Real Housewives of Nairobi set to hit local screens soon
By Kirsten Kanja | April 13th 2021
Kenyans might be familiar with the glamour of the American reality TV series Real Housewives Of Atlanta with a cast of high-flying women juggling their professional and personal lives. The series is laden with complex plots that from disagreements between the women to emerging issues in their careers and families.
In the US, the franchise show hosts several successful series aired on the Bravo Network, including The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, Real Housewives of New York, and Orange County.
The franchise also extends to Europe and South Africa.
Local fans will be thrilled to learn that something more relatable is coming closer home. After years of reports of the show, casting for the Real Housewives of Nairobi has finally been completed.
“Director In Heels Productions would like to announce that the casting of Real Housewives of Nairobi is complete. We cannot wait to unveil who the amazing housewives are. If you are a fan of the acclaimed Bravo franchise, be ready to enjoy a star-studded rollercoaster season of the newest addition of the real housewives family,” wrote the show’s executive producer Claire Ash Meadow on her social media handles.
In 2019, the company behind the series, Director In Heels Productions aired a promotional clip on its YouTube Channel.
The four-minute video was a quick dive onto the Nairobi affluent scene, shots of familiar highways and a glimpse at some of the would-be stars at their auditions.
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In a pleasant similarity, the potential cast carries themselves with the same elegance, pride and success that those in the other Real Housewives franchises do. The same way Real Housewives of Atlanta’s Nene Leakes portrays herself as unapologetically rich, we see popular luxury vlogger and entrepreneur Sonal Maherali give us a glimpse of her high-end home as well as a look at part of her designer collection.
Former Miss Kenya Juliet Ochieng talks animatedly about why she loves Kenyan designer clothing.
“Kenyan designers make it perfect for you. And I do not have to walk down the street and see someone else wearing what I am wearing - I hate that!” says Ochieng.
The clip also features Catherine Kariuki, a vlogger and image consultant who is popularly known as Fashionable Stepmom, as she giddily debates on her monologue about how high maintenance she is.
“To be honest, I like the good things in life - but not too much,” laughs Kariuki.
After the release on the audition clip, renowned blogger Lucia Musau wrote how excited she was for a version of the reality franchise coming to Nairobi.
“I love reality TV, the Georgia peaches are my fav in the Bravo family; I love the drama, from Love and Hip Hop and Black Ink Crew. Which got me thinking a couple of years back, we need a reality show in Kenya. Looks like my wishes came true,” reads Musau’s 2019 blogpost.
According to Musau, the reality TV show is the new instalment after the 19 different versions under Bravo’s Real Housewives Franchise done in the US and Europe.
In an exclusive interview with The Standard, the show’s Executive Producer Claire Ash Meadow addressed the speculated casting and denied reports that the trio featured in the video - Juliet Ochieng, Catherine Kariuki and Sonal Maherali - would be cast members.
“After seeing the success of Real Housewives of Johannesburg, I approached the executives from their production team and NBC Universal Network and was advised to create an audition tape. Using my social network, I found and featured Sonal, Catherine and Juliet on this tape in early 2019. The clip was then uploaded on YouTube to see the audience reception of the franchise in Kenya and with that Real Housewives of Nairobi was born,” Meadow said on the show’s inception.
The Johannesburg and Nairobi-based producer spoke about the background of the show as well as the audition video, which sparked speculation about the release of Real Housewives of Nairobi.
“The background of the show begins in 2017 when I had an idea to shoot a Kenyan reality series Queens Dreams. This was after the success of two seasons of Coffee with Milk, a reality TV show about interracial dating in East Africa, that was successful to the Startimes TV audience in South Africa,” said Meadow.
The producer did not reveal any of the cast members for the upcoming show, instead of saying that once she has liaised with NBC Universal and the marketing team at the station, a public announcement will be made weeks before the first episode airs.
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