With many YouTubers transitioning from the little screen to television and even making it to the big screen, YouTube has really grown to be a force to be reckoned with. Along with their transitions to film, these web series and their creators have begun giving cable television a run for its money, producing sophisticated scripts, amazing cinematography, and memorable stories that will make you want to keep watching every week and forgetting that it’s a show on YouTube and not prime time television.
In the past few years, African creatives have also joined in on the party, providing fresh and vibrant content that proves we’re also capable of creating a variety of content besides what you’re used to seeing in the infamous Nollywood movies. I have put together a list of some entertaining, comical, and thought provoking mini series all from the minds of African creatives.
1. MTV Shuga
Shuga initially premiered in 2009 in Kenya as part of an HIV AIDS initiative to spread awareness about STD’s and promote safe sex and getting tested. The series follows the lives of college students all on different walks of life facing different trials and tribulations but normally ends with someone new contracting HIV. So far the series has taken place in Kenya, Nigeria, and will be taking place in South Africa this year. Notable cast members include Lupita Nyong’o, Emmanuel Ikubese and Tiwa Savage. Catch up on the first three seasons here.
2. This is It
From the producers behind the multiple award winning short ‘Brave’, This is It is a romantic comedy starring Nick Matuma, who some of you may recognize as Leo from MTV Shuga and newbie Chiagozem Nwakanma as newlywed couple Tomide and Dede.
The series follows the young newlywed couple on their first year of being married, having to adjust to living together and tackling married life troubles while sprinkling a little bit of humour into it. The whole first season is available here.
3. Rumour Has It
No, this doesn’t have anything to do with the Adele song. Rumour Has it, brought to you by the creatives at NdaniTV, is essentially what you would imagine Linda Ikeji or Angelica Nwandu (from The Shaderoom) lives to be like, but scripted.
The series follows celebrity fashion blogger Obi Obi, who is played by Uru Eke, and her journey coping going from talking about other people’s scandals to having to deal with her own. She’s so used to dishing it out so hard but can she handle it when it becomes her own turn? Although season 1 has already wrapped up, you can catch all nine episodes here.
4. An African City
Basically like Sex and The City, but African. An African City follows the lives of five successful African women that have decided to move back to Ghana after having been raised in the states for most of their lives. The show tells of the struggles they have adjusting to the land along with the joys of moving back to your homeland. Although the first season is free on their youtube channel (link right here), the second season will cost you a few coins and can be purchased here.
5. Gidi Up
Also from the minds of NdaniTV, Gidi Up tells the stories of Obi, Tokunbo, Eki and Yvonne and their journey to become successful in the concrete jungle of Lagos aka Lasgidi. The series shows the challenges and difficulties they are faced with in order to achieve their goal. Although the second season ended abruptly (how very Nollywood of them), it’s been announced that they are making a come back and season 3 will be released later on this year but until then, feel free to catch up on seasons 1 & 2 here.
6. Skinny Girl In Transit
Skinny Girl in Transit is a comedy about a woman by the name of Tiwa and her journey to weight loss, self discovery, and finding love. The show starts off with poor Tiwa being awoken from her steamy dream by her Yoruba mother telling her the spirits have spoken to her and Tiwa needs to lose some weight or else she won’t find a husband and giver her children. If that’s not the most relate able thing I’v seen in a mini series, then I don’t know what is. It may not have been about weight, but we all know how dramatic African mothers and these dreams and spirit conversations can be. The show has become a fan favourite, having been praised by BellaNaija, MadameNoire and even Cosmopolitan. There are three seasons, all available in this playlist here.