#schoolshooting | New Showmax Original comedy starts shooting in Maboneng




Woke
In Progress,
Showmax’s second Original
scripted comedy, is now shooting in Johannesburg. 

The
fish-out-of-water comedy is set at The Maboneng Marble, where two broke,
tryna-be-woke twenty-somethings become unlikely roommates. Having just found
out she’s adopted, 22-year-old Martie has come to Joburg searching for her
birth parents; 25-year-old Amandla is trying to reconnect with the motherland
after decades of following her political elite father between international
posts.

Think 2 Broke Girls meets Dear White People, or Broad City
meets Insecure, or Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt meets Ayeye

Woke
In Progress
is created by 30-year-old
showrunner Rea Moeti, who has rapidly made a name for herself since graduating
from her Masters at The National Film and Television School in the UK – named
one of The Top 15 International Film Schools by The Hollywood Reporter
last year.  

Moeti’s
Marikana-themed short film, Mma Moeketsi, won Best African Short Film at
Cape Town, Jozi, and Zanzibar International Film Festivals, and is currently up
for an Africa Movie Academy Award. She was also head writer on the first two
seasons of Lockdown, winning the SAFTA for Best Drama Writer. But comedy
is Moeti’s first love: she was head writer on SAFTA-winning sitcoms like Ses’Top
La
and Abo Mzala, as well as a director on the SAFTA-nominated Thandeka’s
Diary
.

In 2017,
when Moeti first pitched Woke In Progress to Showmax, Vogue had
just proclaimed Maboneng “the coolest neighbourhood in Johannesburg,” while last year Forbes included the cultural hub
in its roundup of “The 12 Coolest Neighbourhoods Around The World.” 

“Our
first two scripted Originals – Tali’s Wedding Diary and The Girl From
St Agnes
– both broke records as the most watched shows on Showmax ever, so
we know our audience is hungry for quality South African series,” says Candice
Fangueiro, head of content at Multichoice’s Connected Video, which houses
Showmax and DSTV Now. “We think they’re going to love laughing with Maboneng’s
Afropunk crowd just as much as they did with Talibabes in Sea Point in Tali’s
Wedding Diary
.” 

Newcomer
Laura Lee Mostert plays Martie. She spent 2018 studying in Los Angeles: method
acting at Lee Strasberg Institute, whose alumni include Marilyn Monroe and Uma
Thurman, and improv at The Groundlings Theatre, whose alumni include Melissa
McCarthy and Will Ferrell. 

Zandile
Lujabe, best known as Palesa in Isidingo and Mpho Pop’s love interest
Ziyanda in Ayeye, plays Amandla. Like Mostert, Lujabe also studied
acting internationally, at New York Film Academy, whose alumni include Issa
Rae. 

Other key
cast include Kiroshan Naidoo, winner of the 2016 Fleur du Cap for Most
Promising Student, as Christo, a paranoid misanthrope programmer who shares the
flat with Martie and Amandla; Lebogang Tlokana (aka The Funny Chef) as the
over-entrepreneurial apartment manager, Lerato; Ebenhaezer Dibakwane, the 2016
Comics Choice Newcomer and 2017 Intermediate Award winner as her brother Puma,
the receptionist/artist; and SAFTA nominee Yule Masiteng (aka Jomo Zungu in Scandal!)
as the homeless sage who camps outside The Maboneng Marble. 

They’re
joined by a support cast of hoteps, Tinder-fodder, taxi-blessers, and tour guides.  

“Working on Lockdown was evidence for me that
MultiChoice is offering shows that are becoming more and more daring, and that
our audience is ready,” says Moeti. “When I first pitched Woke in Progress
to Showmax, it was tamer than it is now, because I thought that was what South
African platforms wanted. But Showmax has pushed it to go further. So it’s
because of Showmax that the girls are as liberated as they are now.” 

Moeti co-created Woke in Progress with Emma Lungiswa
De Wet, one of the writers on the hit animation Munki and Trunk, which
has two million YouTube subscribers. “In a way she’s Martie to my Amandla,”
jokes Moeti. 

They later brought on Karabo Lediga, who won 2019 SAFTAs for
both drama (Emoyeni) and comedy (Thuli no Thulani) writing, and
Moeti’s fellow National Film and Television School MA graduate Sipho
Sondiyazi. 

Tali’s Wedding Diary dominated the comedy category at this year’s SAFTAs, taking
home five awards, including Best Comedy and Best Actress (Julia Anastasopoulos), so Woke In
Progress
has a lot to live up to. You’ll be able to make up your own mind
when the edgy comedy premieres on Showmax on 12 December 2019. 





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