If you cast your mind back to the last quarter of 2018 you will remember that we brought a report that Genevieve Nnaji, one of Nigeria’s top actresses turned director, had signed a deal with Netflix. The deal was so Netflix could acquire Lionheart, a movie which Nnaji directed and starred in. On January 3, 2019, the actress announced through her Instagram handle that the movie had started showing on Netflix.
View this post on Instagram
Before being released on Netflix, Lionheart had already made its cinema debut and had gathered praises from as many that watched it all over the globe. the movie has such acclaim that fans in countries where the movie hadn’t been shown begged that it be brought to their cinemas. Others had to wait to huge anticipation for the movie to be shown on Netflix just to get a glimpse of the first original African movie on Netflix.
— kerry washington (@kerrywashington) January 12, 2019
Nnaji has bagged lots of praises from her effort on the movie. One of the people to speak about the movie and how excellent it is on Twitter is Kerry Washington, a renowned African-American actress. Asides the praises, Nnaji also made a whopping $3.5 million from selling the movie to Netflix, though she still retained the ownership and copyright of the movie. Lionheart attracted interest from Netflix when it was shown at the Toronto Film Festival 2018.
With this amount, Genevieve Nnaji becomes the first Nigerian billionaire in the movie industry as well as one of the richest actors on the continent. This move has also paved a way for other original African movies on Netflix, improving their diversity while raising the bar for African directors.