Urban Brew Studios gears up for the next generation of content creation in Africa

Presenters of SABC 1's Live Amp, DJ Warras and Lerato Kganyago

A division of Kagiso Media, Urban Brew Studios has established itself as a leading African content creator providing original entertainment solutions and services for both local and international audiences.

As producers of TV that breaks boundaries, tells stories, creates memories, forms new norms, starts and continues conversations, Urban Brew Studios has touched countless lives through its programming.

It has also been the training ground for some of the most accomplished players in the TV industry for more than three decades.

More than JUST a production house, Urban Brew Studios offer a range of services including outside broadcasting, graphics, video editing, audio recording and post-production, music composition and studio hire.

Dominating the local independent television production sector, over the years Urban Brew has delivered some of South African audience’s most-loved shows across multiple genres. These include long-running children’s variety show YOTV, which is about to enter its 20th year on television. It has a long legacy of talented presenters. The success of this group is testament to the extraordinary talent YOTV cultivates and the adoration of its fans.

Weekly reality family series Khumbul’ekhaya on SABC1. About to enter its 14th season, the show is a firm favourite for its soulful South African storytelling and real depiction of how love and hope overcomes time and distance.

Weekly music show Live AMP is the place to be for music fans every Friday night at 19h30. Boasting the largest audience of any music show in the country, it’s well known as the first stop for South Africa’s most popular as well as emerging artists to premiere new music and new videos.

The Real Goboza (RGB) continues to dominate its timeslot with its always current, always spicy, always on point look at the local social scene.

New productions

Always looking for new, innovative ways to entertain audiences, in 2017 Urban Brew Studios delivered a host of new original shows. April saw the premiere of Tyres & Braaiers on SABC3 which followed comedian Nik Rabinowitz and chef Hezron Louw as they toured South Africa in search of the most scenic and unique braai experiences the country has to offer.  It’s a love letter to South African humour, culture, food, people and landscapes.

Tongue-in-cheek late night show #WTFTUMI – hosted by comedienne and actress Tumi Morake –premiered on SABC3 last July. “Urban Brew Studios has a long history of producing talk shows, but it had been a while since we had the opportunity to produce a late night show, SABC3 was open to pushing the boundaries and we had so much fun shedding the daytime constraints and producing something with this much freedom,” says head of Creative Joanne Lurie.

Reality dance show, Break Da Beat also premiered last July, uncovering the country’s best hip hop dance crews in one of the biggest dance competitions South Africa has ever seen. “We travelled across the country looking for crews to bring to life this particular dance culture,” comments head of Productions Adelaide Joshua.

Sponsored by Vodacom, October saw The NXT LVL – a reality show that, through a mentorship programme, seeks to fast track the music careers of five individuals or groups – come to Mzansi Magic. The show saw five celebrity mentors – Danny K, Big Nuz, Euphonik, DJ Zinhle and Riky Rick – lead contestants through a 10 week crash course in music.


In September 2017, Urban Brew Studios announced the appointment of Verona Duwarkah as their new CEO. Duwarkah has extensive television and content production experience.

Over the course of her 26-year career in the media industry, Duwarkah has held various leadership positions at the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) including general manager of Strategic Projects and group executive of SABC Television. Most recently, she occupied the position of business manager at Côte Ouest. “This is a different environment for me and it provides me with an exciting new challenge to lead a team that is passionate, driven and innovative,” comments Duwarkah.

New studios

Still to come in April this year, Urban Brew Studios will be moving into their brand new premises at Brightwater Commons in Randburg, Johannesburg, complete with state-of-the-art production facilities. A whopping 10 000 square metres of the shopping complex has been turned into the ultimate production space by The Moolman Group. Urban Brew Studios’ new facilities will include office space, television studios, dedicated audio post-production and music compilation facilities, a business centre and meeting rooms to name a few.

The main studio is now 1 000 square metres. This is in addition to a variety of other fully-equipped studios of different sizes. Urban Brew Studios is in a prime position to comfortably produce content of all genres in various formats.

Duwarkah adds, “Urban Brew Studios is in a very interesting place in its life-cycle. Due to the sheer enormity of all the changes taking place, I am both excited and nervous. But as the saying goes, if the dream does not scare you, it is not big enough.”


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