Just a week after Netflix vowed to invest in African content, they’ve announced they’re funding a proudly South African series starring Pearl Thusi called Queen Sono.
This will be the first Netflix Original show made in South Africa, by South Africans. For this one they’re collaborating with two stars from local film Catching Feelings, Pearl Thusi and Kagiso Ledge, with Lediga also occupying the directors’ chair.
“We love the team behind [Queen Sono], [and] we’re passionate about coming in and doing something that feels fresh and different. It’s really exciting for us,” says Kelly Kelly Luegenbiehl, Netflix’s vice president of international originals for Europe and Africa in an interview with IOL.
This globalisation of content plays an important role in creating a more equitable entertainment industry and in allowing people to create content in their own languages, which depicts their own cultures. Also, original shows can be great drawcords for streaming platforms and save them a fortune in licensing fees, something Netflix knows only too well, having grown its lineup of original content from a few shows initially to what is now an enormous — and ever-growing — roster.
Meanwhile, rivals Amazon Prime Video and Showmax are investing in their own content, too. Showmax recently announced its second original series, a whodunit called The Girl From St. Agnes, is in the works.
Queen Sono is about a “highly trained South African spy in a South African agency whose purpose is to better the lives of African citizens. While taking on her most dangerous mission yet, she must also face changing relationships in her personal life.”
It’ll launch in 2019 (no indication as to when in 2019, but we’ll keep a lookout for announcements), and will launch into 190 markets on the Netflix platform. Apparently it’s the first of many African productions planned by the platform, and we can’t wait to binge it.