Amazon Studios is continuing its push into the African market with the addition of several executives to its original development teams in South Africa and Nigeria.
Mike-Steve Adeleye has been named senior scripted creative executive for Nigeria and Kemi Lala Akindoju has been appointed senior movies creative executive for the country.
Joining its South African originals team are Kaye Ann Williams, who will serve as head of scripted and movies, and Brendan Gabriel, senior unscripted creative executives.
All four execs will work on the team led by Wangi Mba-Uzoukwu, Amazon Prime Video’s principal head of content in Africa.
The appointments come one month after Amazon Prime Video launched a local version of its service in Nigeria.
Key upcoming titles on the local service are crime drama Gangs of Lagos and comedy format LOL: Last One Laughing Naija.
Produced by Jade Osiberu and Kemi Lala Akindoju and coproduced by Akin Omotoso, Gangs of Lagos follows a group of friends growing up on the streets of Nigeria’s largest city. The cast includes Tobi Bakre and Adesua Etomi-Wellington.
LOL: Last One Laughing Naija is a local adaptation of Japanese format LOL. The show sees 10 comedians attempting to make each other laugh, with the winner being the comedian who refrains from laughing for the longest time. The Nigerian version will be hosted by comedian Basketmouth.
Williams was formerly the head of local production and independent films at broadcasting company MultiChoice in South Africa, while Gabriel joins Amazon Studios from The Africa Channel, where he was senior VP of global content.
Akindoju was previously CEO of Nigeria’s The Make It Happen Productions and Adeleye was at MultiChoice in Nigeria, serving most recently as head of content for West Africa.
Ned Mitchell, Amazon Studios’ head of originals for Africa and the Middle East, said: “This immensely talented group joins with the singular goal of building Africa’s premiere studio and home for talent.
“Together with our colleagues and partners, we are at work to deliver authentic, premium and beloved hit scripted and unscripted series and movies to our local and global audiences.”