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MultiChoice has announced that a new South African fantasy series — based on pre-colonial African mythology — will be coming to Showmax in 2021.
The South African series, called Blood Psalms, is being produced in partnership with French pay-TV service Canal+.
“We can’t wait to present our exquisite view on African mythology to a global audience,” says Yolisa Pahle, MultiChoice Group CEO for General Entertainment & Connected Video.
Layla Swart and Jahmil X.T Qubeka are dubbed the brains behind the project. The pair’s production studio created the award-winning South African film Knuckle City. Their work earned Qubeka an award for Best Director at the SA Film and Television Awards, while Swart won the award for Best Editor.
The series is currently shooting in the Eastern Cape and Gauteng.
What is the South African series Blood Psalms about?
The story of Blood Psalms follows teenage princess Zazi (played by Bokang Phelane) and her rise to power as she fights a world-ending prophecy.
The princess must help her people navigate through ancient curses, tribal vendettas, and the wrath of the gods.
Besides that synopsis, not much else has been revealed about the plot of the series.
According to co-creator Layla Swart, the series draws on elements from various African cultures.
“What we’re trying to do is to reclaim the continent’s history from an African perspective,” says Swart. “It has elements of every African culture’s mythology and looks at various different tribes as they migrated south from Kemet, which is now Egypt, and formed their cultures.”
Meanwhile, co-creator Jahmil X.T Qubeka says the series will create African heroes in a cinema and television landscape that lacks this kind of representation.
“If they want to call it the African Game of Thrones, I’ll take that mantle on,” says Qubeka.
“But what we really want to do is create heroic archetypes for the African child. If you look across the entire landscape of cinema and television, there are no archetypes for the African child.”
Blood Psalms cast
The cast of the series includes award winners, household names, and local celebrities.
Cast members include:
Bongile Mantsai (Knuckle City)
Hamilton Dlamini (Five Fingers To Marseilles)
Hlubi Mboya (Isidingo)
Mothusi Magano (Tsotsi, Hotel Rwanda)
Siv Ngesi (Knuckle City, Still Breathing)
Thishiwe Ziqubu (Hard To Get)
Warren Masemola (The Republic, Tjovitjo)
Zolisa Xaluva (Gomora, Knuckle City)
Enhle Mbali Mlotshwa (Rockville)
Niza Jay (The Wound)
Richard Lukunku (Happiness Is A Four-Letter Word, Black Sails)
Sello Maake Ka Ncube (The Herd)
Thando Thabethe (Housekeepers)
Thembekile Komani (Knuckle City)
Zikhona Sodlaka (Shooting Stars)
Faith Baloyi (Flatland)
Thabo Rametsi (Kalushi: The Story of Solomon Mahlangu)
Hopefully, more details on the series will be revealed as shooting and production wraps up in the coming months.
Image credits: Showmax