Showmax Screens Swahili Telenovelas That Are Revamping Kenya’s TV Industry
23 May 2019
In the history of Kenyan television, Swahili soap operas were the rage, according to many of the country’s TV viewers.
Swahili soapies such as Penzi Hatari, Tausi, and Kisulisuli were popular with the audiences and dominated the TV industry in Kenya.
These shows had seasoned actors like Ken Ambani, who quickly rose to stardom and became much-loved household names. However, somewhere along the way, Mexican telenovelas and Nollywood films took over in Kenya, and the hype around Swahili soapies started to fade.
A lot has changed in recent times, and to the delight of many Kenyan fans of the genre, there has been an emergence of Swahili telenovelas like Nira, Sumu La Penzi, Maza, Saida and Selina.
With the rebirth of this genre revamping Kenya’s TV industry one story at a time, Showmax has made the decision to support the movement by adding some exciting Swahili telenovelas to its colourful catalogue of shows to stream.
The video-streaming platform is currently showing some of the most favourite Swahili telenovelas such as film director and producer, Reuben Odanga’s Selina and Jiffy Pictures’ Maza.
Selina, Odanga’s production that has been commissioned by M-Net’s Maisha Magic East, is a popular award-winning telenovela that tells the tale of a poor girl - rich boy romance that takes over characters Selina and Nelson’s lives.
The series was an instant hit among Kenyan viewers and won Best TV Drama at the Kalasha Awards in 2018. Showmax is currently streaming season 1 to 4 of the telenovela.
Maza, the other Swahili Telenovela streaming on Showmax, follows the lead character, Kate, an envious woman who turns her best friend into a cat and steals her life.
The series brings to life the superstitious and supernatural intrigues that have become synonymous with the city of Mombasa.
Since its release in 2017, Maza quickly gained a massive following among the Kenyan audience.
One of Maza’s loyal fans who has followed the show since it premiered is the East-African digital content creator Shiko Nguru.
Nguru said that Maza has a strong storyline based on things that are culturally familiar to Kenyans. She added that the story is relatable and interesting representation at the same time.