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Netflix Orders Its First African Original Series

Last week we talked about how Netflix had made a promise that they were going to order their first original African series in 2019. Well it’s not 2019 yet but it would seem Netflix has already made good on their promise. They have gone out and ordered their first African original series. It is a South African series called Queen Sono. This makes sense since South Africa is where their largest African market share is.

The message from the streaming giant is expect more original content. Their catalogue has always been a little thin when it comes to productions from this content but they have bee of late ramping up their acquisitions. So far they have concentrated on acquiring Nollywood productions.Their most notable grab came when they bought world wide rights to Genevieve Nnaji’s critically acclaimed “Lionheart”. Technically the film is Netflix’s first African original movie. It must be doing well if Netflix is interested in acquiring more content.

So what is Queen Sono about?

So back to this South African original series. It is going to star Pearl Thusi of Isidingo and Quantico fame. According to the official description: Queen Sono follows the story of a secret South African clandestine agent who tackles criminal operations while dealing with crises in her personal life. Given South Africa is the crime capital of SADC there will be plenty of inspirational material to use so expect it to be interesting.

Most African productions suffer from tiny budgets and people end up cutting corners. Action sequences are usually awful or just narrated. I remember one African movie that I was forced to watch, there was this guy when it came to him leaving Lagos for London to pursue his studies he just went behind the house and came back minutes later wearing the same clothes and carrying the same bag!

Expect the duopoly to go on

When it comes to Africa, south of the Sahara, two countries tend to dominate the global stage. South Africa and Nigeria. This is partly because of their population sizes and the sizes of their economies being number two and one respectively. Their shows and movies dominate our screens. DSTV’s music channels are imbued with South African music despite the channels’ international names.

Already it seems Netflix will concentrate on these two countries as well. So far their beneficiaries have been Nollywood and South Africa. Both countries already have well developed showbiz industries and regularly export movies, TV shows and actors. Names like Charlize Theron and Tsotsi are globally recognised.


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