The first episode of Sol Family, Sauti Sol’s new reality docuseries, takes us back to their different childhoods where their love for music began, and we follow them through their individual journeys that finally brought them together. From Chimano’s withdrawn childhood to Polycarp’s acquired taste for lingala to Savara’s troublemaking escapades to Bien’s love for acting, Sol Family goes beyond the stardom to show us a side of Sauti Sol that we rarely get to see or hear about.
Filled with funny banter and anecdotes (and meme-able moments as one fast Twitter user has proved), Sol Family captures Sauti Sol in their most relaxed element as they let us in on some intimate and personal details about their life and shows us that even when the music is turned off, these boys can be equally as charming.
It also captures their music making process, and the hard work and dedication they put into it to be considered the best band in Africa by many.
The second episode follows Nviiri the Storyteller through his journey of discovering his voice, abandoning mechanical engineering much to the disapproval of his father, writing one of Sauti Sol’s biggest hits – Melanin – before anyone even knew his name and finally joining Sauti Sol’s passion project Sol Generation that has turned him into a superstar overnight.
In episode 3, we get to dive into Savara and Polycarp’s romantic relationships with their better halves – Yvonne Endo and Lady Mandy – where they share more about their relationship including how they met.
And who better to tell this story than Eugene Mbugua – a filmmaker who’s curved a niche for himself as the most sought-after documentary-reality filmmaker in Kenya. Sol Family is different from what Mbugua has created or produced in the past like Our Perfect Wedding, Stori Yangu or even Young Rich. He also agrees it’s his best work yet.
“Sol Family has been the best quality that Documentary and Reality TV (his production company) has produced so far. The feedback from the audience has also been fantastic. We are very glad that Maisha Magic Plus also saw the potential of this show and decided to partner with us.”
This is the second celebrity reality show he’s created; the first one was Being Bahati for NTV in 2018, which Mbugua says opened him and his team up to the idea of doing something bigger and better.
That golden opportunity came at the beginning of 2020 when he was approached by Sauti Sol through their general manager William Nanjero to discuss the possibility of doing a show together.
“They’re the biggest band in Africa and in my mind there was no second thought. Our initial meeting went great and the decision to begin was made immediately. It’s an honour to work with them, and not just the band but the whole team behind them.”
Sol Family airs every Sunday on Maisha Magic Plus, and is also available to stream on Showmax. Mbugua says it’s exhilarating to see the show on screen, especially since they had to halt production after filming only one episode when the first case of COVID-19 was announced in Kenya. “It was quite a difficult time trying to keep the teams safe while still trying to have the show going.”
Having just premiered about two weeks ago, there is still so much more to come in the 13-part series that will also offer more into Sauti Sol’s personal lives as shine a spotlight on the team that works with them behind the scenes.