Adaptations of African shows are more common in Kenya’s entertainment landscape than one might initially realize. These adapted works highlight the ingenuity and adaptability of Kenyan producers and actors, skillfully introducing new viewpoints to well-known narratives. Encompassing a diverse range from riveting dramas to humorous comedies, these shows serve as more than just sources of entertainment, fostering a shared sense of community and cultural exchange within the African entertainment industry.

Single Kiasi: Adaptation of South Africa’s and Nigeria’s “Unmarried”

Single Kiasi delivers a modern and relatable narrative, exploring the intricacies of love, ambition, and societal pressures as experienced by three Nairobian women, namely Sintamei (Gathoni Mutua), Mariah (Minne Kariuki) and Rebecca (Faith Kibathi). With every character, a diverse set of perspectives and personal odysseys unfold, offering viewers a tumultuous emotional ride centered around self-discovery, sisterhood, and the pursuit of love, income and happiness within the contemporary Nairobi landscape. The show has presently released two seasons exclusively on Showmax, and is set to release the third soon.


Kina: Adaptation of South Africa’s “The River”

From the very beginning, Kina thrusts viewers into the thick of the action, presenting a head-to-head conflict between these two diametrically opposed families, the affluent Tandalas and the less fortunate Mwakazis. As the Tandalas navigate a web of deceit and manipulation to maintain their opulent lifestyle, the Mwakazis fight against systemic injustice and struggle to survive in a world stacked against them. This compelling tale serves as a poignant commentary on societal inequality and the lengths people will go to preserve their position in an unjust system. As tensions escalate and hidden truths come to light, Kina adeptly delves into the ethical challenges confronted by its characters, leaving viewers eagerly anticipating the unfolding developments in this engrossing narrative.


Salem: Adaptation of South Africa’s “Gomora”

The intricately scripted Kenyan telenovela centers around a newly widowed trophy wife whose luxurious life in Karen is dismantled upon the death of her husband. Faced with financial instability and joblessness, Zahra Mufasa is compelled to relocate with her teenage daughter and son to the less affluent neighborhood of Salem, where her mother resides. The stark difference between the affluence found in Karen and the raw environment of Salem prompts the Mufasas to adjust to their new reality in Salem.

Additionally, the presence of the Mufasa family in Salem sets off an array of unforeseen incidents that not only shape their destinies but also intersect with the challenges faced by the Karani family, giving rise to an absorbing storyline filled with suspense and fascination.


The Real Housewives of Nairobi (Kenya): Part of The Real Housewives Franchise

The Kenyan rendition of this international reality show franchise, while not strictly adapted, delivers a fascinating narrative centered around the daily lives and opulent existence of Nairobi’s affluent and successful social circles. This Nairobi-based iteration of “The Real Housewives” encapsulates the worldwide allure of the franchise with its infusion of drama, glamour, and unwavering friendships. Joining the ranks of African Real Housewives franchises like RHO – Lagos, RHO – Durban, RHO – Johannesburg, and RHO – Abuja, this series added to the continent’s diverse offerings.


“Crime and Justice (Lagos)” adapted from “Crime and Justice (Kenya)”

In contrast to previous works, this show distinguishes itself as a pioneer, being the first of its kind, to whose end the Lagos rendition is attuned. “Crime and Justice” showcases the resilience and determination of Detective Makena (Sarah Hassan) and Silas (Alfred Munyua) as they confront the challenges posed by high-profile cases. Set against the backdrop of Nairobi’s bustling streets, Crime and Justice delves into the intricate world of detective work and the complexities of the legal system. As Makena and Silas navigate through a web of clues and suspects, they uncover shocking truths that not only expose the dark underbelly of their city but also test their own personal boundaries.


Shalom Kendi Mbae

A Writer. A Pan-African. A Conversationalist.
Words are to me what numbers are to a mathematician.
This little light of mine, I'm going to let it shine.

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