M-Net Kenya launched its own state-of-the-art studios this weekend designed for local drama and SuperSport production. From now on, the pay-television broadcaster will produce its own Kenyan content for local audiences and the rest of the continent on the Africa Magic channels.
Until now, M-Net bought content produced by local production houses but didn’t have total control over the quality and content. All along, the pay-tv broadcaster wanted to produce its own material but didn’t have the facilities. Now, M-Net Kenya will literally be able to churn out its own shows at the standards expected of the pay-tv broadcaster.
MultiChoice Eastern Africa regional director, Stephen Isaboke, says the new studios affirm the pay media firm’s commitment to the region. “This is a milestone event – not only for MultiChoice, but also for the creative and production industries in Kenya. It confirms the group’s enormous investment in the region and is testament to our emphasis on technological excellence.”
Right now, they are working on a 100% local telenovella – a series with a finite storyline – called ‘Kona’. This went to air on 26 August and will broadcast on Africa Magic every weeknight at 7.30 (East African time). The 250 episodes of this romantic drama around a boxing gym is in the final stages of production. It includes much emotion, glamour, inspiration, in-depth relationships and all the other essentials for a high-end soapie.
“This is extremely exciting for us because quality is an issue across Africa and so now we can produce our own quality productions,” says M-Net East Africa regional manager Risper Muthamia.
As many as 150 people have been employed in Kenya since October and they will spill over into other productions. “This will ensure that we develop the industry at large and tell African stories well,” she says.
They are drawing to the end of the Kona production and are planning to produce 56 movies in Kenya. Until now, most of the African content on M-Net was produced in Nigeria and some had complained that there was too much content from there. “Through this launch, we are committed to giving skills to people to make our industry grow.”
Andre Venter, head of SuperSport in Africa, says this is “an emphatic move into the top-end world of TV production”. “East Africa has a great appetite for high-quality viewing and we intend delivering. Our teams have been training and the equipment couldn’t be more modern. We hope that this reaffirms our confidence in the region and its people.”