Netflix, the global streaming giant, continues to expand its footprint across Africa with the signing of a partnership deal with Ebonylife Tv to produce two original television series and several other Netflix branded movies.
The two original series are the film adaptations of Wole Soyinka’s Death and The King’s Horseman and Lola Shoneyin’s The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives.
Commenting on the new deal announced Netflix’s Twitter handle, Dorothy Ghettuba, Netflix’s Lead for Original Series in Africa, said the partnership with EbonyLife and its founder, Ms. Mo Abudu would grow the company’s investment in Nigerian content.
“Under this partnership, Mo Abudu, through her production company, EbonyLife, will create two Netflix Original series as well as multiple Netflix branded films and a series that have been licensed to the service.
“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 Nobel laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka.
“Mo Abudu is at the forefront of creative storytelling in African television.
— ELTV (@EbonyLife_TV) June 12, 2020
“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.
“We are 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 EbonyLife as it brings all these diverse Nigerian stories to the world,” she said.
For Mo Abudu, the partnership with Netflix would be most rewarding to Nigerian and African creative sector.
“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 are from in the world while showcasing our culture, heritage, and creativity.
“This unprecedented partnership is a testament to Netflix’s investment in African storytelling and we at EbonyLife are grateful and excited about the opportunity to work with Netflix to deliver unique and riveting stories from Nigeria over the next few years for Netflix audiences around the world,” she said.
According to Ben Amadasun, Netflix Director of Licensing and Co-productions for Africa, the film adaptation of Death And The King’s Horseman will be among the newly-licensed Netflix branded films.
“One of the films will premiere on the service in 2020. We believe that more people deserve to see their lives reflected on screen and for that to happen, we need to make sure there is a wide variety of content that caters to our members’ diverse tastes.
“Our members around the world have been enjoying some of the licensed titles from EbonyLife like The Wedding Party, Chief Daddy, Castle and Castle, and Fifty.
“ I am excited to continue our licensing partnership with the addition of Netflix branded film titles that will grow the variety of quality Nigerian stories on our service,” he said.
Wole Soyinka said: “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.
On her part, Shoneyin, whose novel is also being adapted into a series, said she is “thrilled” that her work is going to be depicted through a partnership with Abudu and Netflix.