Author : Ahimbisibwe Jesca
About a year ago
On Monday 8th February 2021, MultiChoice Uganda announced that its local content channel Pearl Magic was expanding and was adding a new channel: Pearl Magic Prime to its stable. The channel went live on Monday, 8 February 2021.
Timothy Okwaro who happens to be the Channel director says, “Our mandate as a channel is to provide our viewers with thought-provoking and entertaining content which captures Ugandan cultural nuances, we cannot wait for audiences to experience this new addition to our stable. We will continue to work with the established and upcoming local producers to deliver on world-class content whilst fulfilling our commitment to developing the entertainment industry and the economy of the region.”
Since the inception of Pearl Magic two years ago, the channel has fast become the leading local entertainment brand in Uganda and the launch of Pearl Magic Prime is set to amplify the viewing experience. Pearl Magic Prime at launch featured a drama entitled Prestige, Mama and Me, a television series that falls within the dramedy category, Sanyu- a telenovela as well as Story Yange, an epic docu-series that explores the humble beginnings, meteoric rises, devastating falls, and crippling vices of the most popular social influencers in Uganda. - DSTV.
Hassan Saleh, the Managing Director of MultiChoice Uganda says in his words said. “Pearl Magic Prime is set to live up to its tagline of delivering more value to the customer like never before. We are proud of the role we are playing in the entertainment sector in Uganda and look forward to connecting with our audiences.”
Saleh added that the channel will be available exclusively to DStv subscribers on DStv Compact, DStv Compact Plus as well as DStv Premium packages. “As per our ongoing commitment to our customers, we will continue to enhance our viewer experience by offering more value to our customers. We are confident that Pearl Magic Prime will connect with DStv audiences and reinforce our strategic vision to be the leading African storyteller.”
As already mentioned below are some of the new shows and docu-series that will be airing
1. SANYU: This tells the story of an innocent, rural teenage girl that is forced to leave her family and her pursuit for education to do a maid’s job for a complex, wealthy urban family. It is here where she falls for the young son of her employer. Witness the journey of love, emotion, and drama between the privileged and underprivileged. Some of the cast members of Sanyu are Tracy Kababiito, Timothy Lwanga, Farida Nabagereka, Blessing Naturinda, Kyeyune Shalom, Kuddzu Isaac, Allan Katongole, Marion Asilo Dorothy, Abbey Mukiibi Nkaaga, Housen Mushema, Elenour Nabwiso, Sharon Nalukenge, and Racheal Nduhukire. This is set to air weekly from 8:00 pm Monday to Friday.
2. PRESTIGE: A story that narrates the ups and downs of rival ad executives of the same family. Their lust for power is fuelled by love, jealousy, grief, and hatred. The show captivates the leads to succeed, fail and pick themselves up whilst chasing their life’s purposes. Throughout it all, audiences will remain glued to their seats as their favorite characters struggle with moral and ethical decisions that impact not only their lives but the lives of everyone around them. The show will feature actors like Alvin Emitu, Cleopatra Kyoheirwe, Evelyn Namtovu Kironde as well as Nana Kagga, and Simon Kalema – also producers of the show. And this is set to be airing weekly at 8:30 pm Monday to Friday.
3. Mama and Me: This is an epic dramedy centered around a middle-aged teacher, whose husband steals her money to give to his concubines. After his accidental death, she is accused of murder and must use her wits to stay out of jail and to fight off in-laws who want to take her property. Mama and Me will feature actors and actresses like Debbie Bakuseka, Nambozo Gloria Catherine, Suubi Nalwanga, and Kaylar Kirabo Elizabeth. And this will be on every Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30 Pm.
4. STORY YANGE: This is a docu-series showcasing the personal lives of the most popular faces of Uganda. The show explores their humble beginnings, meteoric rises, major setbacks, personal struggles, and crippling vices. Some of the stories we will see from this exciting new series will include those from Dr. Martin Aliker, Alex Mukulu, Princess Evelyn Komuntale, Judith Heard, Hon. Dr. Miria Matembe, Captain Mike Mukula, Irene Namubiru, and Moses Matovu. It will be airing on Saturdays at 8:00 pm.
Other Contents that will be aired are the shows that have been showing on the Pearl Magic channel before the launch of The new channel- Pearl Magic Prime Channel 148. These shows are; Date My family, My Wedding Day, Pablo Live, Ekibbitu, Between Us, Half London, The Honourablez.
ABOUT PEARL MAGIC PRIME:
Pearl Magic Prime is a channel on DStv that’s is owned by the MultiChoice Group (MCG) the parent company of M-Net, one of the fastest-growing video entertainment providers globally, delivering entertainment products and services to 19.5m households across 50 countries on the African continent. Its track record of more than 30 years is reflective of a commitment to provide audiences with only the best local, sport, and international content.
MCG’s strong partnerships with distributors, installers, and telecommunication companies, along with its well-established payment solutions, competitive pricing, and choice of viewership packages continue to secure its place in the global market, while also providing solutions unique to the African market.
MCG aims to secure content rights in a manner that is cost-effective and reflective of the diversity of its audiences. Its substantial portfolio includes award-winning local content (a key differentiator in its service offering), a leading sports offering (including production capabilities), and access to international content, which are all shared on the group’s platforms: DStv, GOtv, Showmax, M-Net, and SuperSport. Source DSTV.
With the launch of this wonderful channel, there have been mixed feelings about the channel. From the comments from some of local established and upcoming actors, some complain that the channel and the channel producers like Nathan Magoola, Matt Bish, Eleanor and Mathew Nabwido, Nana Kagga, Dilman Dila, and others have only given chance to the new models (disguising as actors) and left them who have been struggling with the industry in all ups and downs. They say, the mentioned producers only remember them when there are low budget movies as a last resort but forget them on groundbreaking projects like these.
Others say that channel which has been limited to only DSTV (expensive) packages won't win in the Ugandan audiences who are mostly of middle-income status. This may limit the content reach of the shows.
There is also a criticism of rebranding the already existing telenovelas into new shows as lack originality in creating these shows. An example of this is Prestige which the synopsis almost looks like HBO's Ambitions and Sanyu which is an adaptation of Kenya's Selina telenovela.
While the crying voices are there in the backgrounds for being left out, others are jubilating of upcoming projects and making professional better quality shows. It's evident that the channel is for the upper-end part of the film industry and will concentrate only on the quality content in terms of production and acting. From the already airing shows and telenovelas, the quality seems to be to the standard.
However all said and done, the channel is here to change the game and if well utilized, it may be the next big thing in promoting Ugandan films and entertainment content to the rest of Africa. This will open doors for many of the Ugandan filmmakers to the likes of Netflix, HBO, FOX, Amazon, Apple, and many more streaming and production entities.
We hope that the complaining voices get involved in the future shows and films of this channel for them to benefit or else they may miss the bread on the table waiting for the honey to be pasted on the bread.
By Martin Kabagambe for Cinema Ug.