Netflix lines up first Kenyan drama
Netflix is set to premiere Country Queen, the first original Kenyan drama to join the global streamer.
The family drama, which uses a mix of English and Swahili and was two years in the making, will be made available in 190 countries from tomorrow.
The production was overseen by Berlin-based prodco Good Karma Fiction and 10 up-and-coming Kenyan writers and filmmakers.
It was produced by Kamau Wa Ndung’u and the executive producers for Good Karma are Peter Obrist, Waltraud Ehrhardt and Ravi Karmalker, in partnership with African distribution company AAA Entertainment.
As well as Netflix, the series was made with financial support from the German government via DW Akademie; German-French cultural channel Arte/ZDF; and an unspecified private investor.
The project’s goal was to create sustainable jobs in the media industry for young Kenyan creatives as well as to produce an authentic Kenyan series that would appeal across Africa and beyond.
The language mix of Swahili and English will resonate not only in Kenya but also with the over 100 million Swahili speakers across the continent, according to Netflix.
Set in Kenya, the drama series tells the story of ordinary people fighting against a corporate power that threatens to destroy their homes and lives.
It follows a girl, played by Melissa Kiplaga, who is estranged from her family and village. When her father falls ill, she returns to a community divided after a mining company discovers gold on their land.
Although Country Queen is fiction, the writers and producers conducted research with local communities and activists to get their takes on issues such as family disputes, land ownership, local mining practices and over-exploitation of natural resources that affect many African families.
The show also stars Sheila Munyiva, Nini Wacera, Melvin Alusa, Oliver Litondo, Blessing Lungaho and Raymond Ofula.