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Wanuri Kahiu ('Pumzi') Gives Audiences A Peek Behind The Kenyan Political Curtain In New Scripted Drama 'State House'

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by Tambay A. Obenson
March 31, 2014 1:21 PM
2 Comments
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From Kenyan director Wanuri Kahiu (probably known mostly for her Focus Features Africa First sci-fi short film Pumzi) comes an original political drama titled State House, which traverses the unseen world of the head of state’s residence and office, peeking into an arena that is constantly rife with political intrigue and scandalous relationships. State House follows the servants who run the house, the Comptroller that rules it and the guests, politicians and diplomats that fill its corridors.

Comparisons to similar popular series like Downton Abbey, are probably unavoidable, given the subject matter.

Described as “distinctively Kenyan, and yet widely accessible and appealing”, State House, which is a TV series airing in Kenya, was selected out of 60 proposals sent by producers from Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and South Africa, following Zuku’s 2013 request for proposals for unique, entertaining and marketable content. 

Zuku is a satellite and Digital TV service provider serving east African countries.

The series stars Jimmi Gathu, Chichi Seii, Karen Kaz Lucas, Nick Mutuma, Helen Keli, and Steve Matias.

State House airs on Zuku Channel 100 (it debuted on March 3) every Monday night at 8:30 pm, produced by Zuku and Awali Entertainment (a Kenyan production house).

No word on whether it'll travel outside of the continent, for those of us in the USA, Europe, etc. I'll keep an eye for online availability.

In the meantime, watch a preview of the series below.

Kahiu and producer Steven Markovitz (Viva Riva! and more) are currently developing a feature film project titled Jambula Tree - a South African-Kenya co-production. She's also finishing up Ger: To Be Separate, a documentary which chronicles South Sudanese actor, model and social activist, Ger Duany's journey from child soldier, to refugee, to Hollywood actor, and international model.



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2 Comments

  • juli | March 31, 2014 1:34 PMReply

    Downton Abbey??? I doubt that anyone would compare this show to that, based on the locations. I'm sure wealth in England is a lot different than wealth in Kenya. I hope this show is good, it needs to stand on it's own! I really dont want to see black people making servants out of others, it seems insensitive. Oppressed people oppressing others....

  • Curtis | March 31, 2014 1:43 PM

    He's probably referring to the fact that Downton Abbey also deals with the different classes of people all within a single space, and how they interact with each other within that hierarchy, from the servants to the people that the serve.

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