“American Gods” star Yetide Badaki and EbonyLife Media founder and CEO Mo Abudu join forces on a series about African warrior queen Nzinga. According to Deadline, Starz is developing “Queen Nzinga”, starring Badaki and executive producer. Abudu will also act as EP.
The show “takes place in 17th century Angola and follows [Nzinga’s] transformation from an innocent princess to a fearless warrior queen waging a fierce 40-year guerrilla war against the kingdom’s formidable enemies, and the cruel subjugation of her people by Portuguese slaves, ”the source describes. “Nzinga would come to sacrifice everything to defend the dignity, freedom and liberty of his people. When he took the crown, Nzinga decreed, the first female ruler ever – ‘Call me king’.”
Deadline continues, “Nazinga’s journey is thwarted by danger at every turn as he is plunged into a realm ravaged by slavery, violent tribal wars and ruthless male power struggles. “With every part of her that she kills or is stolen from her, she moves one step closer to realizing her dream of freedom and peace for her people.”
Lionsgate Television produces. No word on a showrunner yet.
“It has been a long dream for me to bring the story of Nzinga to the screen. Her courage, determination and passion resonated from the moment I opened my eyes to historical depictions of the legendary queen,” said Badaki, who counts “This Is Us “and” The Magicians “among his previous credits. “I’m excited about Starz’s continued commitment to much-needed stories about and by historically excluded voices and the deeply talented team built to share this epic tale with the world.”
Abudu added: “The continent of Africa has a treasure trove of stories that have not yet been told. Queen Nzingha is a story that I have wanted to tell for a long time, so when EbonyLife Studios finally found a home for this project in Starz and Lionsgate , it was a dream come true.We are delighted to be at the forefront of creating these new partnerships with such an incredible team of creatives, because it’s truly about sharing our local stories with a global audience – stories , which are historical, authentic and progressive. ”
Via EbonyLife, Abudu has produced features “Fifty”, “The Wedding Party” and “Òlòtūré” as well as series such as “The Fattening Room”. Under her new deal with BBC Studios, she’s developing “Reclaim”, a six-part robbery thriller that sees a woman tracing and repatriating art stolen from the 16th century in the Benin Empire.