According to data released by African streamer Showmax, Real Housewives of Nairobi (RHON), Single Kiasi and Crime & Justice, all local Kenya productions, were some of the top streamed series of 2023.

The other titles on the list include the streamer’s first Kenyan Telenovela Second Family, the reality series featuring media personality Betty Kyallo and her sisters, Kyallo Kulture, Kenya’s first original animation Twende, its second-ever Kenyan Christmas movie A Merry X-Mass released in December and local 2023 productions such Faithless.

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While Showmax did not release the figures for the Top 10 shows it shared, in March 2023, it lauded the reality series RHON – starring Vera Sidika, Sonal Maherali, Minne Kariuki, Lisa Christoffersen and Susan Kaittany – as the “biggest Showmax Original in Kenya yet.”

“Apart from claiming the top spot on Showmax’s Top 10 most-watched the moment it launched the series also broke streaming records, making its first episode the most-watched launch episode ever for any title on Showmax in Kenya,” the statement said.

Speaking to the Hollywood Reporter in August 2023, former Showmax CEO Yolisa Phahle praised the show for its talkability.

“There have not been any shows that have had more talkability in the last year than Adulting (a drama about four male friends on their journey to find love and success in modern-day South Africa), than The Real Housewives of Lagos, The Real Housewives of Nairobi, and these have been Showmax local productions,” she said.

The local shows made the top 10 alongside International titles such as Bel-Air, Game of Thrones, The Cleaning Lady, Succession, The Last of Us and more.

The appetite for international series on the platform alongside local content supports the statement made by Yolisa Phahle that its subscribers are “incredibly sophisticated and want to be connected with the rest of the world. So they want international content as well.”

Top 10 most-watch titles on Showmax, Kenya – 2023

*Please note that this list is arranged in alphabetical order  

Local International
Crime and Justice (series) Bel-Air (series)
Faithless (series) Black Light (movie) 
Igiza (series) Game of Thrones (series)
Kina (series) Run the World (series)
Kyallo Kulture (series) Shotgun Wedding (movie)
Njoro wa Uba (series) Succession (series)
Pepeta (series) The Cleaning Lady (series)
Second Family (series) The Last of Us (series)
Single Kiasi (series) The Rookie (series)
The Real Housewives of Nairobi (series) Wrath of Man (movie)

What to expect in 2024

This comes following MultiChoice Group’s (Showmax’s parent company) new partnership with Comcast’s (NASDAQ: CMCSA) NBCUniversal and Sky. Powered by peacock technology, its new platform is scheduled to launch in February 2024. 

Additionally, the streamer will be releasing 21 Showmax Originals from four African countries – including Kenya, a revamped international content slate, and the continent’s first standalone Premier League mobile streaming plan. 

This investment shows the platform’s continued faith in the continent. Last year, Showmax’s current CEO Mark Jury said it had dedicated approximately KSh. 177.3 B (20.9 billion rand/$1 billion) — half its general entertainment budget — to local content across South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya and Ghana.

According to tech research-based firm, Omdia’s report released in November 2023, Showmax currently holds 40% of the continent’s streaming market, beating out Netflix and Prime Video.


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