Chozi, the new docu-drama from Maisha Magic Plus, is now available to binge on Showmax. The 45-minute documentary narrates real-life stories of people who went through tragic experiences that ultimately changed their lives. Intertwined with every individual’s narration are fictional characters, who reenact these scenarios to make the show interactive and give the documentary a more dramatic spin.
Chozi is executive produced by five-time Groove Awards Video Producer of the Year and BMF member Samuel Maina, popularly known as Sammy Dee. Having previously produced music videos for top musicians in Kenya like King Kaka, Nameless, Timmy Tdat and more, Sammy Dee continues to explore the possibilities in the documentary and reality landscape in Kenya, following in the footsteps of filmmakers like Eugene Mbugua (Sol Family, Our Perfect Wedding), whom he acknowledges as “a very innovative producer.”
Sammy Dee is proud that Chozi has given people a platform where they can heal by telling their stories, while also allowing others to heal by watching these stories. “I believe this show is changing lives, and it’s a blessing that I do not need a pulpit to speak to my generation,” he says.
To produce a show with such an impact is a very different journey from what he’s used to. “Chozi is a very delicate show. It requires a lot of research. It’s not just about ratings; you have to start with your humanity, and you must put yourself in the narrator’s shoes before opening their closet to the public.”
While every episode is emotional, Sammy Dee says every story hits a different nerve. He finds episode 4 the most touching, as it hits too close to home. “A story becomes more touching when you can relate to it. For me that’s Jane Wateri’s story in episode 4,” he says. “Having grown up in the slums myself, I could connect with every bit of her story, and she represented some of the girls we grew up together with.”
Unlike many producers who have been impacted by COVID-19, Sammy Dee has had a busy year. Chozi is his second production in 2020, following on from Date My Family Kenya, a reality series that follows different single people around Nairobi as they attempt to find love by meeting the friends and families of three potential dates.
“It’s a blessing that through these productions, many young people had something to do when the world was falling apart; being a vessel of blessings for them gives me fulfillment and the strength to push on,” Sammy Dee says.