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Celebrating Africa Day: Netflix's showcases African talent, cultures via storytelling

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Celebrating Africa Day: Netflix's showcases African talent, cultures via storytelling
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These languages tell the story and culture of a unique group of people with shared heritage. It is this cultural heritage that is celebrated every year on Africa Day (25 May).

The celebration recognises the diverse cultures, languages, traditions, and achievements of the African people. It is a time for reflection on Africa's past, present, and future, as well as a call to positively promote African culture. From arts to music and films, African culture has recently influenced global pop culture. Afrobeats and Nollywood have made local languages more popular with a global audience.

In recent years, Netflix is one of the contributors to this recognition, especially promoting local languages from Nollywood, by offering a platform for African storytellers to share their narratives with the world. Some of the best performing titles in Africa on Netflix are Nollywood films in indigenous languages.

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Kunle Afolayan’s Aníkúlapó, arguably the best performing non-English title on Netflix from Africa, reached the top spot on the service just a week into its release amassing over 8,000,000 views globally. The movie is set in the pre-colonial era of the 17th century old Oyo Empire and tells the story of a sojourner who finds his way to Oyo in search of greener pastures. The movie, although dialogue in Yoruba featured in the top 10 in Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Poland, Portugal, Kenya, Morocco, Bahrain, Israel, Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia, and United Arab Emirates, among other countries.

Femi Adebayo’s Jagun Jagun also joins Afolayan’s Aníkúlapó in this global success. Jagun Jagun hit 2.1 million views on Netflix barely a week after its release and reached the 5th spot on the global top 10 non-English titles chart on Netflix. The Yoruba epic featured in the top 10 in 17 countries including Bahamas, Cyprus, Egypt, Jamaica, Kenya, Mauritius, Oman, Qatar, Romania, South Africa, Trinidad and Tabago, United Arab Emirates, and the United Kingdom among others.

Netflix is playing an important role in promoting local culture on a global stage, which bridges the divide between Africa and the world. The streaming giant's commitment to investing in African content which has led to the success of non-English Nigerian titles demonstrates the power of storytelling in overcoming cultural barriers. In similar cases, Netflix’s "From Cape to Cairo" collection has garnered immense popularity worldwide, despite featuring predominantly African titles.

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The “From Cape to Cairo” collection features some of Nigeria’s thrilling titles including The Black Book: A crime thriller about a man who seeks justice after corrupt policemen murder his son; Òlòtūré: A series about a journalist who crosses international borders to escape the horrors she has uncovered; Aníkúlapó: A four-part series about a Yoruba epic; Ijogbon: A coming-of-age drama-adventure about four teenagers from a rural village in South-West Nigeria who stumble upon a pouch of diamonds; and many other stories that showcase the Africa’s creativity and culture.

The collection also features titles from other African countries such as Blood & Water (South Africa), the much-loved reality series Young Famous & African plus Netflix series including, How To Ruin Christmas and Kings of Joburg from South Africa. These titles showcase the richness and diversity of African culture, and Netflix's commitment to amplifying African voices and stories.

Netflix prioritises cultural authenticity by collaborating closely with African creators to produce content that accurately reflects local cultures and experiences. This collaborative approach not only enriches storytelling but also empowers African voices on a global scale. As we celebrate Africa Day, we recognise the power of streaming services in shaping our perceptions and promoting culture. Check out Cape To Cairo collection celebrating African storytellers and stories, netflix.com/fromcapetocairo, netflix.com/capetocairo or netflix.com/africamonth on Netflix.

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