In 2019, Netflix will add its first original African series to the streaming platform.
The South African drama series Queen Sono follows a secret agent who fights crime while handling issues in her personal life. Queen Sono stars South African actress Pearl Thusi, who tweeted a video on Monday, saying, “It’s going to change the game for every artist on this continent,” and that she “cannot wait for every woman on this continent, and actually on this planet, to meet Queen Sono.”
— Pearl Thusi (@PearlThusi) December 10, 2018
This exciting news comes just a week after Erik Barmack, Netflix’s VP of international originals, announced that the streaming giant will begin commissioning more original series from Africa starting next year.
Comparing Thusi’s character to strong female leads that are currently on the platform, Barmack said, “Taking talent like this and telling stories to the rest of the world puts Pearl in the same category as other strong female characters like Claire Underwood in ‘House of Cards’ and Jessica Jones.”
“Over time, our roots will get deeper in Africa and South Africa, and we’re moving pretty quickly to that now, and plan to invest more in local content,” he added.
The series was created by Kasigo Lediga, and is being executive produced by Tasmin Andersson. Lediga, who starred with Thusi in Netflix’s original film Catching Feelings, is hopeful that Queen Sono will open doors for more diverse stories from Africa.
Netflix’s director of international original films, Funa Maduka, told Variety at Marrakesh Film Festival that this emergence of African content is “only the beginning.”
“Africa is birthplace to one of the oldest storytelling traditions in the world. It also has a rich cinematic history,” she said. “The talent is here and we want to present ourselves as an option as they choose the best path to connect their stories with audiences.”
We’re thrilled to meet Queen Sono, and to discover more African and international content next year and beyond.