News

Netflix Is Officially Live In Africa

Now you can Netflix and chill in Africa. The streaming service is officially launched across the continent and worldwide.

Idris Elba in the Netflix original film Beasts of No Nation


Finally, you can Netflix and chill in Africa. As of today, the subscription-based streaming service has officially launched across the continent and worldwide (with the exception of China).

Netflix Co-founder and Chief Executive Reed Hastings made the announcement during his keynote speech at CES (the Consumer Electronics Show) in Las Vegas. "Today you are witnessing the birth of a new global Internet TV network," Hastings said. "We're looking forward to bringing great stories from all over the world to people all over the world."

The news comes after weeks of speculation that a South Africa launch was in the pipeline for Netflix in 2016, and a year after the company first hinted at plans to include South Africa as part of its global expansion. "We have not provided details of when we plan to go where, but you can be confident South Africa is among the countries we intend to serve sometime in the next two years," Netflix is reported to have said last January.

This prompts the question, with Netflix now entering the African market, what does this mean for African content on Netflix? We’ve previously highlighted ten of the best titles related to Africa and the diaspora currently available for streaming on Netflix, and we’ll soon be bringing you a few more. But considering the wealth of incredible films and TV shows coming from the continent, the options are still limited.

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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