Published Jul 12
The best African content on Showmax
DEVILSDORP | Binge from 29 July
In 2016, a spate of brutal Appointment Murders gripped the town of Krugersdorp, leaving sales people and consultants terrified to book meetings in case they were the serial killer’s next victims. The investigation led detectives to a series of unsolved cold cases, the so-called Satanic Murders, and to links between 11 Krugersdorp killings between 2012 and 2016. They discovered these were the work of the Electus per Deus (Chosen by God) cult.
“The result of an 18-month research process, Devilsdorp shows again that truth is stranger than fiction, especially in South Africa,” says director David Enright. "This is the story of the events that rocked an entire community and forever changed the lives of those involved, especially the families of the victims. What started as a group of devout Christians trying to help a former satanist escape the satanic church ended in a murderous spree involving a killer mom, her two children, and a cult with more victims than members. It may all sound too far-fetched to be believed, except it really happened - just down the road from us."
UTHANDO LODUMO | Binge now
Uthando Lodumo follows Bongekile Simelane and Mandla Maphumulo, better known as gqom superstars Babes Wodumo and Mampintsha, from Mapintsha’s sensational proposal live on air on Gagasi FM in October 2020, through marriage counselling, lobola negotiations and pregnancy, all the way to their vibrant traditional wedding in April 2021.
Babes burst onto the gqom scene with Wololo, featuring Mampintsha and Distruction Boyz, which racked up over 11m views on YouTube alone and nabbed nominations as Record of the Year at the MTV Africa Music Awards and the South African Music Awards, among others. But their relationship hasn’t always been a fairytale, with an incident of gender-based violence trending on social media in 2019. In Uthando Lodumo, West Ink Records founder Mampintsha is still dealing with the aftermath of that controversy, as his initial letter to Babes’s family is rejected, and Babes worries that his apology to her parents may not be enough to keep her family from turning Mampintsha’s family away at the gate...
THE SNAIL AND THE WHALE
In June 2021, Annecy International Animation Festival awarded Cape Town company Triggerfish the Mifa Animation Industry Award. Previous recipients include Christopher Meledandri, founder of Illumination (Despicable Me); the co-founders of Aardman, Peter Lord and David Sproxton (Wallace & Grommet); and Marc Bonny, the creator of Gebeka Films (My Life As A Courgette).
Watch most of Triggerfish’s animations on Showmax, including Julia Donaldson adaptations like the 2021 Annie Awards winner The Snail and the Whale, 2020 International Emmy winner Zog, Annecy-winning Stick Man, and the Rose d’Or-winning The Highway Rat, all produced by Magic Light Pictures, not to mention their Oscar-nominated Roald Dahl adaptation Revolting Rhymes and their multi-award-winning second feature film, Khumba, in English and Afrikaans.
LUMUMBA, DEATH OF A PROPHET | Stream now
Raoul Peck’s 1991 documentary Lumumba, Death of a Prophet is currently screening at Cannes International Film Festival as part of the Cannes Classics selection – and on Showmax.
1961: The first leader of the newly independent Republic of the Congo, Patrice Lumumba was arrested, tortured and executed by a firing squad in Katanga. 1962: Raoul Peck, aged eight, is forced to leave Haiti for the Congo along with his family. Thirty years later, between childhood memories, reports, archives and personal investigations, the filmmaker revisits Lumumba’s long concealed sacrificial disappearance, and its consequences for our present.
Lumumba, Death of a Prophet won the Procirep Award at Cinema du Reel, the Documentary Award at Fribourg and an Honourable Mention at Amiens, among other honours, while Peck’s career has gone from strength to strength, including the Oscar-nominated I Am Not Your Negro and this year’s Exterminate All The Brutes, the 12th-best reviewed new series of 2021 so far according to Metacritic.
ADDRESS UNKNOWN | Stream now
Address Unknown, winner of the Audience Award at the 2020 Durban International Film Festival and the 2021 South African Film and Television Award for Best Short Film, is now streaming on Showmax.
Set in District Six in 1976, the short film follows postman Joey (Stefan Erasmus from Trackers), who is depressed by the fact that he cannot deliver letters to friends and neighbours who have disappeared without a trace, due to the forced removals by the apartheid government. When Joey receives a letter for his childhood friend, Ebie (Irshaad Ally from Nommer 37), he sets off to look for him, despite the prevailing danger of the 1976 protests. 2020 Fleur du Cap nominee Bianca Flanders (Krotoa: Eva Van De Kaap) co-stars.
LIFE WITH KELLY KHUMALO S2 | Binge the first nine episodes now; new episodes every Thursday
The second season of Life With Kelly Khumalo is currently at #2 on the SA Top 20 on Showmax, after Season 1 became the fastest Showmax Original to top one million views and won the 2021 South African Film and Television Award for Best Soapie Structured Reality Show. “Fans have been asking for Season 2 since it first aired last year… so it was an easy decision to make,” Showmax’s head of content, Candice Fangueiro, said on the show’s renewal.
The sudden disappearance of Kelly’s mom in Season 1 left her heart-broken and confused. After Kelly asked about her biological father, Ntombi abruptly left for KwaZulu-Natal. They drifted even further apart over Kelly’s ongoing feud with her younger sister, Zandile. But in the Season 2 trailer, we see that Ntombi has returned, and Kelly suggests a visit to a psychologist. “She is the only family member I have left; I feel like I owe it to myself and my children to try and make this work,” says Kelly.
SKEMERDANS | Binge now
Skemerdans revolves around the Fortune family, whose eldest son Glenn (SAFTA winner Kevin Smith from Isidingo and Arendsvlei) owns The Oasis with his wife, Shireen (SAFTA winner Ilse Klink from Stroomop and Isidingo). Other members of the Fortune family are played by SAFTA winner Brendon Daniels (Four Corners, Sara se Geheim, Arendsvlei); SAFTA nominee Vinette Ebrahim (7de Laan, Binnelanders); Carmen Maarman (Arendsvlei, Lui Maar Op, Belinda); rising star Trudy van Rooy (Die Byl, Sara se Geheim); and Ceagan Arendse (Suidooster, Arendsvlei), who tragically passed away in February 2021. The first episode is dedicated to Arendse.
POWER RANGERS | Stream now
A reboot of the 90s series Mighty Morphin Power Rangers that became a pop culture phenomenon, Power Rangers follows five ordinary teens who must become something extraordinary when they learn that their small town of Angel Grove — and the world — is on the verge of being obliterated by an alien threat. Chosen by destiny, our heroes quickly discover they are the only ones who can save the planet. But to do so, they will have to overcome their real-life issues and, before it’s too late, band together as the Power Rangers.
JUNGLE BEAT: THE MOVIE (ZULU VERSION) | Stream now
Produced in Cape Town by Sunrise, Jungle Beat’s adorable animations have become a YouTube phenomenon, racking up over six million subscribers and nearly three billion views, as well as a host of awards. Now the animation’s stars, Munki and Trunk, have their own movie, which screened in competition at Annecy International Film Festival last year.
When a homesick alien crash-lands his spaceship near their jungle home, Munki, Trunk and their animal friends need to get him back to his ship and teach him about friendship and fun - before his father can take over Earth.