Streaming platform Netflix has announced that its first Kenyan licensed Branded Series, Country Queen, will begin streaming on the service from July 15, 2022. Set in contemporary Kenya, Country Queen is a family drama series that tells the story of ordinary Kenyans fighting against a corporate power that threatens to destroy their homes and lives. The series focuses on the issues of land grabbing and exploitation, and how these factors impact the lives and relationships of the main characters, their families and communities.
Filmed in Nairobi, Machakos County and Murang’a County, Country Queen stars Melissa Kiplagat as Akisa, a woman from a sleepy village who now leads a comfortable but complicated life in the city. Her dark past and complex relationship with the powerful and ruthless Sibala family sets in motion a string of events with rippling consequences. Directed by Vincent Mbaya, Tosh Gitonga and Brian Munene, the series also stars Melvin Alusa, Blessing Lung’aho and Nini Wacera in a thrilling tale that shows what happens when the past and present collide.
Speaking on the release of Country Queen, the producers say: “Country Queen is a unique drama series that straddles the rural and urban worlds, and the inevitable clash of modernity and tradition that follows. The series also gives a unique and dynamic perspective to Kenya and East Africa, showcasing a very unique combination of characters, cultures and perspectives from the region. Producing Country Queen was also a particularly thrilling experience, seeing as it is Netflix’s first Kenyan co-production. The show is authentically African and produced to the highest of standards. We are indeed excited for Country Queen and what it means for the future of the Kenyan film and television industry.”
Featuring a language mix of English and Swahili, Country Queen also explores themes like rural-urban conflict, inter-family relationships, betrayal, love and commitment, as well as the intersection of tradition, leadership, culture and capitalism. A prevailing theme of the show is also the pursuit of ambition in the face of loyalty to tradition and cultural history.
“We’re excited to bring this authentic Kenyan story to our viewers around the world. More than 222 million entertainment fans will get the opportunity to experience Kenya’s talent and creativity with Country Queen,” says Nkateko Mabaso, Netflix’s Director of Licensing in Africa. “The MOU we signed with the Kenyan government in April signaled our intention to meaningfully contribute to Kenya’s creative community and through this title, we want to show – not just tell – how committed we are to making sure Kenyan stories find a place to shine on a global stage.”
Country Queen premieres exclusively on Netflix on Friday July 15, 2022.
The past and present collide when a mining company threatens to destroy the rural home of an ambitious event planner, pitting her against a ruthless business woman, whose family she is entangled with. What follows is a series of events marked by love, betrayal and the ever-present battle between tradition, capitalism and modern society.
Directors: Vincent Mbaya, Tosh Gitonga and Brian Munene
Scriptwriters: Lydia Matata, Oprah Oyugi, Wanjeri Gakuru and Kimani Waweru
Executive Producers: Peter Obrist, Ravi Karmalker and Waltraud Ehrhardt
Producer: Kamau Wandun’gu
Art Director: Eugene Oyoo
Head of Wardrobe: Kambua Rose
Cast: Melissa Kiplagat, Melvin Alusa, Blessing Lung’aho, Nini Wacera, Mumbi Kaigwa, Muthoni Gathecha, Sheila Munyiva, Nyokabi Macharia, Joel Otukho, Eddy Kimani, Abu Sensei, Nice Githinji, Nancy Karanja, Maina Olwenya, Kael Njihia, Robert Agengo, Oliver Litondo, Vera Atsango, Peter King, Johnson ‘Fish’ Chege and Raymond Ofula.
Netflix is an internet entertainment service with over 222 million paid memberships in over 190 countries enjoying TV series, documentaries and feature films across a wide variety of genres and languages. Subscribers can watch as much as they want, anytime, anywhere, on any internet-connected screen. Users can play, pause and resume watching, all without adverts or commitments.