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Fellow behind the first African original from Netflix


2016 Tutu Fellow Dorothy Ghettuba has been busy in her new role as Manager of International Originals at Netflix since she took the post in 2019. She has been working with African creatives and in February 2020, Netflix released worldwide its first African original series, Queen Sono.

It's a series created entirely by Africans, with a majority African cast and produced on a Netflix budget. As such, Queen Sono is already different from the streaming channel's more typical fare, and its freshness has been drawing audiences in markets in which Netflix seeks to grow. Rumors are already circulating that the landmark spy drama will see a second season. The series taps into South Africa's divided history for Pearl Thusi's backstory as the title character and the plot unfolds against the backdrop of a South Africa still trying to find its footing in the world, 30 years removed from Apartheid.

What makes Queen Sono standout is Africa itself, which allows the series to introduce themes that don't make dinnertime conversations in the West. The series captures the vibrancy of many of its locales in a way that most of the world rarely gets to see. This is entirely in keeping with Dorothy's philosophy as an award-winning content creator before she joined Netflix - that of African creators getting to tell their own stories well.  Dorothy said that what excited her was that the African Original series would be broadcast in over 190 countries which is in itself a groundbreaking moment for African entertainment. She also said that her team was looking forward to collaborating with storytellers from Nigeria’s prolific Nollywood industry. Dorothy said that Nollywood had played a critical role in exporting African stories to the world and that now Netflix could also be part of that journey.

It's not the only piece in the works. Netflix's next African original, the teenage mystery Blood and Water is due later this year. 

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Tuesday, 04 October 2022

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