Netflix is expanding its streaming services to Africa as there have been several isolated deals with the likes of John Boyega to start producing African content for the platform. Now the media streaming service and producer has partnered with Mo Abudu, renowned Nigerian filmmaker to create content straight out of Nigeria to the world.
The Nigerian media mogul is the owner of production company, EbonyLife, and together with Netflix, they will create two Netflix original series and several other Netflix-branded films.
With her production house, Abudu has done well for herself. She has put out over 5,000 hours of original television shows and highly rated Nigerian films like “The Wedding Party” which earned the production house around $11.5 million (3.5 billion Naira) in 2016 and “Fifty”.
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“As a Nigerian storyteller, my biggest motivator has always been to tell authentic and untold stories that resonate with every person, regardless of where they’re from in the world while showcasing our culture, heritage and creativity,” said Abudu. “This unprecedented partnership is testament to Netflix’s investment in African storytelling.”
Last Friday, Netflix’s lead for original series in Africa, Dorothy Ghettuba, said in a statement that, Abudu was Netflix’s top choice because of her “passion for creating high-quality, riveting multi-genre films.”
The partnership with streaming giant will create the on-screen adaptations of the literary works of two award-winning Nigerian authors Wole Soyinka and Lola Shoneyin. “The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives,” Shoneyin’s debut novel, will be developed into a series, and Soyinka’s play, “Death and the King’s Horseman,” will be adapted into a film, CNN reported.
“We’re thrilled about this first-of-its-kind partnership in Africa that will bring some of Nigeria — and Africa’s — most iconic storytelling to screen. We look forward to supporting Mo as she brings all these diverse Nigerian stories to the world,” Ghettuba said in a statement.
Netflix has gradually been working its way into the African homes by making major moves towards garnering more African patronage. In 2015, the US media streaming company paid $12 million for the global distribution of “Beasts of No Nation,” which starred the multitalented Idris Elba.
That same year, Netflix purchased Nigerian blockbusters like “October 1” and “Fifty” which marked the inception of the distribution of Nigerian content on their platform. Earlier this year, Netflix made a major announcement of its full presence in Nigeria when it created a new Twitter account for Netflix Naija.
Shoneyin could not be more delighted to see her maiden novel being adapted into a series. She said she was “thrilled” her work will be brought to life through a partnership with Abudu and Netflix.
Also, in a statement, Soyinka said it is a “delight” to see Abudu’s EbonyLife, flourish in a male-dominated filmmaking industry.
“In a creative industry which, even in pioneering countries, is so male-dominated, it is always a delight to see robust challenges offered by the female gender, and of attestable quality. Mo Abudu’s incursion into this arena as film and television producer has been especially stimulating,” he said.