During an exclusive event announcing Netflix’s entrance into Nigeria, the streaming service’s Chief Content Officer, Ted Sarandos, announced that Nigerian filmmaker Akin Omotoso will be helming the first Netflix Original Nigerian series.
The series, which is still untitled, is a story about our Gods. It is inspired by a moment from Omotoso’s childhood. “As a child growing up in Ile-Ife, a teacher walked into the classroom and said, ‘let me tell you about the gods,’” Omotoso explains. “At that time, this kid, who didn’t know he will be a filmmaker, has been waiting for the day he will have the opportunity to take this story and present our culture to the world, and it wouldn’t have been possible without you guys.”
The 6-part series follows Kemi, a goddess reincarnated as a human to avenge the death of her sister.
Omotosho then went on to applaud his cast and crew. He will be co-directing with C. J. Obasi (Ojuju, Hello Rain) and Daniel Oriahi (Sylvia, Taxi Driver: Oko Ashewo), and they will be working with a script co-written by Omotoso, Steve, Posha, and Dami Elebe (Skinny Girl in Transit).
The cast features Kate Henshaw—who played Oga Stainless in Omotoso’s The Ghost and The House of Truth—Ireti Doyle, Richard Mofe-Damijo, Ade Laoye, Joke Silva, Bimbo Akintola, and Kehinde Bankole. Kemi Lala-Akindoju will be co-producing the series. Omotoso also says more cast will be announced in the coming days.
The series will be the first of many projects Netflix will develop in the country, and its subject matter—our deities—makes it a tantalizing prospect. Netflix is currently courting other Nigerian filmmakers and Sarandos’s presence shows the streaming service is really into Nigerian stories.
“When the number two guy at a global behemoth shows up in Nigeria to announce their first original [series] from Nigeria, it matters,” Inkblot co-founder and director Naz Onuzo writes. “Nobody knows what the future holds, but this is a pretty big sign that the future has the potential to be amazing.”