Many people would probably react to this title with a question: So, why should I watch African TV shows? Well, for one thing, it’s always interesting to watch films about countries you are planning to visit because you can often learn a lot about their culture through these before your visit. But even if you aren’t necessarily planning to visit Africa in the near future, you’d be surprised at both the variety and quality entertainment coming out of Africa. And in today’s globalized world of high-speed internet streaming, where it’s getting easier to find TV shows from across the globe, why not give African shows a chance? From comedy to drama and romance, there is literally a genre for everyone. So here is a selection of a variety of TV shows that you can stream from around the continent.
CNN and the BBC summed this up pretty well when they both described this series as “Africa’s answer to ‘Sex and the City’.” It follows five Ghanaian and Nigerian women who have recently returned to their home continent after forging successful careers, and confide in one another about life in “An African City.” The creator of this African TV show – Nicole Amarteifio – also sums it up in an interview with CNN in 2014: “I wanted something for African women, something for us, by us.” This is definitely one show that will naturally appeal to all the girls out there, and to ‘Sex and the City’ fans specifically.
A comedy/mockumentary based on the development sector in Kenya. The show follows the daily goings-on at a local field office for a fictional NGO “Aid for Aid.” Fans of the British comedy “The Office”, starring Ricky Gervais, will notice parallels between the two shows, with painfully awkward monologues from the NGO’s director, Scott, who doesn’t have a clue what he is doing! This African TV show is guaranteed to entertain and amuse you, with the antics in the NGO’s office and the often ridiculous decisions they make creating a truly ‘laugh out loud’ comedy show.
According to the show’s co-creator, Lisa Lane Drennan, the concept of the show was initially going to be a parody about the suburban white-culture in South Africa. However, as the show and script developed, they realized it was not just about white people and the lives in the suburbs, but more about the ‘problems’ that middle-class people deal with all around the world. As such, it’s been compared to shows such as the US-hit series, “Modern Family.” What is especially great about this African TV show is that the first two seasons are available on YouTube. So its content is highly-accessible for anyone who wants to enjoy the show.
This is a political satire web series from Nigeria, with the whole series filmed with puppets. The show might remind UK viewers of the hugely popular 1980’s/90’s political satire, “Spitting Image”, which also used puppets. Season two of this African TV show is focused on the Nigerian 2015 elections. Each episode runs at around 5-minutes, so it’s a quick fun watch. The show went viral with over 100,000 views and was nominated for Best Online Video for 2015’s Africa Magic Viewer’s Choice awards.
The final show on our list, Tinsel, is a hugely popular and indeed a dramatic soap-opera, overflowing with a star-studded cast of actors and actresses. This has made the show addictive, keeping its viewers hooked on the lives of the adults leading their dramatic lives of romance, betrayal, and passion. This African TV show will definitely appeal to those who are fans of soap-operas such as ‘Coronation Street’ in the UK or for North American fans of the hit soap-opera “Days of our Lives.”