The cast of Young, Famous & African

The show’s young stars navigate lives filled with drama and scandal in Johannesburg. But viewers also get to see their real-life stories, and what they have had to overcome.

Global streaming services are targeting the African market

As the US market becomes saturated, global streaming giants are going after other territories, including Africa. Young, Famous & African is an addition to Netflix’s expanding library of African originals. One of the streamer’s competitors, Amazon Prime Video, recently signed its first content deals in Africa with two Nigerian companies—Inkblot Studios and Anthill Studios.

Global streamers face competition from homegrown Showmax, which focuses on African content.

Africans love reality TV

Reality television is popular in Africa. One of the continent’s most-watched TV shows is Big Brother Najia.

“This tells a lot about the tastes of the mainstream Nigerian and African audience,” says Marie Lora-Mungai, the founder of Restless Global, an advisory firm for African creative industries. “Considering the mass appeal of this type of glamorous, scandalous reality TV show on the continent, it was strategically crucial for Netflix to position itself in that genre.”

For Hyde, a show like Young, Famous & African on Netflix lets Africans shape their narratives, and she hopes it sets a precedent for people from the continent to be “owning their truth.”

“One of my favorite quotes is ‘Until the lion learns how to write, the story will always glorify the hunter,'” she says. “It’s so important for you to tell your story. And being able to have a platform that gives the best of Africa the opportunity to look beyond what you see on the surface and tell their own stories is of huge significance.”

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