Netflix is reaffirming its commitment to original African content, signing a multi-title deal with prolific Nigerian producer Mo Abudu.
Through the partnership, Abudu — via her production company EbonyLife — will create two series and multiple films for the streamer. Among them will be the adaptations of Lola Shoneyin’s bestselling debut novel The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives and 1986 Nobel Prize laureate Wole Soyinka’s 1975 play Death and the King’s Horseman. One of the film is expected to land on the Netflix later this year.
“Mo is at the forefront of creative storytelling in African television. Her passion for creating high-quality, riveting multi-genre films and TV shows that capture the imagination while showcasing the diversity and richness of Nigerian culture is evident in her impressive body of work,” said Dorothy Ghettuba, Netflix’s lead for original series in Africa. “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.”
Said Abudu: “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.”
“We believe that more people deserve to see their lives reflected on screen and for that to happen, we need to make sure there’s a wide variety of content that caters to our members’ diverse tastes,” said Ben Amadasun, Netflix director of licensing and co-productions for Africa. “Our members around the world have been enjoying some of the licensed titles from EbonyLife like The Wedding Party, Chief Daddy, Castle & Castle and Fifty. I’m excited to continue our licensing partnership with the addition of Netflix branded films titles that will grow the variety of quality Nigerian stories on our service.”
Added Abudu: “This unprecedented partnership is testament to the Netflix’s investment in African storytelling and we at EbonyLife are grateful and excited about the opportunity to work together with the Netflix teams led by Dorothy and Ben to deliver a slate of unique and riveting stories from Nigeria over the next few years for Netflix audiences around the world.”
The deal comes just months after Netflix partnered with John Boyega’s UpperRoom Productions for a slate of three features, two from Nigeria and one from Egypt.