Blood and water: Netflix is coming after Africa

In the beautiful library of her prestigious private school, the heroine, wonders: would’nt her neighbor be her missing sister? And is the hero in love with her? The series Blood and Water is a hit with this plot halfway between Riverdale and Beverly Hills. But Blood and Water is not an American series: the heroine is called Puleng Khumalo, and she lives in Cape Town, South Africa. The latest Netflix production is 100% African.

The platform has initiated a strategy to conquer the sub-Saharan continent: purchase of local films, then local productions and now ad hoc commercial offers. In South Africa, the American giant has just created a specific model of broadcasting on phones, for 49 rands (€2.8) per month. The market is promising. According to Digital TV Research, the number of streaming subscriptions is expected to triple within five years, from 5 million to 15 million. And the continent has 500 million smartphones.

For the South African Cinema industry, the arrival of Netflix is a game changer : after decades of serving international crews (Avengers, Mad Max, One Piece…), South african directors and actors are offered to tell their own stories to the world.


Cécile Bontron journalist

Jérômine Derigny photojournalist