What You Need To Know About New Kenyan Christmas Movie, “A Merry X-Mess”

African Christmas movies are becoming popular as more filmmakers embrace this genre, and the new film “A Merry X-Mess” comes as a delightful surprise. This film is about what happens when a vibrant extended family with different personalities and hidden agendas comes together for Christmas. Packed with humor and a relatable plot, A Merry X-Mess is definitely one film to watch out for. Here is everything you need to about it:

Premiere Date

This film is the second Showmax Original Christmas feature. It follows the success of last year’s Christmas movie “A Familiar Christmas” by Reuben Odanga. “A Merry X-Mess” premieres exclusively on Showmax on 15th December 2023.


“A Merry X-Mess” unwraps the laughter and chaos that ensue when the Nyati family attempts to navigate the seven days of Christmas without driving each other mad. At the heart of the chaos is the competitive family matriarch, Zawadi, who invites her equally competitive sister from the village to assist in winning the coveted annual family Christmas choir competition at the local church. What follows is a series of uproarious events as modern beliefs clash with traditional customs and familial ties are tested.

Zawadi’s meddling doesn’t stop with the choir competition. She takes it upon herself to intervene in her son’s love life, throwing a wrench into the delicate dance of romance during the festive period. Meanwhile, her daughter, visiting from America, grapples with the clash of African traditions imposed by her uncle on her children. The allure of moving back home becomes a central theme, questioning the balance between modernity and ancestral roots.


The stellar cast includes:

  • Regina Re – She brings Zawadi Nyati’s role to life. Zawadi is the quintessential competitive family matriarch, consistently entangled in the affairs of her loved ones.
  • Melissa Kiplagat – Renowned for her role in “Country Queen,” steps into the shoes of Toni. Recently returned from America with her two sons, Toni contemplates the prospect of making a permanent move back home.
  • Bruce Makau – Known for his role in Kina, embodies Ken, a charismatic ladies’ man who believes he’s still too young to embrace the settled life—until a chance encounter with a church girl who proves to be a challenge.
  • Sheila Munyiva – Revered for her performances in “Rafiki” and “Country Queen,” takes on the role of Mwix. Zawadi has her sights set on pairing Mwix with her son, adding a layer of complexity to their lives.
  • Mufasa Kibet – “Crime and Justice” gritty cop portrays Charlie, Zawadi’s youngest son. In contrast to his mother’s intricate plans, Charlie simply seeks quality time with his wife and family.
  • Joel Kennedy Otukho – A familiar face from “Country Queen,” embodies the role of the wise uncle from the village. Firmly grounded in tradition, he advocates for its importance, even for his American grandchildren visiting from abroad.
  • Naomi Ramtu – Known for her role in “Kiu,” takes on the character of Aunty Fidelis. Zawadi’s equally competitive sister from the village, Aunty Fidelis, adds a touch of mischief to the family dynamics.
A Merry X-Mess

The cast also features Raymond Karago from “Twende” and introduces newcomers Eunice Kangai, David Muturi, Chase Njogu Mathenge, and Gachecheh Kenyua.


A Merry X-Mess is directed by Gilbert Lukalia, the creative mind behind “Mission to Rescue.” It is written by Damaris Irungu, known for her work on “Pepeta” and “Crime and Justice.” Damaris Irungu describes “A Merry X-Mess” as a “fun, escapist, heart-warming delight.” The film aims to capture the essence of family, Christmas, and the diverse joy that the holiday season brings. Irungu emphasizes that the story is not only for Kenyans but has the potential to resonate with audiences across the African continent.

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