East Africa’s first TV Musical Drama Debuts in Nairobi with new local content to compete globally
As classrooms swivel to become courtyards and cafeterias slide aside to reveal offices and hostel rooms, the drama of Groove Theory, the first show of its kind in East Africa, brings to Kenyan TV a show that combines music and drama on one stage in a classic musical series.
First part showcased on November 20, 2013 Zuku Afrika Channel 100, showcases the story of Zamm who is striving to cut a niche for himself in a university that seems not to be supportive of his musical talent .
For an industry that is dominated by telenovelas and West African dramas, the musical comes at a time when the industry is being spurred on to deliver local program to spur growth in the country’s nascent TV and film production industry, and to compete in a global stage.
“With Groove Theory we hope to contribute to the increase of local content in the market and at the same time provide Kenyans with entertainment that speaks to them and that they can relate to,” said Mwendwa of Kijiji Entertainment on the birth of the new show.
Hannellie Bekker, Managing Director, Wananchi Programming said it is an extremely thrilling time in Kenya’s entertainment industry and they are proud to introduce the region’s first musical show for our growing subscriber based.
Hannelie underscored the role of Pay TV firms in supporting local talent and growing the film industry in Kenya. The journey to realizing the show has taken a full 8 years, from its first inspiration, driven by passion and dedication.
Kijiji Entertainment’s first concept, and onto the partnering with Zuku Pay TV channel, it has brought a new genre to Kenyan TV. The show sees a dedicated team of 75 people, as cast and crew, tell the story of Zamm, who finds plenty of obstacles in his way as he tries to put together a band.
The choir master, a stubborn dean of students, lack of instruments, Zamm’s nosy younger sister Clarinet, and the generational pressure from his traditionalist father, are elements that stand in his way to achieving an illustrious musical career.
When Zamm teams up with a talented geek called Ledama, the band gets a taste of the future, and even harder challenges, some even life-threatening – affecting all his relationships.
Shot over a period of two weeks, the show, which is the first of its kind to be filmed and produced in the East African region, combines both stage and screen elements to give audiences a sensory performance experience.
The show features well known names such as Patricia Kihoro, who stars in a leading role as Bisquit Zamm’s girlfriend. Other well known names include Peter King (Professor Bori) and Kevin Maina of Makmende fame.
The 12-episode drama, directed by Amira Tajdin will run every Wednesday at 8:00pm on Zuku Africa Channel 100. The show made its screen debut on November 20, 2013. The show is at the spearhead of a now concerted drive to boost local TV and film production, with the recent Sh300million loan investment ventures announced by the Youth Enterprise fund dedicated to positioning Kenya to compete with countries like Nigeria, whose industry generates a minimum of $500million in revenue annually.
Kijiji Entertainment are now moving into a pole position in the new industry, having brought to life plenty of memorable characters since 2008, with the first Village Musical; the 2013 Niko na Safaricom Live concert series, and the launch of Groove Theory.