Netflix on Friday launched its first original African series, Queen Sono, a spy thriller starring South Africa’s leading actress Pearl Thusi.
The new series, one its first investments on the continent, premiered in Johannesburg on Thursday night.
Queen Sono is part of Netflix’s broader “Made in Africa, Seen by the World” strategy. It was created and directed by leading local satirist and actor Kagiso Lediga.
Queen Sono was filmed at more than 37 locations including in Kenya, Zanzibar, Nigeria and South Africa. It is the first original script-to-screen series from Africa.
Netflix’s Africa manager Dorothy Ghettuba describes the film as “a gripping action pact thriller (that) … follows the life of Queen Sono, a highly trained secret spy who works for South Africans”.
“I have always been the face of a strong African woman; it’s not new to me but I’m now representing a character on screen who is, I think reflecting all the women in Africa that are strong, black African women,” said Thusi, who is also a star of US FBI thriller series “Quantico”.
The production shows “exactly what we wish to do which is telling stories about Africa by Africans,” said Ted Sarandos, chief content officer at Netflix.
For creator and director Lediga “there are so many stories, there are so many great filmmakers on the continent, I can’t wait to see what comes up after this”.
After attending the premier Lufuno Mutheiwana, 48, who works at a retail store, said it was time Africa tells its own story.
“It shows that we as Africans we can to do things by ourselves, we don’t need Europeans or Asians or anyone to tell our own stories. We understand ourselves and we can actually tell our story better than anybody else”.