With the finale airing today, all eight episodes of the Kenyan crime drama series Pepeta are now available to binge on Showmax.
Based on a real-life story, Pepeta tells the story of Junior (played by Brahim Ouma), a talented young footballer caught between the world of crime and football.
Intertwining with Junior’s story are a rich cast of characters whose arcs are just as important in highlighting the socio-economic challenges plaguing slums like Kibera. Like extrajudicial killings; how talented youth are lured into crime as a means to an end and the collateral damage of crime that comes with it all; the plight of the Kenyan Nubian community and how it still struggles with its right of existence; how some NGOs operating in slums like Kibera enrich themselves at the expense of the community they’re meant to serve, among other issues.
Since premiering in November 2022, Pepeta has been much-loved by Kenyans on Twitter and praised for its storytelling, authenticity and relatability. “Pepeta is such a great show. Stories we can relate to produced that well are so rare,” one fan wrote.
Another called it “the best production to ever come from Kenyan soil.”Tweet here.
Nominated Senator Millicent Omanga also joined in the conversation, tweeting that Pepeta was the best series she has watched during the holiday season.
Filmmaker Philip Karanja (Click Click Bang) praised the show on Instagram saying: “I have not been hooked to a show like this in a while…”
This support from Kenyan viewers has been overwhelming, said creator and producer James Kombo, who thanked fans who have made the show what it is. “As artists, at the end of the day, all that matters is how the art has been received.”
Director Vincent Mbaya said that seeing the comments and reactions from people who have watched Pepeta reassured him that they had told a good story well. “How I wish every Kenyan would watch this show; I have seen people who swore they never watched local content be converted,” Mbaya said. “Audiences in the ghetto and those who lived there before completely relate to the story; audiences not exposed to that part of the world are finding themselves empathetic and fascinated at the same time. It goes to prove that we can do even more.”
Pepeta head writer Damaris Irungu said she always knew the show was going to be a hit but hadn’t anticipated just how much the story would resonate with the audience. “They journeyed with our characters and rooted for them; they connected with the themes and the failed system in slums like Kibera. My heart is full that Pepeta hasn’t only entertained but has moved hearts to the plight of our characters and the realities of our world.”
Binge-watch Pepeta on Showmax, and watch out for the next Showmax Original, Single Kiasi S2, premiering on Monday 16 January 2023.
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