As if having a film done based on his name is not enough, the comic and host of famous United States television programme Daily Show, the South African-born and raised Trevor Noah, recently inked a deal with leading media giant Viacom to produce content on a long-term basis.
By Admire Kudita
Through his Day Zero Productions, Noah is poised to create movie, television and shortform projects for Viacom. The partnership will see Viacom, which is the parent company for Comdey Central, invest in Noah’s company.
“I’ve found a strong and incredibly valuable partnership in Viacom. Our shared vision of bringing diverse cultural conversations and exciting creative projects to the forefront of the entertainment industry and to our constantly expanding audience continues to strengthen our relationship,” quipped Noah on his newly minted deal.
The deal is a breakthrough deal for an African comedian and quite possibly the first one of its kind. Ghanain-Liberian stand-up comedian Michael Blackson has come closest to Noah in getting high-profile media attention for his US exploits.
In related news, a South African filmmaker Liesl Tommy has been tapped to direct the Noah biopic, Born a Crime, based on Trevor Noah’s book of the same title, which was famously touted by billionaire Bill Gates as a must-read.
Lupita Nyong’o, who recently starred in the Black Panther movie, is set to star as Noah’s mother, Patricia.
The beauty of the deal for Noah is that his production company will co-produce the film together with Mainstay Entertainment and Nyong’o’s own company Eba Productions. Liesl Tommy is a Tony-nominated director, having worked with Lupita in Eclipse.
Viacom’s chief executive Robert Bakish is reportedly thrilled to partner Noah because “working with the best, most versatile talent in entertainment is a strategic priority for Viacom”.
Noah is a shining example of a talent that has been exported right out of Africa. His comedy transcends race and culture.