2021 is flying right by and just like that we’re in February aka I Am LAYCON month!
The wait is nearly over as Showmax’s first Nigerian original, I Am LAYCON kicks off from February 11th. I Am LAYCON joins other Showmax originals billed for launch this month including DAM, a South African psychological thriller, and Crime and Justice, the first-ever Kenyan Showmax Original.
Here’s a highlight of what’s coming to Showmax Nigeria this February.
I Am LAYCON | February 11
In September 2020, Lekan “Laycon” Agbeleshe emerged winner of Big Brother Naija season five having entered the house with dreams of promoting his music career.
Now starring in his very own reality show and Nigeria’s first-ever Showmax Original I Am LAYCON, fans will get the chance to follow him on his journey after the house as he pursues his music career while managing fame and his personal relationships. Also look out for cameos from fellow ex-BBNaija housemates Lilo and Vee, among others.
I Am LAYCON kicks off February 11th with the first five episodes available for streaming and episodes 6-10 streaming from March 4th.
First Time Mom | February 12
Based on the parenting blog of Temilola Akinmuda, a well-known personality in Nigeria, who has her own talk show on radio, her own online platform, and is the award-winning producer for series like Skinny Girl in Transit and Things Men Say. Look out for the first three episodes on Showmax from February 12, with weekly episodes every Friday at the same time as they air on Africa Magic.
Best of Africa
The Real Housewives of Durban | Fridays
The glam is unleashed as the The Real Housewives franchise hits the coastal South African city, Durban.
Fans of the franchise can expect all the fashion, drama and fabulosity associated with The Real Housewives as the show centres around six Durban-based queens who are successful business women in their own right. We get a glimpse into their glamourous lives, gorgeous homes and relationships.
RHOD is the 24th international – and second South African – instalment of The Real Housewives franchise, which is distributed internationally by NBCUniversal Formats, a division of Universal Studio Group. The show premiered on January 29 with new episodes showing every Friday.
DAM | February 22
The new South-African Showmax Original series DAM is a psychological thriller written and directed by four-time South African Film and Television Award (SAFTA) winner Alex Yazbek (Unmarried, Isibaya).
Award-winning actress Lea Vivier stars as Yola Fischer, who returns from Chile to the Eastern Cape to bury her father. She discovers he’s left his farm to her, to the irritation of her sister, Sienna. This may be more of a curse than a blessing though, as the house seems to be trying to tell her something. But with her mother institutionalised, and her own meds running out, Yola has to wonder if the spirits are real or just in her head.
Two-time SAFTA winner Pallance Dladla (Shadow) co-stars as Themba, an intriguing biker on the run. Also look out for Hollywood actors Neil Sandilands (The Flash, The 100, The Americans) and Natasha Loring (Beaver Falls) as well as 2020 Africa Movie Academy Award nominee Faniswa Yisa (Knuckle City, upcoming Showmax Original Blood Psalms).
Raised by Wolves | February 1
Four-time Oscar nominee Ridley Scott, who is behind sci-fi classics like Alien, Blade Runner and The Martian, is back on our screens with the HBO sci-fi show, Raised by Wolves. Scott serves as executive producer and also directed the first two episodes of the show, which centres on two androids tasked with raising human children on virgin planet Kepler-22b after the Earth was destroyed in a great war.
The show has been described as the biggest TV series ever shot in South Africa and has already been nominated for three 2021 Critics’ Choice Super Awards: Best Science Fiction/Fantasy Series, Best Actor: Sci-Fi for Travis Fimmel (Vikings’ Ragnar) and Best Actress: Sci-Fi for Danish actress Amanda Collin.
HBO has already renewed Raised by Wolves for a second season, with NME saying, “Ridley Scott’s AI stunner is on a different planet… one of 2020’s most unmissable TV experiences.”
The Stand | Binge episodes 1-4 from 9 February and eps 5-19 from 16 March
Based on Stephen King’s best-selling novel, The Stand is an apocalyptic vision of a world decimated by plague and embroiled in an elemental struggle between good and evil. The fate of mankind rests on the frail shoulders of the 108-year-old Mother Abagail (Oscar winner Whoopi Goldberg) and a handful of survivors. Their worst nightmares are embodied in a man with a lethal smile and unspeakable powers: Randall Flagg, the Dark Man (Golden Globe winner Alexander Skarsgård).
Showrunner, executive producer and Emmy nominee Benjamin Cavell (Homeland) says, “None of us could have imagined that Stephen King’s 40-year-old masterpiece about a global pandemic would come to be so eerily relevant,” adding that the series includes a new coda that King has wanted to add for decades.
The Stand also stars James Marsden (The Notebook, Westworld) and Amber Heard (Queen Mera in Justice League and Aquaman)
Bosch | February 1
Based on Michael Connelly’s bestselling crime novels The Overlook and Dark Sacred Night, Season 6 of Bosch finds Harry Bosch (Titus Welliver from The Good Wife) at the centre of a complex murder case, a messy federal investigation, and a catastrophic threat to Los Angeles. Meanwhile, Edgar (Jamie Hector from The Wire) sets about cleaning house and Irving (Lance Reddick from The Wire) kicks off his mayoral campaign.
Season two through six have a 100% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, while Newsday says Bosch is “still one of TV’s top addictions, with a touch of hope.”
High Maintenance | February 1
Still keeping spirits high and rolling with the times, comedy anthology series High Maintenance follows New York’s most chilled-out deliveryman and weed dealer as he visits his clientele, dipping into the lives of people across New York.
High Maintenance has an 8.1/10 score on IMDb and a 100% critics rating for both Season 3 and 4 on Rotten Tomatoes. “There are as many fascinating New York stories as there are fascinating New Yorkers, and High Maintenance continues to mine the depths for the most luminous ones,” says indieWire. “Sinclair and Blichfeld’s world feels real and lived in – a real show, about a real city.”
Utopia Falls | February 1
Rapper Snoop Dog lends his voice to the sci-fi hip-hop drama, Utopia Falls, or as Den of Geek memorably described the show “Divergent meets Step Up,” while Polygon preferred “The Hunger Games meet Glee.”
The domed city of New Babyl holds an annual coming-of-age arts contest called The Exemplar. When a group of young competitors uncover a hidden archive of cultural artefacts from the old world, it throws everything they know about New Babyl into question.
Utopia Falls is written and executive produced by fast-rising Canadian Screen Award-nominated writer-director R.T. Thorne (Find Me in Paris, Blindspots) and Hugo Award nominee Joseph Mallozzi (Stargate SG-1, Stargate: Atlantis).
Utopia Falls won a 2020 Directors Guild of Canada Award for Production Design, with a further nomination for its Picture Editing.
The Hunt | February 15
The Hunt is a horror-thriller starring Betty Gilpin (GLOW, Coffee & Kareem), Hilary Swank (double Oscar winner for Million Dollar Baby and Boys Don’t Cry) and Emma Roberts (Scream Queen, We’re the Millers)
The movie follows twelve strangers who wake up in a clearing. They don’t know where they are, or how they got there. They don’t know they’ve been chosen for a very specific purpose – The Hunt.
The Hunt was nominated for Best Action Movie at the Critics’ Choice Super Awards, where Emmy nominee Gilpin won Best Actress: Action, beating out co-star Swank.
The Gentleman | February 15
Directed by Oscar-nominated crime movie master Guy Ritchie, The Gentleman follows American expat Mickey Pearson (Matthew McConaughey) whose plan to sell off his marijuana empire in London triggers plotting, scheming, bribery and blackmail as rivals try to steal his domain out from under him.
The all-star cast includes Hugh Grant (Notting Hill, Four Weddings and a Funeral), Charlie Hunnam (Sons of Anarchy, Pacific Rim) and Colin Farrell (Minority Report, Total Recall).
The Gentlemen is a crowd-pleaser Washington Post calls “a funny, violent, rambunctious shaggy-dog story of a crime caper featuring an ensemble cast studded with colorful characters…”
Daniel Isn’t Real | February 22
As a child, Luke witnessed something terrible, something only his imaginary friend Daniel could help him through. Now a troubled college freshman, Luke is struggling to cope, until his best friend turns up once more. But Daniel is dangerous, and he’s already inside Luke’s head…
Arnie’s son Patrick Schwarzenegger plays Daniel and it has an 82% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes, where the critics consensus says, “Daniel Isn’t Real, but the smart, stylish fun waiting for genre lovers in this well-acted suspense thriller is completely genuine.”
The movie also stars Nigerian-British actor, Chukwudi Iwuji, who has had roles in shows like Quantico, Madam Secretary and Designated Survivor.
The Photograph | February 4
Put this generation-crossing romance movie at the top of your To Watch list this Valentine’s month.
Issa Rae (Insecure) was nominated for a 2020 People’s Choice Award for her performance here as gallery curator Mae, who falls for Michael (Lakeith Stanfield from Atlanta and Knives Out), a journalist documenting the life of Mae’s famous late mother, who was better at photographing people than loving them.
Rotten Tomatoes’ critics consensus praises its “gorgeous visuals”, “affecting love story, and simmering chemistry between Issa Rae and Lakeith Stanfield.”
Nollywood: Film Business African Style
Nollywood is described as the second largest movie producing industry in the world, generating millions of dollars annually and attracting investors from around the world.
Nollywood shines the light on this rapidly evolving industry and the people drawn to the opportunities it offers, including former IROKO Tv co-founder, Bastian Gotter who financed one of the earlier video streaming platforms out of the country. Also featured are director Abba Makama (The Lost Okoroshi), who is trying to create an arthouse movement like a Nigerian “New Wave”, and film producer Don Omope, who hopes the scene’s positive atmosphere will create “Nigerian Tarantinos and Spielbergs.”
The fun is still on with Africa Magic Yoruba streaming live on Showmax. Catch some of the hottest Yoruba actors such as Odunlade Adekola, Wumi Toriola, Bimpe Oyebade, Kemi Afolabi and more on Africa Magic Yoruba, streaming live on Showmax 24/7.
Football fans are not left out of the action as Premier League matches are streamed live on the Showmax Pro plan every weekend. Also catch up on local news via a host of Nigerian channels streaming on Showmax, including Channels TV, Silverbird, NTA International and AIT.