Giant American media streaming service and producer, Netflix, in a bid to continue its extension into Africa, has partnered with Nigerian filmmaker and owner of the renowned EbonyLife TV production company, Mo Abudu, to create new content from the Nigerian film industry. Abudu, a household name in Nigerian television will collaborate with the Netflix team to create two original series and more Netflix branded films on the Nigerian space.
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While commenting on the deal, Netflix’s lead for original series in Africa, Dorothy Ghettuba noted that Abudu’s “passion for creating high-quality, riveting multi-genre films” is the major reason behind her collaboration with the global media giants. Mo Abudu boasts over 5,000 hours of original television show through EbonyLife, and is equally responsible for high profile Nollywood movies such as ”The Wedding Party” which during its release in 2016 grossed 3.5 billion Naira (about $11.5 million), and ”Fifty.”
Her partnership with Netflix will see literary pieces by two Nigerian award-winning writers, the legendary Wole Soyinka, and Lola Shoneyin, adopted into screenplays. Wole Soyinka’s play “Death and the King’s Horseman,” will be adapted into a film, while Shoneyin’s debut novel “The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives,” is set to be developed into a series to entertain fans of the Nigerian film industry.
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 worldDorothy Ghettuba
Reacting to the partnership, Abudu stated that it is a testament to Netflix’s’ interest in investing in African storytelling. It will be recalled that the US media giants captured the heart of the African TV audience in 2015 after paying a whopping $12 million to see to the global distribution of the blockbuster film “Beasts of No Nation,” which starred British-Sierra Leonean actor, Idris Elba. Netflix would go on to buy and distribute top Nollywood films such as “October 1” and “Fifty” in 2015. In February 2020, Netflix announced its presence in Nigeria by creating a new Twitter account.
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Soyinka while reacting to the adaptation of his work into a film expressed delight and hailed the impact of Abudu in a worldwide male-dominated 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 stimulatingWole Soyinka
In a similar fashion, Shoneyin whose debut novel is set to be adapted into a television series owing to Abudu’s partnership with Netflix, stated that she is ”thrilled” with the development.
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