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Photo credit should read Wiktor Szymanowicz/Barcroft Media via Getty Images.

John Boyega Set to Produce a Number of African Films for Netflix

The British-Nigerian actor has partnered up with Netflix to produce a number of non-English films focusing on East and West Africa.

John Boyega has recently teamed up with Netflix to produce a number of African films under his production company UpperRoom, according to Hollywood Reporter.

The films will be in non-English languages and focus particularly on East and West African countries.


Commenting on the recent development, Boyega said, "I am thrilled to partner with Netflix to develop a slate of non-English language feature films focused on African stories, and my team and I are excited to develop original material." He added that, "We are proud to grow this arm of our business with a company that shares our vision."

Boyega founded UpperRoom back in 2016 with his debut production titled Pacific: Uprising. The company has since been involved in productions across film and TV as well as unscripted content.

Describing the new venture, VP of International Film at Netflix David Kosse said, "Africa has a rich history in storytelling, and for Netflix, this partnership with John and UpperRoom presents an opportunity to further our investment in the continent while bringing unique African stories to our members both in Africa and around the world."

Last year, Netflix announced that it was planning to produce more original series and films from Africa.

Following that announcement, the streaming giant has since picked up Genevieve Nnaji's Lionheart as well as Queen Sono, the first African Original Series starring South African actress Pearl Thusi as the lead. The six-part spy thriller premiered on the platform at the end of last month.

Plans to launch South Africa's second original series Blood and Bone, directed by Nosipho Dumisa, are well underway.

Interview
Photo: Benoit Peverelli

Interview: Oumou Sangaré Proves Why She's the Songbird of Wassoulou

We caught up with the Malian singer to talk about her new Acoustic album, longevity as an artist, and growing up in Mali.

When Oumou Sangaré tells me freedom is at her core, I am not surprised. If you listen to her discography, you'll be hard-pressed to find a song that doesn't center or in some way touch on women's rights or child abuse. The Grammy award-winning Malian singer has spent a significant part of her career using her voice to fight for the rights of women across Africa and the world, a testimony to this is her naming her debut studio album Moussolou, meaning Woman. The album, a pure masterpiece that solidified Oumou's place amongst the greats and earned her the name 'Songbird of Wassoulou,' was a commercial success selling over 250,000 records in Africa and would in turn go on to inspire other singers across the world.

On her latest body of work Acoustic, a reworking of her critically acclaimed 2017 album Mogoya, Oumou Sangaré proves how and why she earned her accolades. The entirety of the 11-track album was recorded within two days in the Midi Live studio in Villetaneuse in 'live' conditions—with no amplification, no retakes or overdubs, no headphones. Throughout the album, using her powerful and raw voice that has come to define feminism in Africa and shaped opinions across the continent, Oumou boldly addresses themes like loss, polygamy and female circumcision.

We caught up with the Malian singer at the studio she is staying while in quarantine to talk about her new album, longevity as an artist, and growing up in Mali.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

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