County 49, the new Kenyan Showmax Original, has broken the record for the most first-day views on Showmax in Kenya.
The political thriller series was the most-watched premiere ever for any title on Showmax in Kenya when it debuted on 25 August, claiming the spot previously held by The Real Housewives of Lagos.
Set in the fictional Bwatele County, County 49 follows Nerimah Mkung, whose role as the new governor is put to test when she’s taken hostage by a mysterious group who’ve had enough of the county government’s corruption and are now demanding what’s rightfully theirs – their money, in billions and in cash. Whether she lives or dies lies in the hands of the very capable, disgraced officer Malik Maka, whose estranged wife has been kidnapped, alongside the governor.
Wakio Mzenge plays the tough-talking Bwatele’s first female governor Nerimah Mkung, a character she says was inspired by strong Kenyan female leaders like Martha Karua, Charity Ngilu and Mekatilili wa Menza. James Webbo plays her captor, Elijah Matata, a man who sees himself as a revolutionary leader, even though the government sees him as a terrorist. Peter Kawa is Malik, a fallen hero with something to prove; Nyokabi Macharia is the governor’s chief of staff, caught in the crossfire of a war she didn’t sign up for; and Ainea Ojiambo is the former governor Okusimba, whose corruption precipitates the civil unrest in Bwatele.
The 13-episode series also stars Martin Githinji, in his first major role since Sue na Jonnie in 2018; Nick Kwach in his first-ever TV role; Maqbul Mohammed as deputy governor Chris Komu; Emmanuel Mugo as the deposed governor’s son Junior; Ben Teke as Bwatele’s clueless Minister of Security; Sam Psenjen as the Minister of Finance; and Angela Mwandanda as Okusimba’s wife Agnes.
County 49 is directed by Likarion Wainaina, known for Kenya’s first superhero film Supa Modo, which is also Kenya’s most-awarded film with over 50 international awards including Best European Film for Children from the European Children’s Film Association and Children’s Jury Special Mention in the Generation 14Plus category at the Berlin Film Festival 2018.