In recent years, Netflix in the continent has heightened. Netflix’s first African series, Queen Sono, premiered in February 2020. South Africa was the first country that the streaming giant gifted its first Netflix original, a series titled Shadow.
Since the company expanded its streaming services to Africa, there have been isolated deals with celebrities like John Boyega and Mo Abudu. In 2015, Netflix paid $12 million for the global distribution of Beasts of No Nation, a novel adaptation starring Idris Elba.
These all indicate that Netflix believes international and African stories are important.
Having a docket of diverse shows to watch won’t hurt anyone. Here are 10 African TV shows currently streaming on Netflix that you should totally check out:
Shadow is a South African crime thriller series featuring a superhero that can be compared to Luke Cage. The show’s protagonist, Shadrach “Shadow” Khumalo, has a high threshold for pain. This character trait comes in handy when Shadow decides to quit his job, fight crime in Johannesburg, and search for his daughter’s killers.
11. Journey of An African Colony, The Making of Nigeria
Nigeria celebrated its 60th independence day amidst COVID-19 restrictions in October 2020. What’s the story of the largest black nation on earth? Netflix has a docuseries that answers that question.
Produced by Olasupo Shasore, a lawyer and writer, the series follows the history of the slave trade through colonial occupation to independence. Filled with facts and interesting insights, the docuseries is reminiscent of the world’s past and how the forceful removal of Black Africans from their communities created the great dispersal we are still trying to grasp today.
Running from 2010 to 2013, Intersexions is one of the finest drama series to come out of South Africa. It follows the lives of young South Africans as they face the spread of HIV. While this show features the lives of young people, it doesn’t sugar-coat their struggles.
Featuring a contemporary yet nostalgic setting, the popular drama series is based on pantsula dance. When the show first aired on cable TV in 2017, it enjoyed massive acceptance.
Like Pose, Tjovitjo is a hard-hitting show that uses dance and show as an entry point. It looks at the ills South African townships endured and pans from gender-based violence to poverty. It explores the dance style and the lifestyle that comes with it.
8. 40 and Single
Can the life of a person multi-task? 40 and Single follows the tumultuous life of Ebaner Temple, a biracial, bisexual, single bridal fashion designer. The series shows her life as she maneuvers through the city of Accra, Ghana. We watch as she grapples with race and colorism in a city with a past riddled with colonialism and the slave trade. This show explores what it means to be a modern African woman as Ebaner’s independence forces her to confront a patriarchal society.
7. Castle and Castle
When a husband and wife run a highly successful law firm together, it is sometimes difficult to keep work and married life separate. That’s what this series is about. It follows the story of a couple hopelessly in love and trying to run a law firm alongside their family.
But, when they find themselves on the extreme ends of the justice system, their marriage may have to take the hit.
6. Sons of the Caliphate
Kalifah, Nuhu, and Diko are rich, entitled, and ambitious young men. The series follows the lives of the trio as they live life above the average citizens of the Northern Caliphate State of Kowa. But as elections approach, personal conflicts erupt, causing their families to break.
5. Blood and Water
Blood and Water is about a South African teenager, Puleng, who meets a beautiful star swimmer, Fikele, at a party. Curious that Fikele might be her long-lost sister who was abducted at birth, Puleng dives into a mission to uncover the true origin of Fikele, causing a strain on her existing relationships.
4. The Governor
The Governor follows the life of a woman who’s the deputy governor of a state. Though she has no ambition to become governor, when the incumbent governor dies, she must step in to take the reins of leadership.
3. Queen Sono
The South African series was met with many positive reviews. The titular character, Queen Sono, is entangled in a world she did not anticipate when she goes looking for answers regarding the death of her mother.
Queen Sono employs her spy skills with the help of her friends to meander through the world of politics and business in South Africa.
2. Crazy, Lovely, Cool
This is a coming-of-age TV series that takes a look at the lives, joys, and struggles of students on the campus in a Nigerian university via the shocking revelations of a popular gossip blog.
This show is an adaptation of a film with the same name. It follows the lives of four women dealing with the mid-life crises of turning 50.
These ambitious women have to navigate their friendship and balance their careers with their families. This is against the background of them confronting the choices they have made in life and how they’ve affected those around them.