Prolific Nigerian producer Mo Abudu is set to create two Netflix Original series and multiple Netflix-branded projects through her production company EbonyLife.
EbonyLife has produced three of the highest grossing movies of all time at the Nigerian box office, including the hugely popular romantic comedy The Wedding Party.
Hoping to replicate the success of these films, Abudu’s deal with Netflix will see the on-screen adaptations of literary works by two critically-acclaimed Nigerian authors: a series based on contemporary author, Lola Shoneyin’s best-selling debut novel, The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives and a film adaptation of Death And The King’s Horseman, a play by 1986 Nobel Prize laureate in Literature, author, poet and playwright, Wole Soyinka.
The authors commented on the upcoming adaptions of their work. Wole Soyinka said: “In a creative industry which, even in pioneering countries, is so male dominated, it is always a delight to see robust challenges offered by the female gender, and of attestable quality.”
While Lola Shoneyin is quoted as saying: “I was thrilled when Mo contacted me about making a show out of my novel The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives. I’d turned down so many offers but this one felt right. It was an opportunity to see my work in the hands of a woman who pursued excellence in Africa in the same way that I did. I grew to trust her very quickly, so when she told me about the possibility of working with Netflix, I was overjoyed. Soon, people everywhere will have access to the story of Baba Segi. And that is more that I could have asked for as a writer.”
“My biggest motivator has always been to tell authentic and untold stories that resonate with every person, regardless of where they’re from in the world while showcasing our culture, heritage and creativity.”
Representation and visibility of all aspects of our true lives is vital. People need to see themselves reflected on screen and it’s great to see a platform like Netflix support this vision.
Commenting on the partnership with Netflix, Mo Abudu, said: “As a Nigerian storyteller, my biggest motivator has always been to tell authentic and untold stories that resonate with every person, regardless of where they’re from in the world while showcasing our culture, heritage and creativity.”
She added: “This unprecedented partnership is testament to Netflix’s investment in African storytelling and we at EbonyLife are grateful and excited about the opportunity to work together with the Netflix teams to deliver a slate of unique and riveting stories from Nigeria over the next few years for Netflix audiences around the world.”
Release dates of these productions are yet to be shared.