Culture Netflix's First Nigerian Original TV Series 'Blood Sisters' Might Be Exactly What Nollywood Needs to Scale UpSharon Chidra JonahMay 9, 2022

Over the years, Nigeria's entertainment industry – Nollywood, has been producing some of the biggest blockbusters on the continent. From 'The Wedding Party' to ‘Elevator Baby' and 'King of Boys', we have been having recurring hits of cinematic pieces and now, Nollywood has started a new journey with Netflix, one of the World’s leading entertainment platforms. The Nigerian Film Industry is the largest movie industry globally in terms of output, and is the third largest, in terms of overall revenues generated. Shocking, yes?

Prior to the release of Blood sister', some Nollywood produced movies have been on the streaming platform, Netflix, but none of them had originally been produced by Netflix. Fortunately, Nollywood’s biggest storytellers deemed it time to take Nigeria’s film industry onto the next level, hit the global scale and market to a wider-ranging audience with promises that this show on love, friendship and family will reach greater heights. Turns out, they were right! Blood Sisters is currently #1 in Nigeria and top 10 in over 20 countries, including Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, South Africa, and the USA. 

 

Netflix's first original TV series, Blood Sisters directed by Kenneth Gyang, is set in Lagos, Nigeria and follows the daring and dangerous adventure of two best friends, Sarah (Indima Okojie) and Kemi (Nancy Isime) as they prepare for the former's engagement ceremony. But what started as the supposed happiest moment of Sarah’s life, ends in blood and eventually death of the groom when he (Deyemi Okanlawon) abuses Sarah on the night of their wedding. If the synopsis of this series piques your interest, then you should see what has been done with the series itself.  One word to describe this series will be “Mind-blowing!”

The four-part series delivers an irresistible blend of domestic thriller, dark twists, and social criticism, as it gives us a look into heavy themes such as abusive partners, and drug and alcohol addiction. Blood Sisters is produced by EbonyLife Studios, and as we all know, when EbonyLife studios and talented producer, Mo Abudu is involved, we should expect a masterpiece. Abudu tells Variety magazine she is on a quest to make local stories global, and we can't wait to see the ideas the creative will come up with. 

 

Abudu further says to Variety “The themes are universal – you’re dealing with domestic abuse, dysfunctional families – but it’s actually something we’ve taken ownership of, using our culture and our traditions to tell the story in a way that makes it more authentic,”  in bringing Nollywood stories on the global scale she says,  “We want it to do well in Nigeria, because of course it’s a very Nigerian story, but we believe the world is ready to take on these Nigerian stories in the global space…The time is [right] now where something from Africa does hit that note with international audiences.” 

What viewers are saying about Netflix's Blood Sisters

 

Prior to the release of Blood Sisters on 7th May 2022 on Netflix, some Nigerians had taken to the streets of social media to express their thoughts, and high hopes for the series and there were some who didn't expect much. Of course, once it was released and people started watching, it became a rave and the most talked about cinematic of the week.  From cinematography to the casting, directing, costume and story execution, everything was superb. A solid 10/10.  Personally, there are very few Nigerian series that can keep me up till early morning, but this one did, effortlessly. Did I wake up with a migraine after sleeping late? yes. Was it worth it? Definitely. Thankfully, people seem to have the same enthusiasm as I for the TV series. I mean, who wouldn't? This is also a series that got many people renewing their subscriptions because it promised, and it delivered a very well written and directed story. 

 The friendship depicted in the series is one that is greatly admired. "If you are guilty, I am guilty." Those words melted my soul into a puddle! Sarah and Kemi, although with different personalities, were the perfect pair and they had each other's back even in the most dangerous of times. Even when it seemed like they may try to save their individual necks, it didn't happen, they still took the hit for each other. 

 

There was also brilliant the make-up that blew our minds. Very properly applied and realistic. In the series, there were two severe injuries. The third degree burn of Uncle B and Princess’s (the groom’s ex) wounded eye. The makeup was so skillfully applied that for a moment, I wondered if truly, they were injured. 

The Blood Sisters cast are exceptionally talented

 

Firstly, petition to create a fan club for Genoveva Umeh and call ourselves 'The Generators.'? I absolutely love how Genoveva bodied the role of eccentric and youthful Timeyin. She's an upcoming Nollywood actress and she has us wondering where she has been lurking, hiding away great talents. Genoveva executed her role perfectly and I will be looking out for new dramas in which she will feature. In fact, I will be in the search for new projects by every cast in the show, because Netflix really said, "Let's fill this place up with talent." 

Since the premiere of the show, Nancy Isime who plays Kemi, has been on the lips of many. She handled her role like her rent was due and I am glad to witness Nancy grow from HipTV's IT girl to Nollywood's IT girl and favorite actor of many. Nancy Isime's versatility is also a talk of the town. We saw her be the sweet and supportive best friend and then bad-ass, ruthless, and smart Kemi. Kemi wey no dey dull. And Indima Okojie was the perfect cast to match pair alongside Nancy. She made us experience the story and from us, evoked strong emotions, which takes an amazing actor! 

 

Blood Sisters is really bringing Nigeria the global spotlight

Today, we celebrate a win for Nigeria’s Blood Sisters and the Minister of Information and Culture testifies to this during the launch of the TV series.  "As you are aware, Netflix is an international streaming service, a platform where we have about 222 million subscribers from 190 countries." He tells NAN after the premiere of the series, “What this means is that 222 million subscribers will be watching this series about our environment and our Lagos. I believe it is a big plus for our creative industry. It is not easy to get your movie on Netflix not to talk of series which is a movie in many parts.”

 

Overall, Blood Sisters is an excellent TV series and will have a place in the heart of many, mine inclusive. And I won’t be getting over it any time soon.