
STUDIO 53/ 53 extra
I used to LOVE studio 53. As in I wanted a job as a host of that show which was hosted by Gateano from Big Brother Africa and Rosie. Each week, one of their reporters would explore a new african country, attend an event etc and report on it. The original show no longer airs except on the Africa Channel and was replaced by 53 extra which is dominated by Nigerian events. To be honest, I’m not sure why it’s stilled called S 53 if they only focus on one country, but maybe that’s just me. Eku Edewor who I featured in the ‘Seeing Double’ article hosts with Mercy Dolapo.
Bonang Matheba who you watched in the ‘Top Shayela’ video has her own show called ‘Bedazzled’ which has her camera team follow her around as she hosts different events, poses for the covers of magazines etc. She’s living my dream life (*sigh)
MTV BASE MEETS
MTV Base meets gets young Africans together to ask burning questions to people they admire. The episode below features Africa’s richest man Aliko Dagnote.
Nollywood actress Nadia Buari of ‘Beyonce’ fame apparently has a reality show lined up which she stars in with her family. The pilot has been out for a while, but I’m not sure if it’s been picked up yet though.
MANDELA’S DAUGHTERS REALITY SHOW
When Nelson Mandela’s grand daughters announced that they would have a reality TV show, I was kind of shocked. Mandela is known as being quite reclusive, so this show will be interesting (it will not feature him though). The women have insisted that it won’t be a ‘Keeping Up with the Kardashian’ type show. US networks were interested in the show, but I haven’t heard word about it’s air dates yet.
I have raved about this show enough and have even written about it for Young African Visionaries Magazine in an article titled ‘Shuga and Sex: Changing the way African Youth deal with Sex’, but in case you’ve been living under a rock, it’s about the love triangles among a group of Kenyan college students. Check out an episode below. I cannot wait for next season!
While I impatiently wait for Shuga to return, I’m looking forward to this new ‘set- in Kenya show’ which Marie introduced me to a few days ago. I checked out the pilot and it looks so juicy. Definitely one to watch.
I’ve heard about this show for years, but I’ve never actually watched it. However, from what I hear, its a brilliantly written . According to tvsa, the premise is as follows “Jacob’s Cross is a South African television drama series made by M-Net Original Productions, about powerful oil magnates battling for Africa’s rich off-shore oil resources.Set in both South Africa and Nigeria, the story centres around businessman Jacob Makhubu and his quest to build the next great South African empire.” It stars popular South African actor Hlomla Dandala or ‘Derek Nyati’ from Isidigo.
MEET THE ADEBANJOS
Looking for an African version of the ‘Cosby Show?’ ‘Meet the Adebanjo’s may be the answer. It offers a glimpse into the life of a Nigerian family in London and it’s pretty relatable for Africans raised in the diaspora.
NO 1 LADIES DETECTIVE AGENCY
Think Africa’s version of Nancy Drew. Initially based on a series of books by Botswana born Alexander McCall Smith which my childhood best friend was obsessed with, the book became an HBO show starring singer/actress Jill Scott Anika Noni Rose. I really wish there could have been a second season. There was a movement to revive the show, but I’m not sure what happened after.
This is Africa’s version of ‘Fashion Police’ meets ‘What not to Wear’. Panelists rate looks worn by mostly Ghanaian celebrities to events in the first half of the show. The second half features a makeover.
So there does it! Of course there are tons more shows, so maybe I’ll do a part 2, but based off the ones above, which ones are your faves? Any new one’s you’re excited to see? Any tips on shows I should check out? PS: I omitted soapies, but you can youtube Isidingo, Generations etc. Please let me know in the comment section below. Oh, and one last thing: Anyone have an uncle/aunt/ relative that owns an African TV show? Because I do want my own show please