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After being nominated for an International Emmy for two years in a row for her work on Is’Thunzi, South African actress Thuso Mbedu made headlines this month when she was cast as the lead in The Underground Railroad, an adaptation of Colson Whitehead’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, to be directed by Oscar winner Barry Jenkins (MoonlightIf Beale Street Could Talk).

With so many South Africans breaking through on the international stage, we’ve put together a catch-up guide to the best of what’s come onto Showmax, from festival-favourite films like High Fantasy and Meerkat Maantuig to award-winning documentaries like Everything Must Fall and The Fun’s Not Over to weekly express episodes of SAFTA-winning series like Lockdownand Isithembiso to the Silwerskerm-winning short film Axis Mundi.

Everything Must Fall

An unflinching look at the #FeesMustFall student movement that burst onto the South African political landscape in 2015 as a protest over the cost of education. The story is told by four student leaders at Wits University and their Vice Chancellor, Adam Habib, a left-wing, former anti-apartheid student activist. When Habib’s efforts to contain the protest fail, he brings 1 000 police onto campus, with dire consequences for the young leaders...


High Fantasy

Four young friends on a camping trip in the Northern Cape wake up to discover they’ve all swapped bodies.


Meerkat Maantuig

After her father’s sudden death, Gideonette de la Rey descends into darkness as she realises that she’s the only one left with a cursed family name. With the help of her new friend Bhubesi and his make-shift moonship, she’ll have to find the inner strength to face her fears in order to break the curse.

 

Lockdown Season 4

This hit Mzansi Magic drama is set in Thabazimbi, a fictional high security prison for women, where power and survival mean everything. Season 4 picks up three months after the riot. Deborah (Pamela Nomvete) has clawed herself back to the top as governor of the prison, where Tyson (Lorcia Cooper) is now in power, with access to more contraband than the prison has ever seen.

 


Isithembiso Season 3

Premise: 
This hit Mzansi Magic soap follows the lives of young students in Johannesburg, as their lives intertwine with some very dangerous people.

 

The Fun’s Not Over

James Phillips, who died aged 36 in July 1995, was the voice and conscience of a generation of white South Africans. The Fun’s Not Over tells a little known and now almost forgotten part of South African cultural history that emerged from white alternative protest music during the 1980s and 1990s.

 


Axis Mundi

In an effort to rescue her declining ratings, a paraplegic talk show host (SAFTA winner Antoinette Louw from Die Laaste Tango and An Act of Defiance) interviews a self-proclaimed healer (two-time SAFTA winner Deon Lotz from Skoonheid), who claims he can make her walk again on live TV.