Netflix taps Mo Abudu for Lola Shoneyin and Wole Soyinka Adaptations

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Earlier in the year, Netflix announced its entry into the Nigerian market with a big splash by targetting some of the most prominent creators in the space. While there has been little to no detail on the nature of some of these relationships, it has been announced today that Ebony Life’s Mo Abudu will be adapting Lola Shoneyin’s The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives into a series and Wole Soyinka’s Death and the King’s Horsemen into a film. Ms. Abudu will also produce two new Nigerian Originals plus licensed films AND a series for Netflix. Abudu had already announced the acquisition of rights to the Soyinka play in 2018. 

Why’s this important? 

As Netflix increases its presence on the continent, its original content has leaned away from the Nollywood market more to the South African market which it had used as its gateway into the continent. However, this announcement highlights the importance of Nollywood going forward. While the Nollywood market currently centers around remakes, in wake of the success of Living in Bondage: Breaking Freethis shift towards the adaptation of literary content could serve as a boon in an industry where they are not too common. This could also have an added benefit for the publishers as a potential layer of income to be explored further.

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