Netflix Keeps Adding African Originals, Plans To Co-Produce South African Teen Series ‘Blood & Water’

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Written by Ann Brown
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CREDIT: COURTESY OF GAMBIT FILMS

Netflix is serious about boosting it’s African originals. The streaming entertainment giant has announced it has ordered the South African teen series “Blood & Water.” The Netflix original will be directed by Nosipho Dumisa, and is centered around a South African high schooler who discovers her family’s secret past.

“The news comes two months after Netflix announced its first African original, ‘Queen Sono,’ starring veteran South African thesp Pearl Thusi (‘Quantico’) as a secret agent fighting crime while dealing with her messy personal life,” Variety reported. Netflix also acquired South African drama “Shadow,” about an ex-cop with superpowers, which started airing globally as a Netflix Original March 8.


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“Blood & Water” is scheduled to begin production later this year with a global launch in 190 countries in 2020.

“Gambit Films and I are so excited to be working with Netflix on this explosive young-adult drama, with not only a cool look at strong female leads but also a powerful mystery at its core,” said Dumisa. “As a director who loves genre, this series combines the best of so many and isn’t shy to delve into the real issues of youth culture, whilst jam-packing it with twists that will keep viewers guessing.”

“We are delighted to be investing further in African content and to partner with Nosipho and the team at Gambit Films to bring our second original series from South Africa to Netflix. Great stories are universal, so we expect this gripping teen drama, with its view on contemporary high-school life, to appeal to young adults from South Africa, as well as the rest of the world,” added Kelly Luegenbiehl, Netflix’s vice president of international originals for Europe, Turkey and Africa.

She continued: “Following on the heels of ‘Queen Sono,’ ‘Blood & Water’ is the next step in our further investment in original African content, and we’re excited to explore more projects across the region.”

The series director, Dumisa,  grabbed the world’s attention with her film “Nommer 37” (aka “Number 37”), which won the Cheval Noir jury prize for Best Director at Montreal, Quebec’s Fantasia International Film Festival. And,the film was nominated for Best Picture at the SAFTA Awards.


About Ann Brown

Ann Brown has been a freelance writer for more than two decades. Her work has appeared in CocoaFab, Black Enterprise, Essence, MadameNoire.com, New York Trend, Upscale, Moguldom, AFKInsider, The Network Journal, Playboy, Africa Strictly Business, For Harriet, Pathfinders, Black Meetings & Tourism, Frequent Flier, Girl, Honey, Source Sports, The Source, Black Radio Exclusive, and Launch. She studied journalism at New York University and has her B.A. Born in New York, Ann lived in Praia, Cabo Verde, for nearly a decade. She created “An American In Cabo Verde,” a Facebook community.