Blood Psalms, a Showmax Original, and one of our biggest shows in Africa this year will launch on the streaming platform on September 28 2022. The fantasy drama series is set 11,000 years ago in ancient Africa in a world of warring factions and magic.
Bokang Phelane (Keeping Score, Isidingo) plays the role of Princess Zazi, a fiercely determined teenage princess who must navigate primordial curses, long-standing ancestral vendettas, and her inexplicable role as the damning prophecy’s chief harbinger. Mothusi Magano, winner of four SAFTAs and an African Movie Academy Award, plays her father, mad king Letsha, while SAFTA winner and 2022 DSTV Mzansi Viewers’ Choice nominee Zolisa Xaluva (Gomora, Knuckle City) plays General Toka, the head of her father’s Akachi army.
“Blood Psalms is the biggest and most ambitious series we’ve ever made, completely unlike any other African series you’ve ever seen,” says Nomsa Philiso, executive head: programming at MultiChoice. “We couldn’t be more excited.”
“This show was specifically created as a reimagining of ourselves as Africans, as an answer to ‘Who are we?’,” says Phelane. “It’s done in a very entertaining way, with a lot of drama and action.”
“Blood Psalms is a heck of a ride and it’s never been done before,” says Magano. “For Africans, mostly, our history goes back 200 years. That’s what we’ve been given, and it’s from Western perspectives. We really don’t know anything much about our own history. So Blood Psalms poses a lot of questions and will give people a lot to think about.”
The star-studded cast includes SAFTA winners Bongile Mantsai (Knuckle City), Hamilton Dlamini (Five Fingers For Marseilles), Hlubi Mboya (Isidingo), S’dumo Mtshali (iNumber Number, Is’thunzi), Siv Ngesi (DAM), Thishiwe Ziqubu (The Imposter), and Warren Masemola (The Republic), as well as SAFTA nominees Enhle Mbali Mlotshwa (Rockville), Niza Jay (The Wound), Richard Lukunku (Happiness Is A Four-Letter Word), Sello Maake kaNcube (The Herd), Thando Thabethe (Reyka), Thembekile Komani (Knuckle City) and Zikhona Sodlaka (The Wife), not to mention Africa Movie Academy Award (AMAA) nominee Faniswa Yisa (Knuckle City, DAM) and the likes of Faith Baloyi (Flatland), Lemogang Tsipa (Shaka Ilembe), and Thabo Rametsi (Kalushi, Silverton Siege).
Show creators Layla Swart and Jahmil X.T. Qubeka from Yellowbone Entertainment were responsible for South Africa’s 2020 Oscar entry, Knuckle City. The boxing drama was the most awarded film at the 2020 SAFTAs, where it took home six awards, including Best Director for Qubeka and Best Editor for Swart, and the most nominated film at the 2020 AMAAs, where it won two awards.
“What we’re trying to do is to reclaim the continent’s history from an African perspective,” says Swart. “Blood Psalms draws from elements of a multitude of African mythologies and looks at various different tribes in Season 1 – the Akachi, the Uchawi, the Ku’ua, the Chini, and Great Nziwemabwe – as they migrated south from Kemet, which is now Egypt, and formed their cultures.”
Shot in the Eastern Cape, Gauteng and North West provinces, Blood Psalms is a Showmax Original in partnership with CANAL+, the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition, the Eastern Cape Economic Development Corporation (ECDC) and the MultiChoice Innovation Fund.
Watch the Blood Psalms trailer below;