Film
Nollywood actors Nkem Owoh and Genevieve Nnaji in 'Lionheart.' Photo via TIFF.

Netflix Plans To Produce More Original Series From Africa in 2019

This move is in line with the streaming service rapidly expanding local programming on major continents.

We'll be seeing more Netflix originals coming from the continent in 2019, Variety reports.

The streaming service recently announced at the Content London conference that its Europe team has been looking into opportunities in Africa. "It's definitely the case that we'll commission some series there in 2019," Erik Barmack, Netflix vice president of international originals, says.


This news also comes in lieu of the platform picking up Nollywood veteran Genevieve Nnaji's directorial debut, Lionheart, back in September. This film is set to be the first Netflix original to come out of Nigeria.

Revisit the trailer below.

LIONHEART by Genevieve Nnaji - trailer eng sub youtu.be

Barmack predicts that it will only take years for half of Netflix's top 10 most-watched shows to come from outside of the U.S. He notes that shows with multinational casts also will eventually become the norm.

Netflix users watching non-English language shows and films have been on the rise—and this increase will impact the talent and scope of the TV and film industry globally.

"The big message we want to communicate to talent is you don't have to leave home to get big audiences, and you don't have to choose Hollywood versus your own country," Barmack says at the conference. "You can do both, and that, we believe, will be able to carry their audiences to their shows regardless of the language they are speaking or where the production comes from."

As the streaming platform continues to shake up the industry, we'll keep an eye on how this move could potentially lead African filmmakers and actors to an alternative path to the global stage.

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15 South African Artists to Watch in 2019

Featuring Manu WolrdStar, Ranks, Dee Koala, Touchline, Sibu Nzuza and more.

Every year a wave of artists breaks in South Africa.

Last year saw young artists such as Mlindo The Vocalist, Muzi, Una Rams, Shekhinah, Sho Madjozi, KLY, Zoocci Coke Dope, Flame, J Molley, Rowlene and a whole lot more become household names and internet sensations. They released projects that shaped the country's musical landscape—a lot of them were on our list of 20 artists who could fuck up the game in 2018.

Alongside the aforementioned artists, there were just as many who were bubbling under, releasing singles that caught the attention of many fans. In 2019, these artists stand a great chance of expanding further and reaching more ears than they did last year.

From Manu WorldStar's lovely pop, to Ranks' version of ATM (African trap music), the refreshing Xhosa rap of Dee Koala, the street raps of Touchline, among others, we bring you a list of South African artists to keep an eye out for in 2019.

*The list is in no particular order.

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News Brief

Netflix Has Picked Up an Animated Musical Inspired by Shona Mythology

"Tunga" is the brainchild of Zimbabwean-born screenwriter Godwin Jabangwe.

The latest African story to become a Netflix original will be an animated, family-friendly musical based on Zimbabwean culture, Deadline reports. The streaming service won a four-way bidding battle for Tunga, created by Zimbabwean-born screenwriter and newcomer to the film industry Godwin Jabangwe.

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'Play Am' single cover.

Burna Boy Teams Up With Oritse Femi & Konshens on New Track 'Play Am'

Nigeria meets Jamaica on the Young D-produced dancehall-infused jam.

Fresh off his massive collaboration with Zlatan on "Killin' Dem," Burna Boy is back with another one.

The artist teams up with fellow Nigerian artist Oritse Femi and Jamaican artist Konshens for the dancehall-infused track "Play Am."

The song opens with a memorable verse from Konshens before both Oritse Femi and Burna join in, making for a unique fusion of Yoruba, Patois and Pidgin over the track's vibrant, multilayered production by producer Young D.

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