Netflix’s Kenyan Series ‘Volume’ Set to Premiere

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Netflix’s much-anticipated Kenyan music drama series, ‘Volume,’ slated to go live on December 20th, is facing a legal setback just days before its premiere, as revealed in a recent expose by the Saturday Nation. The dispute arises from allegations made by German film editor Christian Kramer, who claims non-payment and unauthorized use of his work by the series director, Tosh Gitonga.

Kramer asserts that Gitonga failed to fulfill a payment of 4,400 Euros (KES 650,000) for his editing contributions to the series trailer. Furthermore, he accuses Gitonga of leveraging his work to secure funding from Netflix without proper consent. Despite sending a demand letter through lawyer James T. Makori, Kramer’s claims remain unanswered by the renowned film director, raising speculation about potential legal consequences. This legal turmoil threatens to cast a shadow over the Kenyan film industry’s rising global reputation. Gitonga, renowned for directing successful films such as ‘Nairobi Half-Life’ and ‘Disconnect,’ now finds himself entangled in a legal battle that could impact the industry’s standing.

Here is the series trailer

Meanwhile, social media is buzzing with varied reactions to ‘Volume.’ Rongai rapper HR the Messenger and director Abel Mutua express excitement and anticipation for the series. Rongai rapper HR the Messenger tweeted: “Volume is finally here @netflix ! And I’m more than elated on being part of the soundtrack for this masterpiece ! 

Shouts out to everyone involved!”

Another celebrated Kenyan film director, Abel Mutua also showed some love : “Now this is it!!! I’ve waited for this masterpiece for way too long! Can’t wait for the @netflix premiere on 20th Dec. East Africans Must be heard!!! Our time is now. #Volume.” Veetran rapper Kayvo K Force also expressed joy wt being included in the making ofvthe film,posting on X : ” We did it fam

Special s/o to @theafricandirector_ (Tosh Gitonga) @primarypicture and to the whole team that put this together, the technical team the actors & soundtrack musicians such as myself. Mark your calendars. “VOLUME” series premier on Netflix on December 20th.Kenya to the World!”

However, criticism also surfaces, with some users deeming the trailer too brief and drawing parallels to other shows. .” Same old script! Nairobi half life,”tweeted Harison Karisa while replying to a thread discussing the trailer. Ideological concerns have also been raised,  with a user going by @Oj2545 cautioning against potential feminist narratives within the series.

Despite the legal challenges, ‘Volume’ remains committed to showcasing Kenyan talent. The cast, featuring Brian Kabugi, Blessing  Lungaho and Stephanie Muchiri, among others adds star power to the series. Additionally, the inclusion of underground rappers like Timmy Blanco, Albeezy and Jovie Jovv in the soundtrack reveals a dedication to nurturing emerging Kenyan talent. The series also features singers TheOnlyRosa, Njeri and newbie OfficialMumbi as well. OfficialMumbi expressed her joy,” Honored to have my unreleased music be a part of this groundbreaking show premiering December 20th on @netflix !Thank you so much for the opportunity. So grateful for the talent alongside each of us on this. Its a new era for Kenya and im humbled to be a part of it. “