It has, without a doubt, been the year of the black girl.
Netflix initially broke the internet when they announced that the first original African film they would be acquiring was starring Nigeria’s Genevieve Nnaji and would also mark her directorial debut. The film, Lionheart, was announced in September.
As if the news couldn’t get any better and the year couldn’t end on an even greater note, Hollywood Reporter on 10 December 2018 announced that South Africa’s Pearl Thusi is set to star in Netflix’s first African series, Queen Sono.
This news comes after the company’s recent announcement that it wants to produce more Afrocentric content as it looks to emerging markets for international growth opportunities.
In an interview with South Africa’s Independent Online Vice President of International Original Series for Netflix, Erik Barmack says, “We are excited to be working with Kagiso and Pearl, to bring the story of Queen Sono to life, and we expect it to be embraced by our South African users and global audiences alike.”
Thusi, who is nicknamed Mama Pantha, has had several wins this year, one in particular saw her a play a role in ABC’s thriller series, ‘Quantico’. Now, in Queen Sono, she is set to play a highly trained spy in a South African agency.
Created by director Kagiso Lediga, who worked with Thusi in dark romantic comedy Catching Feelings, and executive producer Tamsin Andersson, who produced Catching Feelings and Lediga’s coming-of-age adventure Wizard, the series will see Thusi’s character take on dangerous missions, while also facing challenges in her personal life.
The show will be launched around the world on the SVOD service and will start production in 2019.
As the world’s leading subscription service sets its eyes on Africa, perhaps this really is an indication that Africa is on the rise. Only, this time, we’re not the only ones who know it, the world is starting to take note too – that black women are leading the fore also makes for a more juicy tale.