To celebrate Netflix’s foray into Africa, creating and telling original African stories such as Blood & Water, Mama K’s Team 4, Queen Sono, Jiva! (SA) and the Untitled Akin Omotoso Project from Nigeria, the streaming service has launched a new ad called Made by Africans, Watched by the World, which is already starting to go viral.
In the ad, African directors, producers, actors and actresses talk about representation and telling African stories using authentic voices.
Netflix recently confirmed an overall deal with Mo Abudu’s EbonyLife productions to create two Nigerian original series and a number of Netflix-branded licenced projects from Nigeria. Two major highlights of this partnership are the on-screen adaptations of literary works by two critically-acclaimed Nigerian authors: a series based on contemporary author, Lola Shoneyin’s best-selling debut novel, The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives and a film adaptation of Death And The King’s Horseman, a play by world-renowned Nobel Peace Prize-winning author, poet & playwright, Wole Soyinka.
“For so long, our stories were told by people who found us interesting but had no idea what we looked like, what we really sounded like, or the lengths of our capabilities,’’ said South Africa’s Pearl Thusi, who starred in Queen Sono.
Mo Abudu, a lauded female powerhouse, producer and director in Nigeria’s Nollywood industry, echoes Pearl’s statement adding: “I’ve said it time and time again. Africa has remained creatively silent for centuries. It’s important that we are able to tell our stories and it is important to tell our stories in collaboration with global organisations such as Netflix.”
Malenga Mulendema, Zambian writer and creator of Mama K’s Team 4, Netflix’s first Animation series, shares Abudu’s sentiment saying: “It’s bigger than me. Our stories are more powerful when they are told by multiple African creatives.”
Kenyan-born Dorothy Ghettuba, who leads African originals for Netflix, emphasises that “our aim at Netflix is to have stories that are made by Africans to be watched by the world”.
“We are focused on giving our consumers in Africa, and globally, authentic African content. Having all of these incredible voices in the same room, and on the same platform going forward, is something to celebrate.”
Watch it here: