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Netflix Invests Over €160 Million in Film Content Production in Africa

Global streaming giant Netflix has announced its plans to expand its operations in Africa, following the success of its local content production ventures in the region. The company has invested the equivalent of €160 million in film content production in Africa since 2016, creating over 12,000 jobs in Nigeria, Kenya, and South Africa.

The move to expand comes after the success of its South African series “Blood and Water,” which achieved significant international acclaim in 2020, ranking first in the United States. South Africa is currently Netflix’s top African contributor, with over 170 films, series, and documentaries available on the site.

Netflix Blood and Water

“We’ll build on these milestones to grow our business while continuing to invest in supporting local creative economies and giving more and more African storytellers an amplified voice on the global stage,” the company said in a statement.

Netflix’s move to expand its operations in Africa represents a significant investment in the continent’s creative economy, providing an opportunity to showcase African stories to a global audience. With an increasing demand for local content and rising competition from other streaming platforms, the move is expected to help Netflix establish itself as a dominant player in the African market.

Netflix has been investing significantly in producing and acquiring high-quality content for African audiences. Among the critically acclaimed movies available on the platform that showcase the rich diversity of African cinema are “Lionheart,” “Rattlesnake,” and “How to Ruin Christmas.”

“Lionheart” tells the story of a young woman who takes over her father’s transportation company after he falls ill and the challenges she faces as a female in a male-dominated industry. It premiered at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival and became the platform’s first original film from Nigeria.

Cast of Lionheart, Igbo film purchased by Netflix [Variety]

“Rattlesnake”, also known as the Ahanna Story, Rattlesnake is the remake of a classic 1995 action film. The movie tells the story of A young boy who finds himself in dire debt and returns to his home village. Here dramatic family secrets are revealed, and he decides once and for all to achieve the life he’s dreamed of, even if he has to steal it. Together with some old friends, he assembles a group of men, the Armadas, with different skill sets that are ideal for pulling off elaborate heists.

Rattlesnake movie poster – Netflix

“How to Ruin Christmas” is a South African Netflix Dramedy. It is set on the premise of a problematic sister who somehow manages to ruin two Christmas holidays in a row. Consisting of two seasons, the show introduces us to the Sello and Twala families that are about to become one. Beauty Sello and Sbu Twala are tying the knot in grandeur and style. However, Tumi, Beauty’s sister, constantly interferes in this union.

Busisiwe Lurayi as Tumi Sello in ‘How To Ruin Christmas: The Wedding’ [YouTube]

Netflix’s expansion into Africa provides a significant opportunity for the continent’s creative economy, with the potential for African storytellers to have a global platform to showcase their work. It also highlights the growing demand for local content and the increasing competition among streaming platforms, which could lead to a new era of African cinema.

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