The music industries in different African countries have evolved a lot in the last few years. We have gone from maintaining negative stereotypes to promoting Africa’s rich art, culture, dance, food and music. Thanks to streaming platforms like Netflix, African storytellers now have a platform to bring their ideas to life.
African shows and movies on Netflix are renowned across the globe. Netflix has keyed into Africa’s storytelling goldmine and they are leveraging on every quality content they can find. While Nollywood is responsible for majority of the African movies on Netlfix, South Africa, Senegal and Ghanaian movies are also making massive waves on the platform.
The Netflix streaming service, despite many complaints from users in recent times, is still fast growing in Africa. According to Statista, Netflix was estimated to reach 2.6 million subscriptions in Africa by the end of 2021, accounting for 51 percent of the subscribers of streaming on demand in Africa. Despite a projected increase in the number of subscriptions by 2026, the market share of Netflix was believed to reach 39 percent.
So in no particular order, here are 8 of the best African shows to binge watch on Netflix:
8 Best African TV Shows You Can Binge Watch On Netflix
Blood & Water
The Netflix original series, Blood & Water is set in South Africa and first premiered in 2020. Blood & water has 80% ratings on rotten tomatoes which has sustained its renewal for the second season. Blood & Water revolves around the life of a high school girl whose sister was kidnapped after birth by a human trafficking ring. The COVID-19 made people really invested in the show but it has also proven to be something of substance even after the events of the pandemic. It is a favorite among teens & young people as it expresses the day-to-day life of Urban South African youths.
King of Boys: The Return of the king
After the 2018 prequel box office hit, Netflix decided to go for a sequel show for Kemi Adetiba’s box office hit. The news surprised everyone when it was revealed that the project will be a 7-part limited series. The Return Of The King picks up five years after the original movie with Eniola Salami (Sola Sobowale) returning to the corridors of power once again.
Jiva! is an exceptional Netflix show created by Busisiwe Ntintili and Bakang Sebatjane set in Durban. It portrays the colorfulness that is South Africa and her dance culture. Noxolo Dlamini plays Ntombi, a talented dancer who is forced to give up her dreams after a tragedy struck her family. She needs o find her passion for dance again just in time to rehearse for a dance contest that could completely changer her life and family for the better. Jiva! offers a dazzling pop that expresses just how amazing a country South Africa is.
With 8.8/10 rating, Blood Sisters is one of Africa’s most rated Netflix shows. It is billed as Nigeria’s first original series by Netflix and continues to make rounds all over social media. Blood Sisters offer the suspense, drama and passion – everything you would expect from an African thriller. The four-episode series is a masterpiece of MO Abudu which sees Ini Dima-Okojie and Nancy Isime play two sisters caught in a bit situation that could ruin their lives forever. The movie touches many challenges facing Nigeria today and subtly portrays what the nation looks like as a whole.
Queen of Sono
Queen of Sono is Netflix’s first African original series. Premiered on the 28th of February, 2020, Queen of Sono is a South African series about a secret agent in South Africa battling her own personal life and crimes in her city. The show was was renewed for a second, however the pandemic disrupted plans. “We’ve made the difficult decision not to move forward with season 2 of Queen Sono. We are incredibly proud of the Diprente team for sharing their audacious vision and bringing it to life with Netflix. A huge thank you to our fans across the world for the love shared for our first African Original series.”; executive Producer, Tamsin Andersson stated.
Bhengu Beauty, a global brand, has solicited social media users’ contributions for the new face of their company, and it is soon to be revealed. It’s a significant day for Don Bhengu (Dumisani Mbebe), the businessman who created the company from nothing; Zinhle Manzini (Rosemary Zimu), the chosen winner, is a beauty who more adequately describes South Africa’s Black population. This decision follows criticism of the company’s overreliance on light-complexioned models and Photoshop.
Savage Beauty is one of the best South African Netflix movies which describes all the beauty you can find in South Africa. This show addresses several socio-economic issues and it is filled with drama, scandals on what the beauty pageant industry is today.
Journey of an African Colony
The documentary; “Journey of an African Colony” walks us through the history of Nigeria. Truths will be revealed, myths refuted, and glass ceilings will be shattered about everyone from the colonial lords to the founding fathers. It is a seven-episode documentary about the making of Nigeria which was released in 2020, on Nigeria’s 60th Independence.
The documentary is based on two books by Olasupo Shashore, a retired attorney general and commissioner for Justice in Nigeria. It is a visual encyclopedia of what has transpired in Nigeria before, during and after the colonial times.
40 & Single
40 and single is centered around the story of an independent biracial queer woman who has to navigate her way through relationships, life and her business in Accra and still deal with colorism and race.