Creators: Peace Hyde and Martin Asare Amankwa
Cast: Annie Macaulay-Idibia, Diamond Platnumz, Jeremiah Ogbodo, Zari Hassan, 2Baba, Nadia Nakai, Khanyi Mbau, and Naked DJ.
Year of release: March 18, 2022
Location: Johannesburg, South Africa
On March 18, a global sensation was born. After a few teasers and a trailer, Netflix finally released its first original African reality series, “Young, Famous, and African.”
The series has been well-received.
The reviews have broken the internet while the cast members like Annie Macaulay-Idibia and Swanky Jerry have dominated Twitter’s trending list in Nigeria.
Accurately depicting its title, the series follows the lives of nine successful Africans from different countries.
“Young, Famous, and African” is the perfect example of what happens when you bring different African celebrities together.
For over seven hours, viewers have to watch unnecessary drama, fake friendships, predictable betrayals, and outbursts that served zero purposes.
Meet the Cast!
Khanyi Mabu (South Africa)-
She is often referred to as a “gold digger” by online trolls; she is a strong woman who graduated from being a sugar baby to being a cougar when she began dating a 28-year-old man.
She is a proud recipient of the award for being the only woman who wakes up in the morning with a face full of make-up. However, she can sometimes be a sneaky backstabber who initially tries to bring you down then suddenly becomes your friend.
Anne Macaulay-Idibia (Nigeria):
She claims to have acted in 200 movies and 15-16 series and doesn’t like to be referred to as just 2baba’s wife.
Also, she has unresolved issues with her husband, causing her to mistake stalking for “checking on my property.”
Nadia Nakai (South Africa)
A famous South African rapper who, for some reason, isn’t always around when the drama happens but knows every detail.
Diamond Platnumz (Tanzania):
He is a musician whose definition of someone understanding him is through material things. He is a self-proclaimed hunter and a player who is unsure about the number of kids.
Quinton Masina (South Africa)-
AKA, the Naked DJ, is an unromantic disc jockey/sugar daddy who changes sides faster than Swanky Jerry’s outfits.
Kayleigh Schwark (South Africa)
A fitness enthusiast who can’t help but discuss problems in her relationship with her friends and a newly introduced stranger, Annie.
Swanky Jerry (Nigeria)
He is the stylist to the stars and the most dramatic of them all (in terms of outfits ). He sees himself as the mediator destined to ensure peace in his circle while wearing sunglasses.
Andile Ncube (South Africa)
He looks like the typical boy next door and a perfect gentleman but is ready to betray a friend because of a “connection.” He is an expert at giving relationship advice, even though he has two baby mamas.
Zari Hassan (South Africa)-
She is the boss lady and professional businesswoman. She was known for being Diamond’s ex-wife and causing drama.
THE TEA (PLOT)
Now that you have met the characters, let’s dive into the series.
The seven-part series, as stated earlier, revolves around nine celebrities from different African countries. It shows their personal lives, exploring the friendship between them, the challenges they face, and the betrayals they suffer.
The series begins with an exciting monologue from Khanyi, who, at that moment, asserts her role as the protagonist (AKA, leader of the group).
We are then introduced to Swanky and Annie, who are super excited about being in South Africa as they pop a bottle of champagne.
The rest of the squad are also introduced and are seen preparing for an extravagant ball organised by Khanyi. However, Annie almost ruins the night when she calls out the hostess, Khanyi, for her parenting skills while Diamond flirts with Nadia.
The first episode is almost like a blur, but the second episode is where the real drama begins. During an Arabian-themed night party, Zari, Diamond’s ex-wife, shows up, making Nadia angry and Annie insecure.
Following the events of the Arabian Nights, at a tea party, Annie and Nadia confront Zari, with the former accusing her of making crude remarks and the latter disappointed with how she flirted with Diamond.
Suddenly, 2baba shows up in town and surprises Annie by asking her to renew their vows. So, in celebrating their forthcoming second marriage, Annie throws a party.
Zari feels that the party is the best moment to “clear the air” about Annie’s misconception regarding her and 2baba. Also, Andile begins to flirt with Zari, gaining the group’s disapproval.
When Annie decides to confront Zari regarding what she told 2baba at their engagement party, all hell breaks loose, causing bad blood between the two women.
Nadia returns to town and is briefed on what happened. Then, Andile takes his flirting to the next level by inviting Zari on a date, while Kanyi speaks to 2baba about Annie’s unresolved issues.
Efforts to mend the failing relationship between Naked DJ and Kayleigh prove futile, along with Swanky’s attempt to make Annie and Zari become friends.
Zari organises a fun getaway on a train that turns bitter when tension rises, and the group gets divided.
After the fallout, the gang reunites to celebrate the night before Annie and 2baba’s marriage. While the girls enjoyed a spa treatment in a hotel room, Nadia, who wasn’t around when the blue train drama went down, decided to confirm the information Khanyi told her. Long story short, Zari got disinvited from Annie’s wedding.
The final episode ends with Annie walking down the aisle and exchanging beautiful vows with 2baba. After that, everyone settled their disputes and lived happily ever after. I was just kidding.
Since Zari was not at the wedding, Andile thought it would be romantic to check up on her at home. Imagine his surprise when he got there and realised Diamond was back. Unfortunately, the credits rolled in as things were about to get messy, leaving us on a cliffhanger.
The Breakdown: The Good
Kudos to the producers and cast for showing a new angle to the portrayal of Africans on a global media platform like Netflix.
A fascinating feature of this series is the honest conversations regarding issues like infidelity, lousy parenting, and love among the cast members. These celebrities were not afraid to reveal their vulnerability and strong opinions throughout the episodes.
The incredible cinematography is also something that makes the series stand out. And the beautiful setting around each scene is bound to live rent-free in the minds of many viewers.
Another notable feature is the growth of these characters. For example, we see Annie and Khanyi, who fell out in the first episode, reconcile and become best friends. Quinton and Kayleigh also transition from sweeping their feelings under the rug to proper communication.
It would be a crime not to appreciate the 100% fashion reality delivered in this series. So, where do we even begin? From Khanyi’s jaw-dropping outfits to Swanky’s dramatic accessories, every scene felt like a runway collection from Paris Fashion Week.
A precious lesson learned from this series is the importance of being surrounded by people who not only love you but support you.
The series is an unrealistic representation of friendship. The producers fail to provide a logical explanation for the friendship of the lead cast. Furthermore, they are young, African, and famous;this makes us question the foundation of their friendship.
The reality series also falls short in portraying the authentic lives of the cast through storytelling.
Excluding Annie, we (non-South-Africans) don’t know much about the other cast members. It would have been appropriate to relate to these characters if there was a backstory to who these people were before they became famous.
Another flaw in this reality series is the unnecessary drama.
Every dramatic scene screams fake, with the cast members going overboard when calling each other out.
And don’t get us started on the outburst Swanky had on the blue train that had him screaming his lungs out for no solid reason.
Watching the series might make you ask, “Do these people have other friends?”
We don’t see the cast interact with people outside of their circle throughout the series. Even at events they organise, for people who claim to have many celebrity friends, they are the only ones who attend with a couple of extras in the background, making the scenes look staged.
Lastly, the sunglasses are too much (especially for a Nigerian stylist). We get that the sun might be hot outside, but being indoors is not a good excuse to wear a pair of glasses.
· When Khanyi clapped back at Annie when accused of being a bad parent.
· Andile has his two baby mamas and love interest, Zari, at the same event.
· Annie was licking 2baba’s head.
· Annie being a total diva by complaining about the food served at Khanyi’s party.
· Swanky’s outburst on the blue train
· Zari reporting Annie to her husband.
· Swanky attempting to guide Andile during a driving course.
· Annie and Zari’s exchange over “Lunch.”
· 2baba and Annie’s vow renewal ceremony
· Diamond catching Andile at his ex and baby mama’s house.
· The heartwarming moment, Annie and Khanyi cemented their friendship.
· Nadia showing up a few days after the drama went down.
· Everything that happened on the blue train episode.
Watch it. Though it has several flaws, the reality series is one-of-a-kind and will leave you wanting more.
Young, Famous, and African series is showing on Netflix.
Support PREMIUM TIMES' journalism of integrity and credibility
Good journalism costs a lot of money. Yet only good journalism can ensure the possibility of a good society, an accountable democracy, and a transparent government.
For continued free access to the best investigative journalism in the country we ask you to consider making a modest support to this noble endeavour.
By contributing to PREMIUM TIMES, you are helping to sustain a journalism of relevance and ensuring it remains free and available to all.
TEXT AD: To place an advert here . Call Willie - +2348098788999