• Monday, April 15, 2024
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BusinessDay

A look at Africa Magic’s two decades of local content creation, entertainment on screen

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In 2003, MultiChoice Nigeria, a leading pay TV company, took local content creation for its African audience to a higher level with the introduction of Africa Magic channels.

The introduction brought variety and excitement on the screen as viewers had so much to enjoy and also connect with their local movie stars.

Then, it launched with a single channel in Nigeria, and today it has expanded to a cluster of seven channels.

Moreover, 20 years down the line, the excitement is juicier on the screen as the storylines are more intriguing and relatable, more talented and skilled actors on the scene, improved production, wider reach and growing global acceptance of African stories all courtesy of Africa Magic.

Read also: Ebonylife partners Idris Elba to groom talents for African film industry

This calls for celebration and that is why MultiChoice Nigeria is rolling out drums to celebrate the 20 years milestone.

Speaking recently at a media parley at the pay TV’s head office in Lagos, Busola Tejumola, executive head of Content and West Africa Channels, MultiChoice Nigeria, said, “It has been 20 years of Africa Magic and Nollywood growing together, building global careers and talents. In 2003, we began the journey of telling authentic Nigerian stories on Africa Magic to build a platform where everyday Nigerians see themselves in relatable stories reflecting our culture.

“In 2023, we have found ourselves celebrating 20 years of creating and telling Nigerian stories”.

In just one year, from April 2022 to March 2023, Africa Magic had over 2,500 hours of production and licensed 10,000 hours of authentic Nigerian stories, with stories in English, and indigenous languages of Yoruba, Hausa and Igbo, amid broadcast to over 42 African countries.

These are part of the feats worth celebrating, according to Tejumola.

But MultiChoice is not relenting as it plans to consolidate on the feats achieved by Africa Magic in the last 20 years with more offerings, more stories and more excitement.

Unveiling plans for Africa Magic going forward, Tejumola noted that the platform intends to break more boundaries and find new frontiers in local storytelling in order to ensure that it remains at the forefront of Nigeria’s storytelling business.

Highlighting the new and more boundaries for Africa Magic at the media parley, Victor Aghahowa, head of production West Africa, MultiChoice Nigeria, said that Africa Magic will premiere new 130-episode series every six months as opposed to 260 episode series every year.

The new and exciting contents includes; Telenovelas such as ‘Ugwu (Respect)’, ‘Dust’; the drama series ‘Girls Hostel’, and a dramatology ‘Wedding Stories’, ‘The Residence’, ‘Iwe’, Yoruba series, ‘Apo’ (The Bag), among others.

Also on the list of new content are ‘Mind and Body’, a brand new unscripted game show, and ‘Simbirella’, a new drama series.

According to Aghahowa, ‘Ripples’, the popular 90s soap opera is a continuation of the original story with a returning cast and will also be directed by Zeb Ejiro.

Also speaking on the new contents, Tejumola added, “We are adding 28 more series titles and 20 original Africa Magic movies for our customers, starting from April 2023. This year, we are also investing more in our indigenous productions across our language channels: Yoruba, Hausa and Igbo”.

Apart from the new contents, viewers will also continue to enjoy local and international sport entertainment contents across SuperSport channels, including EPL, FA Cup, CAF Champions League, Europa League and UEFA Champions League matches and WWE specials.

It would be recalled that Africa Magic was launched in 2003 as a single channel and has metamorphosed into seven channels on the DStv and GOtv platforms with stories in English, and indigenous languages of Yoruba, Hausa and Igbo, broadcast to over 42 African countries.