Right off the bat, let it be clear that this article will not contain any spoilers, and if some get away we'll try to keep them to the minimum. Yes, the series is that good!
4 good reasons to watch Young, Famous & African on Netflix [Review]
Especially if you are from the East African region - Kenyans, Ugandans and Tanzanians, this one's for you
The central theme of Netflix's new African reality series Young, Famous & African is "African love" in the context of the continent's urban culture, and the showrunners couldn't have done a better job giving agency to the subject. African urban culture has finally found its voice!
If you reside in East Africa, the show will be quite the experience depending on how you currently feel about South Africa-based Ugandan businesswoman and social media influencer Zari the Boss Lady.
Young, Famous & African is a well thought out project and there are a number of good reasons to watch it, here are four:-
1. High production value
If you're a stickler for high-quality entertainment then the seven episodes of YFA's Season 1 check all the boxes.
The cast comprises - as they refer to themselves - African all-stars, and they all bring their A-game to every scene, every conversation, and every dramatic moment.
Viewers are also let in on aspects of each cast member's personality which makes all of them much more relatable. Credit to Urban Brew Studios, Director Wesley Masilo Makgamatha and the content directors, the producers, the Executive Story Editor Daran Little and the members of the production team.
The cast is also presented at their absolute best. Hair, makeup, wardrobe and styling teams bring out many aspects of African fashion including strong features of kitenge and African-inspired jewellery and accessories.
One wouldn't be wrong to call it African excellence on display.
2. Defining West African urban culture
In one of the later episodes, the lead cast member and convener of the group - South African actress Khanyi Mbau, notes that the season's 'pinnacle' is the Idibias vow renewal ceremony. The season's ultimate celebration of African love.
"We've chosen to use you and Innocent as the centerpiece of our journey... To celebrate love and our relationships as friends and this journey because it's been beautiful, we've put you as our pinnacle because each one of us here is trying to get a relationship like yours," Khanyi states in her toast at the wedding in episode seven.
Annie Macaulay-Idibia and Swanky Jerry represent Nigerian urban culture well, and they immediately become the most lovable pair for their candid friendship moments, undeniable personalities wrought by their own determination as well as bringing the vibrancy of West Africa to the table.
3. A celebration of South African urban culture
The South African cast members - Khanyi, Naked DJ, Nadia Nakai and Andile Ncube - will probably be unfamiliar to the East African audience as celebrities in their own right but what is for sure is they will not be quickly forgotten after this first season of YFA.
Their curiosity and interest in the East African cast members builds up to what might be a really exciting Season 2 of the reality series.
Spoiler alert, sparks fly between the SA cast and the EA cast in equal measure as the crushes that occur among them provide very many nail-biting moments.
Khanyi also does extremely well in building her profile as the convener of the group, consistently brokering friendships between newcomers to her friends circle as well as providing judicious intervention in resolving the conflicts that occur.
Naked DJ and his girlfriend Kayleigh Schwark also provide a model of conflict resolution in modern African love stories, embracing - albeit with an initial hint of reservation - couples therapy.
4. The East African cliffhanger
Spoiler alert, Season 1 ends in the mother of all cliffhangers, and it all centres on the East African cast members, Diamond Platnumz and his baby mama Zari Hassan.
At the start of the series, their failed romantic relationship immediately becomes a subject of discussion and many of the other stars are curious to find out how they remain cordial co-parents despite their nasty public breakup.
Tension rises as both Diamond and Zari develop a liking for two other cast members and begin to explore these crushes.
Watching the unfolding of events, one notices that the showrunners almost deliberately tease Diamond and Zari as the main attraction, only to leave the audience wanting more of them because they are both left out of the 'pinnacle' moment of Season 1.
Maybe an indication that East Africa will have her moment in the sun when the show returns for a second season. And maybe it is also an invitation to the socialites of East Africa to rise to the occasion and finally take their place at the helm of African notoriety.
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