Netflix takes on next African original series

By Content Nigeria reporter
May 7, 2020

Jiva! is from Cape Town-based prodco Blue Ice Africa

Streaming giant Netflix has commissioned an original drama series from Cape Town-based prodco Blue Ice Africa.

Jiva! follows the life of a talented street dancer who, while juggling the demands of a dead-end job, family responsibility and a rocky love life, realises her dance moves could be her ticket out of a working-class neighbourhood in Durban, South Africa.

The series, which was created by Busisiwe Ntintili, is a local African production from script to screen, and will showcase an all-African cast and crew.

Ntintili will act as showrunner on Jiva! and will exec produce with Adam Friedlander and Tebogo Maila. Scottnes L Smith, Mandla Dube and Mmambatho Montsho will direct.

Dancer, actor and radio personality Bontle Modiselle and Tom London, founder of South African dance crew Soweto’s Finest, join the creative team as choreographers.

In March, Netflix teamed with Star Wars actor John Boyega’s production outfit UpperRoom to develop non-English-language films drawn from Africa.

Earlier this week, the streamer renewed its first African original series, Queen Sono, for a second season. The six-parter, starring Pearl Thusi in the title role, was Netflix’s first script-to-screen original production on the continent.

Netflix will soon debut another African original globally, Blood & Water, a young adult drama series set in Cape Town, South Africa. The streamer has also previously announced its first Nigerian original series, from Nigerian director Akin Omotoso, as well as an animated project, Mama K’s Team Four.