9 March 2020
5 reasons to binge-watch Shampaign
A presidential campaign is underway in Ghana and everyone has something to hide. Welcome to Shampaign, a world full of secrets and political intrigue.
Currently streaming on Showmax, Shampaign follows the presidential campaign train of Naana Akua Quasah (Jocelyn Dumas), a brilliant and beautiful woman who is looking to make history as Ghana’s youngest and first female president. As Naana navigates a political minefield in the final weeks of her campaign, members of her team try to keep her and more notably, themselves above water.
Watch the trailer for Shampaign S1
Written, produced and directed by the AMVCA award-winning Shirley Frimpong Maso (Potato Potahto, The Perfect Picture), Shampaign has several subplots spinning by the end of the pilot, which gradually unfold as the episodes progress.
Starring Ghanaian fan favourites like John Dumelo, Jot Agyeman, Nana Aba Anamoah, Zynnell Zuh and Nigerian actor Blossom Chukwujekwu, Shampaign is much more than a political show as it holds a lens against several issues in the society.
Here are some of the themes explored in the show.
1. Single parenting
Naana who is running for the highest office in the land is a single mother to an 18-year-old son, a fact her political opponents never let her forget. She also shrouds the identity of her father’s child in secrecy which causes a lot of tension between mother and son. As Naana’s campaign heats up, her status as a single mother continues to pose several challenges as she’s caught between family and career.
2. Parental influence
It’s not uncommon for African parents to dictate the career path of their children or in some cases insist they toe the line of the family business, many times against the wishes of the children. We see this play out on Shampaign, albeit with a twist as a father insists on using his daughter in Naana’s campaign team as a courier for his marijuana business despite her protests. The dynamics of parental influence is also explored in the relationship between President Malm and his mother.
Watch the trailer for Shampaign S2
While the rate of divorce has increased over time, it is still largely frowned upon in many African societies, which gives rise to infidelity. The show explores campaign manager Frank’s marriage as the couple struggles with his demanding job and their failing relationship.
4. Old vs Young
Politics are still largely driven by the older generation in Africa and this is highlighted in the show. Naana’s opponents often use her age and gender as a basis for discrimination despite the fact that she is well read and has previously served as a minister. Even more pertinent is in the case of Mr Sarpong, the field manager and oldest member of the campaign team, who is often dismissive of his younger colleague’s ideas owing to his age and experience.
5. Same-sex relations
Same-sex relations are illegal and highly frowned upon in most parts of Africa. This theme is also explored on the show as PR manager Julia finds herself a victim of blackmail, as she is involved in a same-sex relationship, despite the fact that she is engaged to be married.