It’s not news that Netflix has extended its reach beyond North America. Earlier this year, Netflix officially set base in Africa with the release of its first African original, Queen Sono. 

Netflix
Photo: Genevieve Nnaji, Lionheart via Netflix

As an avid Netflix consumer, I strongly believe that there is so much to explore in the world of film, beyond language and culture. Nollywood, Nigeria’s film industry is easily the largest in the continent. While South Africa has well-established production companies. So, it only makes sense that Netflix invested in these two promising frontiers. 

So, if like me, you’re looking to explore entertaining series and films created by Africans, I have just the right list for you.

1. Lionheart

Directed by Genevieve Nnaji (one of the most popular actresses in Nigeria), Lionheart is a love letter to the southeastern region of Nigeria. The film follows the ambitious Ada, who must beat all odds to rescue her father’s company from bankruptcy within days. The film is not only colorful but also makes for a wholesome weekend flick. 

2. Queen Sono

There’s nothing more exciting than seeing women kick ass on screen. Already renewed for a second season, Queen Sono is the first-ever African Netflix original. Pearl Thusi (Quantico) plays Queen, a spy who tackles a messy past while trying to do her very tasking job of bringing down criminal organizations.

3. Blood & Water 

One thing all the above-listed shows have in common is the horde of complex, captivating women. Blood & Water is a high school drama set in Cape Town, South Africa. Like others in the teen drama genre, there’s drama, catfights, romance and hidden secrets to boot. In this series, Puleng, a shy high-schooler attempts to find her missing sister and finds herself entangled in a web of lies. The first episode is streaming on YouTube.

4. Living In Bondage- Breaking Free

Currently one of the top African movies on Netflix, this film is iconic in Nigeria for several reasons. Living In Bondage is a sequel to the cult horror classic of the same title, released over 20 years ago. Nigerians also regarded the first instalment as the first movie produced in the golden era of Nollywood. The film centers on Andy, who unwittingly finds himself in a cult hell-bent on taking the things he loves the most from him. 

5. 93 Days

Before the days of COVID-19, there was the Ebola virus, which plagued West-African countries in 2014. 93 Days is a timely drama based on the real-life Nigerian doctors and nurses, led by the late Stella Adedavoh, who risked their lives to contain the spread of the virus from the country’s index case.