Forest Whitaker is coming to SA - and you could meet him

2019-11-01 10:35
Showmax stream the godfather of harlem series

If you’re a fan of crime dramas, gritty TV and absorbing entertainment, you’ll love Godfather of Harlem. It stars Forest Whitaker, and the exciting news is that he’s heading to SA, and some lucky Showmax subscribers can win tickets to exclusive events on his tour. 

There’s not much Forest Whitaker hasn’t achieved yet. He won an Oscar, a Golden Globe and a BAFTA as Idi Amin in The Last King Of Scotland; took home Best Actor at Cannes as Charlie Parker in Bird; and had memorable roles in many of the biggest films in recent history, from Star Wars: Rogue One to Black Panther. So it comes as a surprise to realise he’s never been the lead in a TV series, despite impressive smaller roles in hit shows like Empire, Criminal Minds, The Shield, and E.R. 

It’s about time too: as Variety put it, “Forest Whitaker is the sort of star seemingly built to make the leap to television: He’s a decorated leading man whose subtlety of approach and whose commitment to delicate, unusual acting choices would seem to potentially play even better on the small screen.” 

He doesn’t disappoint. To quote The Los Angeles Times, as Bumpy Johnson in Godfather of Harlem Forest is “phenomenal as the out-of-touch godfather who’s playing catchup in a new world, and plays his character with a quiet yet haunting nuance that is this actor’s specialty.”

The show 

In the early 1960s, Bumpy Johnson returns from Alcatraz to find the neighbourhood he once ruled in a shambles. With the streets controlled by Vincent 'Chin' Gigante (Emmy nominee Vincent D'Onofrio from Daredevil and Jurassic World) and the Italian mob, Bumpy takes on the Genovese crime family to regain control. During the brutal battle, he forms an unlikely alliance with radical preacher Malcolm X (Nigél Thatch, reprising his role from Selma), who wants to get heroin off the streets of Harlem. Godfather of Harlem is the remarkable true story of how the criminal underworld and the civil rights movement collided during one of the most tumultuous times in American history.

Godfather of Harlem, which has a 95% critics’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes, is now streaming on Showmax and DStv Now, and airing on 1Magic, with new episodes every Tuesday at 21:30. 

Win an evening with Forest

As part of his SA tour, Forest will be at two exclusive events in Johannesburg, a screening and Q&A session on Thursday, 7 November and a Masterclass on Friday, 8 November. Sign up for your 14-day Showmax free trial and you could win the chance to attend the events and perhaps meet Forest. 

All you need to do to enter is:

- Follow @ShowmaxOnline on Twitter.

- Go to the pinned post and take your pick between the Screening or the Masterclass with Forest Whitaker.

- Go to and activate your 14-day free trial. After the trial, Showmax costs just R99 per month for access to a wealth of entertainment.

- Binge the first four episodes of Godfather of Harlem to get ready for your amazing evening with Forest!

- The competition runs from 30 October until 5 November at 12:00. Winners will be contacted via DM on Twitter, and will have until 08:00 on 6 November to respond.

Read the Terms and Conditions and find more details here. Note that the prize is not transferable, and travel to and from the venue is not included. 

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.