Nigeria: Netflix to Increase Investment in Nigerian Movies

Queen Sono (supplied).
28 February 2020

Netflix has announced that it would increase its investment in Nigeria's creative industry with the production of "Akin Omotoso Project," which is its first African original scripted series from Nigeria.

The "Akin Omotoso Project" is a six-part series directed by Akin alongside Daniel Oriahi and CJ Obasi. The series would star Kate Henshaw and Ade Laoye in leading roles alongside other Nollywood greats like Richard Mofe Damijo, Joke Silva. Other members of the cast include Fabian Adeoye Lojede, Kehinde Bankole, Ayoola Ayolola, Toyin Oshinaike, Goodness Emmanuel, Ireti Doyle, Bimbo Akintola, Tope Tedela and Ijeoma Grace Agu.

Netflix is among the world's leading internet entertainment service provider with over 167 million paid memberships in over 190 countries.

A news release that was signed by a Representative of SoulComms, Ms. Janet Adizua, said that drama was set in modern-day Nigeria and shot in Lagos. According to Adizua, the drama would tell the story of Kemi, a goddess reincarnated as a human to avenge her sister's death. The series would be produced by Rififi Pictures.

She noted that Netflix started to invest in the creative community in 2019 in order to bring the Nigerian stories to the global audience. Some of the movies Netflix have helped to produce, according to her, were Merry Men, The Real Yoruba Demons, The Wedding Party 2, King of Boys as well as Nollywood classics like The CEO, October 1 and The Figurine.

The Chief Content Officer of Netflix, Ted Sarandos, said: "Movies like King of Boys, Merry Men and The Bling Lagosian have shown how much our members love Nigerian movies. So, we're incredibly excited to be investing in Made in Nigeria stories - bringing them to audiences all around the world."

Similarly, the leader of African Originals at Netflix, Ms. Dorothy Ghettuba, said: "I'm excited that in the same week that we're launching Queen Sono, we had the opportunity to be here in Lagos with Nigerian storytellers to share plans of our first Nigerian original production. Our continent has a wealth of diversity, multiplicity and beauty in stories that have yet to be told and we want to be top of mind for creators in Nigeria, especially when it comes to stories they haven't had a chance to tell yet."

Adizua said that Netflix enabled Nigerian members to pay for its service in Naira in order to make it easier for existing and future subscribers to use Netflix. "Members can enjoy a wide range of diverse, quality entertainment including African Originals like Queen Sono which launches this Friday, 28 February. Other African Originals launching this year include Blood & Water and Mama K's Team 4," she said.

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