The best of Akin Omotoso on Showmax
From romantic comedies, to dark and gritty thrillers, the collection of Nigerian-born filmmaker Akin Omotoso’s movies on Showmax will give you all the feels.
The cinema of Akin Omotoso mixes stunning visual experiences with a strong presence of place. In the gritty crime dramas Vaya and The Ghost and the House of Truth, we experience the de-glamourisation of two big cities, Johannesburg and Lagos, respectively. Omotoso shows the dark side of both cities, often hidden from outsiders. And like a true cinema loyalist, he doesn’t tell you about these dark sides, he creates a world where you can experience them.
However, Omotoso’s cinema is not all gloomy. When he works with romance (Tell Me Something Sweet), he’s less severe but just as captivating, and the visuals remain breathtaking. And on the hilarious but poignant Wonderboy for President, he approaches political critique with lighthearted finesse.
Let’s take a closer look at five of his brilliant films and TV series that are now streaming on Showmax.
Tell Me Something Sweet
A sweet African love story. Omotoso reminds us of all the beautiful things about romantic comedies (and love): the dreamy guy meets the cute girl; the breakup thanks to baggage from the past; the inevitable falling in love again. And then the final split before the beginning of forever. Omotoso captures the ups and downs of new love, still sizzling and raw and sensitive, and he does so charmingly. Watch it now.
Why you should watch it: It stays true to the genre and brings something extra with interlude-kinda interviews from real couples narrating their meet-ups and all the things they love about each other.
Who’s in it? Thomas Gumede, Nomzamo Mbatha, Maps Maponyane, Thembi Seete and Thishiwe Ziqubu.
A gritty crime drama that shows the unforgiving side of Johannesburg. In Vaya, Omotoso’s protagonists are foreigners who have seen Jozi only in the bright lights but are immediately introduced to the city’s darker side. Watch it now.
Why you should watch it: Vaya is an unflinching cautionary tale that wipes clean the façade of big cities – showing the dangers that lurk in places we dream of going to.
Who’s in it? Phuthi Nakene, Warren Masemota, Azwile Chamane-Madiba, Sihle Xaba, Nomonde Mbusi, Sibusiso Msimang, Harriet Manamela and Zimkhitha Nyoka.
The Ghost and the House of Truth
A stark departure from Nollywood’s glamorous tales of Lagos, The Ghost and the House of Truth tells the story of a young girl who never returned home from school and, after weeks of search, is found dead. She has been brutally raped and murdered. Her mum, a reconciliation counsellor, with the help of an honest police officer, Investor Stainless, tries to unravel the mystery around her murder. Watch it now.
Why you should watch it: It is both visually stunning and dramatically excellent. The film presents a Lagos the average Lagosian is familiar with but one that doesn’t get enough representation on film and TV.
Who’s in it? Kate Henshaw, Susan Wokoma, Tope Tedela, Seun Ajayi, Gloria Young, and Fabian Adeoye Lojede.
A primetime drama that follows a South African businessman, Jacob Makhubu Abayomi, on his quest to establish an empire in the shady world of the African oil industry. Watch it now.
Why you should watch it: A riveting drama that dives into the shady world of African oil magnates.
Who’s in it? Hlomla Dandala, Anthony Bishop, Nandi Nyembe, Fabian Adeoye Lojede, Bankole Omotoso, Jet Novuka, Moky Makura and Mmabatho Montsho.
Wonderboy for President
A brilliant satire on South African politics. The film follows a happy-go-lucky guy who loves to swim in the ocean and connect to his people. His life is changed forever when two shady politicians convince him to run for president to boost the African National Congress (ANC) party’s image. Watch it now.
Why you should watch it: It is an easy-to-follow political satire packed with fiery and hilarious critiques of South African politicians.
Who’s in it? Tony Mayimbo, Kagiso Lediga, Camilo Saloojee, Ntosh Madlingozi and Christopher Steenkamp.