Amid the global lockdown occasioned by the coronavirus pandemic, life seemed to have ground to halt. Social life became a crime, gatherings were prohibited, and to hold a friend in a warm embrace went against the laws of the land. People were advised, warned, cajoled, pleaded with to stay indoors. This only meant one thing – social life, as we all knew it was dead! You can imagine what life suddenly meant for the bubbly and party-crazy young folks across the country. However, if there is one thing that South African lovers of entertainment would have been so grateful for in those dark days of 2020, it would be Showmax.
The video-on-demand (VOD) service kept most people entertained with their amazing catalog of really amazing South African movies and TV shows capable of keeping one glued to the platform. While you can find some of these movies and TV series on Netflix, some are only on Showmax, especially homemade TV shows. And for very little money, the internet streaming service gave its subscribers access to all these local movies and TV series. It is important to note that Showmax also has great international entertainment content too. So if you have been confused about which VOD service to subscribe to from the few available in South Africa, maybe you will make up your mind after going to this article.
Best South African Movies and TV Shows On Showmax
If you are a lover of South African movies and TV shows, you should already know by now that Showmax should be your choice over Netflix because they have a lot of local content. Today’s world offers variety – which is a good thing – however, this has its downside as it leads to confusion. With Showmax, there is so much to choose from in terms of entertainment. From sports to movies and TV shows, one always tries to decide on the kind of content they would settle for. A good number of your favorite South African movies and TV Shows are available on Showmax, and they are totally worth your data. Here are the best South African movies and TV shows on Showmax.
1. Gomora (TV Series)
Director: Zeno Pieterson | Cast: Katlego Danke, Zolisa Xaluva, Connie Chiume | Genre: Drama, Crime, Thriller | Year of First Release: 2020 | Original Language: Tswana and Zulu | Platform: Showmax
Last year, the South African TV series, Gomora, shook off competition from popular soap opera The River to become the most-watched TV series on DStv. Each episode of the TV series takes about 22-24 minutes. Gomora is a South African soapie that tells the story of two men, one who made his money from illegal engagements and businesses. Simultaneously, the other one is respected for being honest but struggles to meet his needs.
The TV series shows a contrast between the life of the rich and the poor and the way society sees the lower class. But viewers across the board (the rich, average, and poor) can absolutely relate to the movie’s storyline.
2. The Letter Reader (Movie)
Director: Sibusiso Khuzwayo | Cast: Andile Gumbi, Bahle Mashinini, Nokuththula Mazibuko, Nomlanga Shabana | Genre: Drama | Original Language: Zulu | Year: 2019 | Platform: Showmax, Netflix
The Letter Reader is a short South African movie about a young boy whose parents were on the verge of a divorce. He was brought from Johannesburg to KwaZulu-Natal to live with his grandmother for a while, while his parents sort themselves out.
The community soon realizes that he is the only one who knows how to read around, and so he becomes the community reader. While doing his job as a reader, he falls in love with one of the young ladies who is a recipient of a letter he is to read. If you want to know how their love story ended, then head on to Showmax.
3. Living The Dream With Somizi (TV Show)
Cast: Somizi Mhlongo and friends | Genre: Reality TV Show | Year of Release: 2016 | Language: English | Platform: Showmax
Want to know what is happening in the life of your favorite celebrity Somizi Mhlongo? His private life, life with friends, and his husband, Mohale Motaung, you should absolutely watch Living The dream with Somizi.
Like we should already know, Somizi is a gay South African celebrity, married to Mohale Motaung. Being gay in Africa makes one’s life of interest to many people, and Somizi has made it easier for fans to know what is happening with him.
4. Fiela Se Kind (Movie)
Director: Brett Michael Innes | Cast: Zenobia Kloppers, Kyle Shepherd | Genre: Drama | Original Language: Afrikaans | Year of First Release: 1985 | Platform: Showmax, Netflix
Despite being an old movie, Fiela se Kind still received an award in 2020. The movie tells the story of an Afrikaans woman named Fiela, who finds a lost white boy and trains him like her own son. Sadly, the boy was taken away from her nine years later, after they had grown to love each other. Separated from each other, it is not until 10 years that they find each other again. Both Fiela and her lost son went through a lot due to the Apartheid and segregation going on at that time.
This movie is a must-watch for anyone who has a natural love for history and wants to know the effect race, color, and poverty had on individuals, especially South Africans in the 1980s.
5. The River (TV Series)
Directors: Johnny Barbuzano, Ferry Jele, Catharine Cooke, Sandile Mdluli, Zolani Phakade | Cast: Sindi Dlathu, Hlomla Dandala, Seputla Sebogodi | Genre: Drama Telenovela | Original Languages: English, Setswana, IsiZulu, IsiXhosa | Original Release Year: 2018 | Platform: Showmax
The River is one of the most-watched South African TV series, with each episode lasting for about 22-24 minutes. The River tells the story of a ruthless and mischievous diamond mine owner who will do anything to protect her family at the expense of anything and anyone. If you want to know how the name ‘The River’ came about and how Lindiwe Dlamini-Dikana runs her diamond business in a town full of poverty, then head on to Showmax to watch Seasons 1-3 and all available episodes of Season 4.
6. Trippin With Skhumba (Movie)
Director: Vincent Moloi | Cast: Moloi, Skhumba Hlophe, Tumi Morake| Genre: Comedy | Original Language: English | Year of Release: 2019 | Platform: Showmax
Skhumba and six of his funny comic friends hit the road to travel from Kempton Park to their hometown in Empangeni. This is typically one of the funniest South African comedy road trip movies. If you are a lover of comedy, then Tripping with Skhumba will crack you up.
7. Love Lives Here (Movie)
Director: Norman Maake | Cast: Thando Thabethe, Zola Nombona | Genre: Romance-Comedy | Language: English | Year of Release: 2018 | Platform: Showmax
Love Lives Here is a blend of romance and comedy. This is the story of a hard-working modern lady, Zinhle, who still holds on to core traditional values. However, Zinhle is still unmarried and believes that getting married is the right thing for her to do. Unfortunately for her, she falls in love with a man who doesn’t believe in marriage. Will she give up on marriage for him, or will he start believing in marriage due to her influence? Find out on Showmax.
8. Rage (Movie)
Director: Jaco Bouwer | Cast: Nicole Fortuin, Sihle Mnqwazana | Genre: Horror | Original Language: English | Year of Release: 2020 | Platform: Showmax
Rage is Showmax’s first original horror movie, and that’s the first reason why you should check it out on Showmax. It is common in South Africa for children to go on holiday after school, and Rage tells the story of a group of teenagers who did. However, what was supposed to a fun-filled holiday turned into a nightmare after they accidentally witnessed a scary childbirth ritual. Lovers of horror movies will enjoy this.
9. The Girl From St Agnes (Movie)
Director: Catharine Cooke | Cast: Cindy Lee, Nina Milner, Graham Hopkins, Jane de Wet | Genre: Crime, Mystery | Original Language: English | Original Release Year: 2019 | Platform: Showmax
The mysterious, tragic, and unexpected death of a high school female student in an elite high school sparks off the immediate need to find out the reason for her death and who is responsible. What is more tricky about the investigation is that almost everyone has something to hide. The route to finding out the truth is not so easy, but finally, the tragic truth is unveiled.
10. Lockdown (TV Series)
Director: Mandla N | Cast: Zola Nombona, Dawn King, Lindiwe | Genre: Drama, Crime, Mystery | Language: English, IsiZulu | Year of Release: 2020 | Platform: Showmax
Lockdown is a crime and mystery prison drama series that tells the story of women locked up in the Thabazimbi Women’s Correctional female cells and offices, where power and survival mean everything to the women. You can watch all episodes from seasons one to five on Showmax.
11. Real Housewives Of Johannesburg (TV Show)
Director: Japhta Mohlabane | Cast: Lethabo Mathatho, Mpho Merriweather, Mpumi Mophatlane, and Tarina Pate | Genre: Reality TV Show | Original Language: English, Xhosa, Tswana | Year of Release: 2018 | Platform: Showmax
Real Housewives Of Johannesburg (RHOJ) is one of the most popular reality TV shows in South Africa. It focuses on women’s personal and professional lives (socialites) who live in Johannesburg, South Africa. The first season of the reality TV show had Evodia and Mercy Mogase, Lendy Ter Mors, and Naledi Willers being featured as part of the cast members. You can watch the first and second seasons of the show on Showmax. Each episode has a duration of about 45 minutes.
12. Isibaya (TV Series)
Director: Desiree Markgraaff | Cast: Thembi Nyandeni, Mampho Brescia | Genre: Telenovela, Drama | Language: English, IsiZulu | Year of Release: 2018 | Platform: Showmax
Isibaya tells the story of powerful families – the Zungus and the Ndlovus – involved in the transportation (taxi) business. Despite the war, rivalry, and opposition between the two families, their children who met and fell in love were able to unite the families and their marital union. Then the story takes another turn when another family – the Ngwenyas – comes into the show and begins to plot evil against the Zungus. You can watch all episodes from season one to eight on Showmax. Each episode has a duration of 22-24 minutes.
13. Four Corners (Movie)
Director: Ian Gabriel | Cast: Jezriel Skei, Brendon Daniels, Lindiwe Matshikiz | Genre: Crime, Drama | Original Language: Afrikaans, English | Year of Release: 2013 | Platform: Showmax, Netflix
A thirteen-year-old boy, Ricardo Galam, is caught up in the war between two notorious number gangs, the 26 and 28, who dominate his community in South Africa’s Cape Flats. He is caught in between going to a gang and staying clean. This is a difficult choice for him since his father figure is a police officer obsessed with tracking down killers. Life gets more tricky for Ricardo when he meets Leila Domingo, a female doctor from London with who he spent his childhood days.
14. Tali’s Wedding Diary (Movie)
Director: Ari Kruger | Cast: Julia Anastasopoulos, Anton Taylor | Genre: Comedy | Original Language: English | Year of Release: 2017 | Platform: Showmax
Julia Anastasopoulos plays the role of Tali, a Johannesburg princess who moves to Cape Town and is obsessed with getting married. Now, she is finally ready to have the marriage she has always wanted and is set to plan the perfect wedding. Having won the Golden Horn Award for Best TV Comedy, you can tell that Tali’s Wedding Diary will crack you up. You can catch up on season one on Showmax.
15. EHostela (TV Series)
Director: Gugu Zuma-Ncube | Cast: Bheki Sibiya, Thobani Nzuza | Original Language: English and IsiZulu | Genre: Drama, Crime, Mystery | Year of Release: 2020 | Platform: Showmax
Lovers of the popular American movie John Wick will absolutely love EHostela. The TV series revolves around an assassin who meets and falls in love with an artist he met in a competition. To leave the assassin club, he is asked to carry out the last mission, which unfortunately has to be killing the father of the woman he loves. Khethiwe, his love, then requests for him to find her father’s killer. Things even get tougher for him knowing his brother is also an enemy.
16. The Queen (TV Series)
Directors: Andries van der Merwe, Xolani Mabaso | Cast: Themba Ndaba, Connie Ferguson | Genre: Telenovela, Drama | Original Language: English | Year of Release: 2016 | Platform: Showmax
The Queen is a TV series that had its fourth season concluded in 2020. It tells the story of the Khoza family, who are drug lords but hides their illegal dealings under cover of their logistics company. With the Khoza Family and Harriet, another drug lord, as rivals, things take a new turn when another drug lord gets into the picture and stands as an opposition to the Khoza family. You can watch the entire four seasons and also the ongoing fifth season on Showmax. Each episode has a duration of 22-24 minutes.
17. Rockville (TV Series)
Director: Johnny Barbuzano | Cast: Connie Ferguson, Mbali Mlotshwa | Genre: Drama, Crime, Mystery, Soap Opera | Original Language: English, Tswana, and IsiZulu | Year of Release: 2013 | Platform: Showmax
Rockville is one of Ferguson Film’s TV series. It is about two families from different backgrounds – one from a working-class background and the other from a middle-class background – who have a long-standing mutual hostility. Watch how these families handle their differences and hardships in the five seasons of Rockville on Showmax. Each episode has a duration of about 40-47 minutes.
18. Getroud Met Rugby (TV Series)
Directors: Bromley Caywood, Hannes Muller, David Clatworthy, André Velts, Marisa Drummond | Cast: Anel Alexander, Stephanie Baartman, David Louw, Michelle Botha, Ivan Botha | Genre: Drama | Language: Afrikaans | Year of Release: 2009 | Platform: Showmax
First premiered on kykNET in April 2009, Getroud Met Rugby is a South African television drama series that tells the story of the marriage and scandals of four stars of a Johannesburg rugby team. Each episode lasts 24 minutes, and you can watch all episodes from seasons one to four on Showmax.
19. Sterlopers (TV Series)
Director: Jacqueline Lotz | Cast: Marno van der Merwe, Jenna Dunster | Genre: Drama | Original Language: Afrikaans | Year of Release: 2014 | Platform: Showmax
Sterlopers tells the story of the road to fame in the South African entertainment industry. The passion, zeal, betrayal, and oppression that young people who have headed to achieve fame in the South African entertainment industry have to face while on their way to reaching their goal. It is a TV series absolutely worth using your data to watch as it has a blend of drama and musical presentations. You can watch it on Showmax.
20. Diski Divas (TV Show)
Director: Thulani Masuku | Cast: Kat Mohoaduba, Nonhle Ndala | Genre: Reality TV Show | Original Language: English | Year of Release: 2015 | Platform: Showmax
As the name already implies, Diski Divas is a reality TV show that brings together the lives of young and glamorous ladies. It is one of the favorite reality TV shows of South Africans. It shows on Mzansi Magic every Wednesday by 8 pm – South African time, but you can binge a little on all episodes from season one to three on Showmax.
21. Lebo M – Coming Home (TV Show)
Founder: Teddy Geldart | Cast: Lebo M | Genre: Reality-TV show | Original Language: English | Year of Release: 2020 | Platform: Showmax
The Soweto born Grammy award winner, multiple award nominee, and executive producer of the opening, closing ceremonies of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, singer and voice-over artist for Lion King has returned to his homeland, South Africa, and has come up with his new hit reality TV show, Lebo M – Coming Home. Now, fans have an insider view of what is happening in his life and can watch him realize his dream of bringing his family together on Showmax.
22. Noughts + Crosses (TV Series)
Directors: Julian Holmes, Koby Adom | Country of Origin: UK | Production Location: South Africa | Original Language: English | Cast: Jack Rowan, Masali Baduza | Genre: Alternate History Drama | Year of Release: 2020 | Platform: Showmax
Have you ever wondered what it would have been like if Africa was the continent that colonized Europe and not the other way round? Nought + Crosses answered what things would have been like if only history had followed a different part. Available for streaming on Showmax, Nought + Crosses is an alternate history series that tells the story of an alternate universe where African colonies Europe and the romance that blossoms from two childhood friends from these different parts of the world.
23. Knuckle City (Movie)
Director: Jahmil X.T. Qubeka | Cast: Bongile Mantsai, Sivuyile Ngesi | Genre: Boxing Drama | Original Language: Xhosa | Year of Release: 2019 | Platform: Showmax
Knuckle City is a boxing movie, which makes it a rare kind of South African movie. It tells the story of two brothers, the first being a professional boxer and womanizer who is getting too old for all of that, and the other is a criminal. These two brothers decide to take a chance on success once more and receive way more than they were bargaining for. If there is any reason why you should stream this movie on Showmax, it should be the desire to watch Mantsai, the aging professional boxer’s sensational but heart disturbing performance.
24. Mzali Wami (TV Series)
Director: PJ Makosholo | Cast: Masasa Mbangeni, Dumisani Mbebe | Genre: Drama | Languages: English, Xhosa, IsiZulu | Year of Release: 2020 | Platform: Showmax
Mzali Wami is a story of a woman (Joyce) who is not pleased with her husband’s decision to take in a second wife, so she decided to take her newborn baby to visit her in-laws as proof that she is not a barren woman. Things get mixed up, and her daughter is taken away from her. Finally, her daughter grows up and finds herself in a clash of ownership between her biological mother and the woman that stole her.
25. The Real Housewives of Durban (TV Show)
Director: Valen’tino Mathibela | Cast: Kgomotso Ndungane, Sorisha Naidoo | Genre: Reality TV Show | Original Language: English | Year of Release: 2021| Platform: Showmax
Following the success of the Real Housewives of Johannesburg (RHOJ), coming up with a similar reality TV was absolutely a great idea. Real Housewives of Durban (RHOD) is a reality TV show that gives fans a front view into the lives of six beautiful, glamorous high-class ladies. The cast includes Annie Ludick, Ayanda Ncwane, Kgomotso Ndungane, Nonkanyiso Conco, Nonku Williams, and Sorisha Naidoo. Fans get to know more about their personal lives, career, attitude, and how they pull off the high-class life they live.