′Afrimaxx′: Celebrating contemporary African lifestyle | Travel Distribution | DW


To be as diverse as the continent — that’s the motto of the creators behind “Afrimaxx.” And fortunately for them, Africa offers an almost infinite wealth of fascinating people, breathtaking landscapes and clever ideas. What’s more, sub-Saharan Africa, the target area of DW’s new program, is a “young” region where, according to the United Nations, the average age of the people is, in some cases, well below 30. 

That played an important role in shaping the show’s concept, says DW’s Managing Director of Programming Gerda Meuer: “With Afrimaxx, we’re focusing very clearly on a young target group that we want to inspire and tap into with their topics. The result is a different view of the continent, one that’s all about lifestyle, trends, fashion and modernity.”

Every good bartender in Ghana has ‘Akpeteshie’ in his menu

From national drinks to award winners

In the first episode of the 26-minute English-language program on August 5, 2022, viewers can expect a colorful mix of topics ranging from architecture and a “rebellious national spirit” from Ghana to garish party buses in Kenya.

The show will feature 57-year-old Francis Kere, who was the first African-born architect to win the prestigious Pritzker Prize this year. Viewers will also learn about “Akpeteshie,” Ghana’s national spirit — a drink made by distilling palm wine or sugar cane, which had been banned by the British colonial rulers. Ghanaians say it reflects their history of rebellion and desire for freedom.

A man chatting with the driver of a Matatus bus in Kenya

Matatus are more than just shared cabs in Kenya: at night they become trendy party venues

The first episode of “Afrimaxx” will also cast the spotlight on the legendary Matatu cabs in Kenya. The minibuses, which have been pimped up with graffiti, amplifiers and disco lighting, are very popular among young Kenyans, especially in the evening and at night. And “Afrimaxx” will profile one of the best-known artists who transforms rusting jalopies into these hip party vehicles.

‘Euromaxx’ goes Africa

The idea of showcasing the continent’s lifestyle in all its facets has proven successful at DW. For years, “Euromaxx” has featured the lifestyle of young Europeans and those who are young at heart. Following on from this successful concept, the culture and Africa departments created “Afrimaxx,” which is aimed at a young African audience between the ages of 14 and 49.

But the new program, which is being jointly produced with an African cooperation partner, is by no means intended to be just a copy of the European original, emphasizes Rolf Rische, Head of the Culture and Documentaries Department at DW: “We see Africa from a special perspective: we see creativity, inventiveness, talent, skill, dynamism and success.”

Claus Stäcker, Head of Africa Programs, is convinced that the production kills three birds with one stone: “We are conveying a positive attitude to life from Africa that is often neglected in news reporting. We are combining Deutsche Welle’s strengths — a successful lifestyle program here, regional expertise there. And we’re working at eye level with a strong African partner from the very first step.” This combination could become a formula for success, says Stäcker, and complement other successful productions like EcoAfrica or The77Percent well.

DW Afrimaxx Presenter Ayanda Thabethe

The face of the new lifestyle program: Ayanda Thabethe

A superstar presenter

Presenter Ayanda Thabethe combines many of these attributes: The 36-year-old South African had already made a name for herself as an entrepreneur and actress before she also became known as a top model and television presenter.

She will be the face of “Afrimaxx” and will guide viewers on their weekly excursions through the culinary and cultural diversity of the continent she calls home. 

“Afrimaxx” will be launched on August 5, 2022.

On DW TV (English):

Friday: 17:30 UTC / 19:30 MESZ / 18:30 MEZ

Saturday: 20:30 UTC / 22:30 MESZ / 21:30 MEZ 

Sunday: 16:30 UTC / 18:30 MESZ / 17:30 MEZ

This article was originally written in German.



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