Kenya’s “First Original Drama Series” Comes to Netflix – Release Date Announced
Originally published on IT News Africa at this link: https://www.itnewsafrica.com/2022/07/kenyas-first-original-drama-series-comes-to-netflix-release-date-announced/
Country Queen, a family drama series set in contemporary Kenya, is premiering worldwide this month on streaming platform Netflix.
According to the announcement of its release, Country Queen will be the first original drama series produced in Kenya to premiere globally on Netflix, streaming across 190 countries.
Country Queen’s Crew and Creators “Learned on the Job”
Country Queen was the product of ten intensive and interactive workshops in different fields over two years. The process to create the world of the series, the characters, the story elements and writing the shooting script for the pilot, was based on a process of learning on the job and capacity building of those involved in the workshops – the series’ creators.
Overall, the project’s goal was to create sustainable jobs in the media industry for young Kenyan creatives as well as to create an authentic Kenyan high-quality series that could reach Africa and beyond.
Part of Country Queen’s production crew.
The creators hope that the series’ use of a language mix of Swahili-English will resonate not only in Kenya but with the over 100 million Swahili speakers across the African continent.
Country Queen is written by Lydia Matata, Oprah Oyugi, Wanjeri Gakuru and Kimani Waweru with direction from Vincent Mbaya, Tosh Gitonga and Brian Munene across the series.
It stars Melissa Kiplagat, Melvin Alusa, Blessing Lung’aho, Nini Wacera, Mumbi Kaigwa, Muthoni Gathecha, and Sheila Munyiva, as well as several other notable Kenyan actors.
Watch the Trailer Below:
A Narrative Based in Truth
The story, although fictional, carries many elements of truth that speak to a range of issues affecting millions of people in Africa such as family disputes, land ownership, and exploitation, according to Country Queen’s creators.
“Deep research influenced the show’s writing process. This research included conversations with activists, deep dive into articles and essays on local mining practices, small-scale mining and underage miners in Kenya and generally in East Africa, as well as the land grabbing practices and land issues that affect families all over Africa.
The show’s narrative was developed with the financial support of the German Government via DW Akademie, Good Karma Fiction, together with ten up-and-coming Kenyan writers/filmmakers.
Good Karma Fiction is a Berlin/Germany-based film production company, lead by Peter Obrist, Waltraud Ehrhardt, and Ravi Karmalker, who are the executive producers and showrunners of Country Queen.
Country Queen is based on a “David vs Goliath” plot that pits ordinary Kenyans against a large power that threatens to destroy their homes and lives.
The issues of land grabbing and exploitation form the tapestry against which the fractured personal lives and relationships of our main characters play out. The show also focuses on the stories and lives of those most often overlooked, such as the Akamba tribe and (in general) the rural populations of Kenya.
The show’s first season was co-financed by German-French cultural channel Arte/ZDF, German Government/DW Akademie, a private investor and Netflix.
Country Queen will be available for streaming on Netflix from 15 July 2022.