Jiya: A drama series that illustrates how love can break cultural heritage barriers

Some of the characters of the Jiya drama series.

What you need to know:

  • This drama series is an example that explores the relationship between three different cultures: Swahili, Indians, and Maasai, and how they can come together in a unique way.
  • The producer of the drama, Aziz Mohammed, says the idea for the drama came from their desire to bring something different to the film industry in the country.


Jiya (Moyo ni Chuo) is not unfamiliar to Tanzanian drama enthusiasts tuning in to the Maisha Magic Bongo on DStv.

It presents social and cultural issues that may arise when different cultures meet and try to find a balance but also conserving heritage and norms believed to be maintained from the early practices.

It also depicts how conflicts can arise from misunderstandings but also emphasizes the importance of open dialogue and mutual understanding to break cultural barriers.

This drama series is an example that explores the relationship between three different cultures: Swahili, Indians, and Maasai, and how they can come together in a unique way.

The producer of the drama, Aziz Mohammed, says the idea for the drama came from their desire to bring something different to the film industry in the country.

“We knew that the market needed different content. So, we sat down and decided to bring a different flavor. We said that since we used to enjoy Indian films, and there are Indians origin in Tanzania, we could create a story about a wealthy Indian family, and then have their child marry a Swahili,” says Aziz.

He explains that after that idea, they created the first "Demo," which didn't succeed. Afterward, they sat down and planned how to redo it.

“While we were contemplating how to redo it, the idea of the film 'The Royal Tour' came to mind. I have always been interested in the lives and places where the Maasai live, so I wanted to know more. I went on a trip, and when I returned, I shared it with my colleagues.

“I told them that through our original story, we could develop it by creating a young man from the Maasai community who would marry Jiya,” says Aziz.

He explains that through the original story, where there was a guard in the wealthy Indian family, they decided to change it and place a Maasai guard who would be close to his Maasai peer and invite him over as he runs away from his trouble at home.

“The Maasai guard has a friend who visits him from his Maasai community. Due to his efforts and assistance at home, the wealthy girl, Jiya, falls in love with him. Then the story takes a turn by taking her to the Maasai community. At the end of the day, the wealthy Indian girl faces challenges on her way to the Maasai community, but she confronts them because of love,” says Aziz.

Characters speak

The main character, Rukhsar Varda (Jiya Patel), says that when she was first told to participate in the series, she was happy because she saw it as the only opportunity to showcase and make a breakthrough in her acting talent and eventually a career worthwhile.

“We did the first 'Demo,' and it took a long time. I thought it wouldn't happen again, but later we did another one, and it was accepted.

Shortly afterward, we were informed that the Jiya drama would soon be aired. I cried tears of joy, and I thank God because through this drama, Tanzanians have seen what I can do and I got a chance to represent the Indian community in Tanzania in this film industry,” says Rukhsar.

She says that one thing she learned from the drama is to spend time with the Maasai community, enjoy, eat, drink, and talk, which she never got a chance to do it in her life before. She also learned how different cultures can bond and break barriers in one common place.

However, Rukhsar says the challenge was not understanding the set language and some of the things that needed to be done while on location because it was her first time.

Luckey Lukamo, who acted as “Don G,” says on the first day he was called for the "Demo" of the Jiya drama, he was in Morogoro.

He says Jiya is a drama that has brought a significant revolution in the film industry in the country because it is a way to take artists to international level. When he received the news of participating, he took it well because in his acting career, he had never acted in such a big drama or key role before.

“My dream of going international, which I have had on my acting journey, I see it coming into fruition through the Jiya drama, and I promise fans and followers of the drama to expect great things they have never seen in any series in the country," says Luckey.

Other actors in the drama include Single Mtambalike (Richi Richi), Salum Ahmed (Gabo), Shamsa Ford, Akili the Brain, Aunt Ezekiel, Bi. Star, Papati etc. The Jiya drama is shown from Monday to Wednesday starting at 7:30 PM on Maisha Magic Bongo channel number 160, on DStv only.

Dosari: A drama series showcasing the strength of women in fighting for what they believe

For a long time, women have been valued as vital pillars in society. In the 21st century, their strength has been increasingly evident in their ability to confront various challenges.

Dosari is an embodiment of the strength of women in facing the challenges before them. Through courage, perseverance, and capability, the play demonstrates how a woman can overcome any obstacles and achieve great success in her life.

Throughout the entirety of Dosari a drama series sheds light on the lives of characters who are in the process of facing everyday challenges. Through these characters, the drama explores issues such as discrimination, abuse, early marriages, and economic challenges faced by middle and upper-class individuals in society.

Through compelling writing and excellent acting, Dosari provides a unique opportunity to examine life from a fresh perspective and understand better how we can collaborate to build a better community.

The director and writer of the drama, Brenda Malembeka, says the idea stemmed from her love for something beautiful and different that both viewers and fans would appreciate.

 “I am an avid film enthusiast, and I also love revenge films. One day, I got the idea to create a story about a woman who, when she was young, was subjected to acts of abuse, so when she grew up, she decided to seek revenge," Brenda says.

Some of the characters of the Dosari drama series.

She says that after getting this idea, she shared it with her colleagues, and they received it positively. “After putting the idea on the table, we spent two weeks discussing how we would craft the story, who the characters would be, etc.”

She says that after that, they searched for actors, emphasizing that the main focus was finding actors with passion and experience in film, rather than looking at big names.

Brenda says Dosari showcases the strength of a woman in fighting for what she believes in, emphasizing that when a woman decides to do something, she does it wholeheartedly until she succeeds.

“Marry Mtemi (Queen) portrays the ability of a woman who, in her youth (twenty years ago), experienced sexual abuse, which caused deep emotional pain that she can only overcome by seeking revenge,”  Brenda says.

She explains that this drama adheres to Tanzanian values and also portrays issues that happen in our society every day because we often hear about and witness girls experiencing various forms of abuse, leading to despair and, in some cases, even suicide.

The main character of the drama, Marry Mtemi (Queen), says she loved the story of Dosari because it addresses the challenges of gender-based violence that many girls and young women face, so for her, it was not difficult to play the role.

“Brenda knows me well, so she once told me that she would write a story about a girl who had experienced gender-based violence. Therefore, the idea of ' Dosari' was not new to me.”

“Dosari sends a message to many Tanzanian girls that experiencing abuse is not the end of life, but it also shows how such acts sometimes shatter the dreams of many girls,” says Marry.

She believes that Dosari is a work of art that brings significant differences and teaches society how a woman can overcome the challenges of abuse and later stand up and fight for her dreams without giving up, so fans can expect a compelling and unique story.

Steven Almasi, who played the role of Mr. Amar, says that the drama interprets how acts of abuse against girls and young women can affect their lives but also how a girl can fight without giving up even if she has been subjected to such acts.

"Queen, the girl who went through this challenge twenty years ago, has lived with pain for a long time without giving up, and later she stands up again and fights for her dreams in a world dominated by men. This is a beautiful story with lessons that you shouldn't miss watching,” says Almasi.

Dosari is aired on Saturdays and Sundays, starting at 9:00 PM via Maisha Magic Bongo, channel 160 on DStv.