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JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - FEBRUARY 21: (SOUTH AFRICA OUT) Pearl Thusi during the Comedy Central Roast of AKA held at Montecasino's Teatro, Fourways on February 21, 2019 in Johannesburg, South Africa. The event, hosted by Pearl Thusi, boasted panellists like Mark Fish, Nina Hastie, Nigerian pop star, Davido and Francois van Coke.

Netflix Cancels Second Season of 'Queen Sono' Due to COVID-19 Pandemic

Netflix has reportedly cited filming challenges that have been brought on by the pandemic as the reason for their decision to cancel the second season of the spy-thriller series, 'Queen Sono'.

According to The Citizen, Netflix has decided that Africa's first Original Series, Queen Sono, will not go ahead for a second season. This comes after initial reports in April of this year that Queen Sono had been given the thumbs-up for a second season. Speculations on the possible reasons for halting the show vary, according to IOL. However, Netflix cited difficulties in filming due to challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.


Read: 'Queen Sono' is the Bad-Ass Women-Led African Spy Thriller Like No Other: Here's What its Stars Have to Say About It.

Queen Sono lead, Pearl Thusi, released a bittersweet statement to The Citizen in response to the news.

"It's so incredible that we as a team got a lifetime opportunity to make history together as there will never be another 'first' African Netflix original series. I'm proud of the work we did, but everything happens for a reason. I am excited about what the future holds."

The Netflix team reportedly stated that axing the show was a difficult decision because of the "dream vision" achieved through the show. According to The Citizen, Netflix' spokesperson thanked Queen Sono fans from around the world for their continued and fervent support of the production. Furthermore, Queen Sono creator, Kagiso Lediga, commented on the recent news saying, "We wrote a beautiful story that spanned the continent but unfortunately could not be executed in these current trying times."

Queen Sono is the first Netflix African Original Series to come out this year. The series follows an action-packed story about a South African spy played by Thusi. The show was initially commended for its high production quality although there were some lukewarm responses internationally. The Hollywood Reporter especially critiqued Thusi's inconsistent performance and lack of character development in relation to the rest of the cast.

Queen Sono is one of many productions to be halted due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Lupita Nyong'o and Danai Gurira's Americanah series was recently cancelled by HBO Max before it went into production. South Africans, however, can still look forward to the second season of popular Netflix Original Series, Blood and Water

Interview

Interview: Terri Is Stepping Out of the Shadows

We talk to the Wizkid-signed artist about the story behind the massive hit "Soco" and his latest Afro Series EP.

Certain afrobeats songs have made in-roads in international markets and paved the way for the genre's ceaselessly-rising widespread recognition. Among these history-defining songs were D'banj's "Oliver Twist," Tekno's "Pana," Davido's "If" & "Fall," Runtown's "Mad Over You," and of course, Wizkid's "Soco." Wizkid released "Soco" under his label imprint, Starboy Entertainment in March 2018, and the song spread like wildfire across Africa and beyond. "Soco" was an Afro-pop wonder delivered at a time when the 'afrobeats to the world' movement was gathering steam, further cementing its electric nature. The Northboi-produced song was co-signed by celebrities across the world like Rihanna, Cardi B, and Paul Pogba and has accrued well over a hundred million streams across streaming platforms worldwide.

"Soco" was not only a trailblazer amongst mid-2010s afrobeats records, it was also the introduction of the first Wizkid-signed artist, Terri. Just weeks before "Soco" was released, Terri was discovered by Wizkid's longtime producer, Mutay, who saw him covering the song "Oshe" on social media.

Before "Soco," Terri Akewe was well on his way to fame. At fifteen, he had performed at street carnivals in his neighbourhood and, one time, was carried all the way home by neighbours after winning a Coca-Cola sponsored singing competition. Before his life-changing meeting with Wizkid, Terri had a seven-track EP ready for release, as well as a viral song titled "Voices." "One time I was on set with the video director T.G Omori, he told me that 'Voices' was the first time he heard of me" Terri tells me as we settle on a plush couch at his home in Lagos.

Regardless of Terri's initial career trajectory; signing to a label headed by afrobeats' biggest superstar was bound to accelerate his musical journey, and at the same time, cast a huge shadow of expectation on his career, especially given a debut as spectacular as "Soco." With his latest EP, Afro Series, powered by the sensational single "Ojoro," one thing is clear: Terri is stepping out of the shadows into his own spotlight and he is doing it on his own terms.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

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