South Africa-based streaming and online subscription video-on-demand platform, Showmax has unveiled the first look teaser trailer and images for its upcoming crime drama series Pepeta, which premiers on November 24, 2022.
Set in the Kenyan slum of Kibera, Pepeta, which is loosely based on the real-life story of Harun ‘Rio’ Wathari, is the sixth Showmax Original in Kenya. It is an eight-part series that captures the dreams and realities of the youth in the informal neighbourhood, known for churning out top football players in the country.
The series follows three intertwining stories; Junior, a 17-year-old talented footballer torn between the thrills of crime and the promises of soccer, Kepha, an unforgiving cop with a personal vendetta determined to rid the streets of criminals, and Biki, an ambitious football coach determined to get Junior and his friends scouted before the barrel of the gun cuts short their dreams.
Featuring a predominantly young cast, including some who have never been seen on screen before, Pepeta stars Brahim Ouma (Famous) in his first-ever lead role as Junior.
The cast also includes Malik Lemuel, who makes a major comeback since Machachari, Dedan J. Onyango (The Real Househelps of Kawangware), Lwanda Jawar (Sense8), Avril Nyambura (MTV Shuga), George Mo (Borderline), Wycliffe Eravuna (Selina), Marrianne Nungo (Supa Modo), Brian Ngaira (Baba Twins), and newcomers Eric Aswani, Fridah Mumbe and Suzanne Karani.
Pepeta is produced by CJ3 Entertainment and directed by Vincent Mbaya (Country Queen, Chaguo), with Damaris Irungu (Crime and Justice), Charles Ouda (Waiting Room, Makutano Junction) and Abigail Arunga (How to Find a Husband) as writers.
Speaking about his experience directing the show, Mbaya described it as a lifetime in the making. “I had to dig deep into my experiences, especially working with young first time actors. I really had to go back to my acting days and put myself in their shoes, guiding them through the process, helping them tap into the small things that define their characters. It was a very fulfilling experience,” he said.
Even though challenging, Mbaya admits, watching Pepeta’s young cast morph into their roles and blossom as performers really made him feel proud. “I think that we are about to discover some amazing talent. Some of the more known faces also deliver on a level we haven’t seen them reach before.”
Pepeta builds on the success of other Showmax Originals in Kenya like the political thriller series County 49, the thriller series Igiza, the police procedural and legal drama Crime and Justice S1 and S2, the drama series Single Kiasi and the coming-of-age film Baba Twins.