The Kenya Film Commission has unveiled the nominees for Kalasha Awards 2021. In its best performance yet, content on Showmax have 22 nominations, including all five Best TV Drama nominees.
Kenya’s first Showmax Original Crime and Justice leads the charge with three nods, across all the TV Drama categories: Best TV Drama, Best Lead Actor (Alfred Munyua) and Best Lead Actress (Sarah Hassan). Hassan won the 2019 Kalasha Award for Best Actress In A Film for Plan B.
Showmax’s first co-production with global broadcaster CANAL+, Crime and Justice is a police procedural and legal drama that follows detective duo Makena (Hassan) and Silas (Munyua) as they investigate one-ripped-from-the-headlines case per episode.
Content on Showmax is competing against itself in the Best TV Drama category, where Crime and Justice is up against Maisha Magic Plus’s Kina and Maisha Magic East’s Njoro Wa Uba, Pete and two-time winner Selina. This is Kina’s first and Njoro Wa Uba’s second nomination respectively for Best TV Drama.
Showmax is also home to all five of the TV Drama nominees for Best Lead Actress and four out of the five nominees for Best Lead Actor.
In the Best Lead Actress category, Crime and Justice’s Hassan is up against Sanaipei Tande as Nana in Kina; Aisha Mwajumlah in Pete; Jane Wambui in Njoro Wa Uba; and Riziki Ambrose in NTV’s drama series on Showmax, Pieces of Us.
In the Best Lead Actor category, Crime and Justice’s Munyua competition includes Joe Kinyua in Njoro Wa Uba; Lucarelli Onyango in NTV’s drama series on Showmax, Pieces of Us; and George Mo in Eastlands-set gang drama Borderline on Showmax.
Pete’s Ali Shahibu is also nominated for Best Performance in a TV Comedy for his role as Sudi, where his competition includes 2019 winner Fahamu Kazungu in the title role in Nyanga Rukia on Showmax and Frank Kimani in another series on Showmax, Varshita, which is also up for Best TV Comedy, a category it won in 2020.
Showmax also earned two nominations in the Best Documentary category, where Eugene Mbugua’s docu-reality series Sol Family and This Love go head-to-head.
One of the most-watched local shows on Showmax in Kenya, Sol Family gives viewers an intimate look into the personal lives of multi-award-winning band, Sauti Sol, while This Love explores the lives of award-winning musicians and celebrity couple Nameless and Wahu.
To wrap up the list of nominees on Showmax are Egna (Ethiopia) and Engaito (Uganda), in the Best International Award (East Africa) category. These are MultiChoice Talent Factory short films from the Colours of Africa series that was launched in May 2021 to celebrate Africa Day.
Speaking about the nominations, Timothy Okwaro, MultiChoice Channel Director, East and Southern Africa, said, “We are humbled, honoured and excited about these nominations. This goes to show that we are doing the right things. As the Kenyan film industry continues to grow, we are proud of the fact that we play a major role in this growth by continuing to invest in local stories that our viewers love to watch.”
He continued, “We would also like to celebrate the producers of these shows and thank them for all their hard work. They are a big part of the reason we have received all these nominations.”