All the expensive dinners and special outings aside, Valentine’s Day is also an excuse to stay in and catch up to some romance from the best local shows with great love stories, intriguing love triangles, unrequited love and the drama of it all.
(TOP: A scene from Selina, one of the love-themed shows currently streaming on Showmax).
For your Valentine’s Day binge-watching consideration, may we suggest these Kenyan shows streaming on Showmax.
- Two-time Kalasha Awards winner – Best TV Drama 2018, Best TV Drama 2019, Best Lead Actor 2019 (Pascal Tokodi)
Many would agree that there’s no greater love story than star-crossed romance. And the award-winning Swahili telenovela Selina does just that when it pairs a young woman from humble beginnings, Selina with Nelson, the youngest son of the rich Mackenzies. Celestine Gachuhi plays the titular Selina while actor-singer Pascal Tokodi plays Nelson – two lovebirds who have given one of the most tortuous onscreen love story. Despite everything thrown at them, this love endures and has survived jail, fake deaths, two marriages (with different partners) and most notably, the deadly threats and schemes of Biko (Peter Kamau) and Rosette (Brenda Wairimu), a psychopath we can all agree is dearly missed.
In the drama series This Is Life, young love is tested, an unforgivable betrayal exposes the fragility of love and friendship, while a bond between close friends threatens a toxic “marriage.” Created, written and directed by Jennifer Gatero (Best Friends Forever), This Is Life follows a group of people trying to figure out their lives and the challenges they face in love, friendship, family and careers, and stars Melissa Kiplagat, Blessing Lung’aho (The Yard), Kone Nouhoum (Selina), Keith Chuaga (Ma’Empress), Auudi Rowa and Emmanuel Mugo (Selina).
- Kalasha 2019 nominee – Best TV Drama, Best Lead Actor (Leon Ongaya), Best Lead Actress (Sahara Mohammed)
Swahili telenovela Pete is set in a world where mermaids are real, and power is controlled by the one who holds the leadership ring. Produced by AMVCAs-winning director Daudi Anguka, Pete follows the bitter rivalry between two brothers over the control of Funzi Island after their father dies without naming his successor. But while the older brother Mbura becomes more obsessed with power, the younger Jasiri gets caught in an intriguing love triangle with the mermaid Safira and Nuru.
- Kalasha Awards 2019 nominee – Best TV Drama, Best Lead Actress (Brenda Wairimu)
As far as love stories go, Scolly Cheruto’s drama series Monica gives us not one but two men we desperately want to root for to end up with Monica (played Brenda Wairimu). On one hand is Mariga (Tahidi High’s Ephy Saint), Monica’s hustler boyfriend who’s really the love of her life. On the other is Bob (Fidel Maithya, Selina), a charming, high-achieving son of the governor (Raymond Ofula). Both men are caring, irresistible and equally charming but only one can give Monica what she wants as she cheats and schemes her way to the top.
- Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice Awards 2018 – Best TV Series
Filmmaker Lowladee (Plan B) might be from Nigeria but her relocation to Kenya was a much-welcomed addition to the film and TV industry in Kenya. Her beloved romantic drama series This Is It (which she created and directed) follows newlywed 20-something year old couple Tomide (Kenya’s Nick Mutuma, You Again) and Dede (Nigeria’s Chy Nwakanmwa) as they navigate their first year of marriage and the challenges they face while still staying true to the love that brought them together in the first place.