HUJUMA - THE NIGERIAN TV SERIES PRODUCED LOCALLY WITH KENYAN CAST
The entry of a new Nigerian drama into the Kenyan televisions will no doubt cement the fact that Nigerian films resonate well with many Kenyans. First there was Abelejayan, a sensational Nigerian drama series in Yoruba language, and now, very soon there will be the Kenyan version of the same series - Hujuma, the Kiswahili translation of Abelejayan! The face behind the new Kenyan series is the veteran film and series maker Opa Williams of the Night of a Thousand Laughs fame.
“In Nigeria, Abelejayan is now in its fourth season with 52 episodes on DSTV, and from the very first time I came to Kenya about seven years ago for a conference, I knew I wanted to produce something here. I have been in the industry for over 20 years now and I also do productions in South Africa and Ghana and now Kenya,” says Opa Williams.
The Nigerian Producer- Opa Williams
Why make the same Yoruba series into a Kenyan Kiswahili drama series instead of something new with a different storyline?
“African stories are timeless and can transcend different language and regions. The story of Abelejayan will resonate with Kenyans. We hope to be done shooting next week. The first season will have 26 episodes,” explains Opa.
Opa is working with Mercy Murigi who wears the hat of the creative director, and Kate Muhege as the production assistant. According to Mercy Murugi who has worked on films like Kibera Kid and Togetherness Supreme, the plot is filled with many twists and turns with its core message being friendship and family values. Hujuma is her first local series.
Some of the cast includes kenyan actors:
Isaiah Evans (Mwenda).
Carolyne Midimo (Mama Adhis),
Gladys Shao (Adhis),
Cheptoek Boyo (Amina)
Ezikiel Minabo (Olo), Andrew Gachegwa (Oti) and Gertrude Marlin (Achie).
Hujuma is an expose of friendship and family betrayal and distrust. The series will revolve around Ruto, an urban law advocate who is from a humble background and married to Moraa the daughter of a very rich businessman. Ruto was introduced to his wife by his childhood friend Kip, a son to a rich politician who had also spent some fruitless years with Moraa in the UK. Unknown to Ruto, his only child with Moraa is actually the child of Kip. Also unknown to him is the fact that Moraa and Kip are still having an affair. Then there is the story of Olo, Ruto’s driver and confidant. Ruto inherited Olo’s services from his late father.
Olo tries to keep an upright family despite the fact that he has a mistress - Adecia. Olo has two children with his wife, Oketch and his daughter Achie, who is also having a secret affair with Ruto. The questions thus remain, would there ever be a discovery? Will Ruto ever find out that his best friend is not only the father of his daughter but also dating his wife?
Is Olo going to know that Moraa is his daughter having slept with his former boss’s wife? What will Moraa do when she discovers that Achie is pregnant for Ruto the husband?
Opa says they have not yet entered any agreement with any television network to screen the series. “We want to finish all the 26 episodes and then sell the series to whoever is interested. I did not want to make a pilot and then sell it before making the whole series,” says Opa.