Ghettuba: tell African stories to the world
Netflix’s Dorothy Ghettuba told the MipAfrica conference this week about the need to take African stories around the world and to work with African creatives, and explained the streamer’s efforts to be inclusive.
Ghettuba, director of African originals at Netflix, told the inaugural MipAfrica event in Cape Town, South Africa, that storytellers are important because they are the custodians of our history, present and the future. “We are responsible for preserving our culture, for showcasing our culture in whatever form you tell your story,” she said.
“If you look at Hollywood, it’s local American stories; in Bollywood, those are local Indian stories; and in Nollywood — I admire Nigerians saying, ‘This is the party, you are welcome to join’ — they are telling authentic Nigerian stories,” Ghettuba told delegates.
“We have found that the shows that do the best are the ones that are locally specific. There is an unwavering dedication to telling local stories and it is our responsibility to tell our stories to the world. Let us continue being brave, courageous and tell our stories to the rest of the world.”
She added that for an organisation like Netflix, being inclusive was key and a sound business decision because good stories come from around the world.
The streamer has embarked on a mission to get more African content on to its platform, including signing deals with Nigeria’s EbonyLife Media and John Boyega’s UpperRoom Productions.
African content on Netflix so far incudes spy thriller Queen Sono, teen drama Blood & Water, gangster drama King of Boys: The Return of the King, sci-fi animated series Team 4 and historic drama Amina.
On getting along with African creatives, Ghettuba suggested MipAfrica delegates try three things: “You need to honour them and respect them for their craft, you need to pay them well and pay them on time, and make sure our creatives are happy. They are doing what it is they need to do to tell the best stories.”
She added that she makes sure the team at Netflix have what they need to be able to help creatives do their best work.
MipAfrica is a market for film, television and digital content distribution and coproduction in Africa. The event joins event organiser RX’s portfolio of TV industry gatherings MipTV and Mipcom in France, plus MipCancun in Mexico and MipChina.