Celebrating 20 years of running the Nigerian airwaves, Africa Magic, in a brunch meeting with press members tagged ‘What’s Hot Naija’, unveiled the immersive new lineups for the new year.
The Executive Head of Content and West African channels, Busola Tejumola, summarised the evolution of Africa Magic and where they are headed. Ms Tejumola said since April 2022, Africa Magic has produced over 2,500 hours and licensed over 10,000 hours of authentic Nigerian content.
Stating the range covered in two years, she reminded everyone of the dynamism of the seven wonders of African magic.
“Africa magic launched as a single channel in Nigeria and has evolved into a costal of seven channels telling our stories in English and Indigenous languages in Igbo, Yoruba and Hausa and broadcasting to over 42 African countries, reaching millions of households.”
She added that their success was only possible with the support of organisations and the support of loyal viewers and media supporters, who have been with them from the days of ‘Doctor’s Quarters’ and ‘Tinsel’ to religiously following ‘Big brother’ and ‘Nigerian Idol’.
Moving forward to the more important news, Ms Tejumola said, “This year, we are pushing more boundaries and finding new frontiers in local storytelling; we are shaking up their offerings like never before, and that’, not a cliche; everything is changing, our look our feel, we would soon start running our 20th-anniversary campaigns. We are adding 28 more series titles and 20 Nigerian movies to our content offerings across our seven channels. This year, we invest in productions across our language channels, Yoruba, Hausa and Igbo.”
28 Series, 20 Movies
Speaking on the new development of new drama series and movies, Africa Magic’s head of productions, Victor Aghahowa, gave a brief overview of some of the content coming to the screens.
In the list of Drama series are ‘Lahira’, a 13 episodes drama series, Grandma’s house (13 Episodes) and Ripples (26 Episodes) series coming in June.
Mr Aghahowa explained that ‘Ripples’ was not being remade but rather a reboot containing a new storyline but maintaining the same characters and cast.
“So we are returning with a continuation of the show, and just to give a snippet of the show, yes, the old characters are back, and no one would be saying that the time hasn’t passed; time has passed. It is time to move on to a new generation, but the old generation is not going out without a fight.”
“So if we are describing it well, it is a continuation of the original show, using the original cast, but we are adding the new cast as their children.”
Moving on to the Telenovelas, he revealed that, unlike the past eight years when they produced 260-episode telenovelas, they have decided to take another approach and make it 130 episodes showing for six months and no longer a year.
The telenovelas included in the lineups are ‘Ugwu (Respect)’, a story about a small community that has a character who is the son of a drunkard and fights to get into the council of chiefs to gain respect.
The story also shows a character who comes from the city and to tor to respect his community; both characters, in their ways, search for this one goal.
He also revealed that the drama occurs in the current setting.
Speaking on the second Telenovela ‘DUST’, without giving too much information, he said the drama revolved around a reverse Japa theme.
Africa Magic will release Dust in April 2024.
Other drama series he listed included Girl’s hostel and Wedding Stories, both 26 episodes and are expected to premiere in October 2023.
Indigenous channels, dramas, and shows
She stated that Africa magic had added two drama series and one movie for each indigenous channel.
Giving one example for each indigenous channel, he presented the drama series ‘Sanctuary’, a 26 Episode series to begin in August 2024 on Africa Magic Hausa.
Iwe (Anger), a 26-episode series expected in September 2023 forA20fororr tragic Igbo and Apo (The bag), is also 26-episode series to premiere in August 2023 for Africa Magic Yoruba.
The family shows channel was included; Aghahowa also revealed that the media platform had provided two new family game shows and two dramas for the Africa Magic family.
What would happen to the old shows?
Speaking on what would become of the old shows, Ms Tejumola acknowledged that some would stop airing.
She said. “We need to let some old things end so that we can usher in the new; if you have been watching, we have started wrapping up some of the seasons, so you’d see we have started advertising some finales.”
“However, we are not changing everything; some things would remain; we have new seasons of the Johnsons, new seasons of Flatmates and Tinsel, but largely, we are refreshing our scene, so we would still have a bit of old but mostly new content,” she added.
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