Yetide Badaki is teaming up with Starz to executive produce a new series focusing on one of the most legendary African queens in history.
Warrior queen Nzinga, of modern-day Angola, will have a dramatic series based on her life and rise to power at the streaming giant. Badaki will be co-producing alongside Nigerian media personality and CEO of EbonyLife GroupNigeria Mo Abudu, and rapper/actor/executive producer Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson.
The Nigerian-born actress, writer, and producer is perhaps best known for her roles as Bilquis/The Queen of Sheba on American Gods, and a recurring appearance on This Is Us. She also stars as Queen Meeru in Zack Snyder’s Army Of The Dead: Lost Vegas. This is the first series on which she has served as EP.
“It has been a long-held dream of mine to bring the story of Nzinga to the screen,” Badaki said in a statement. “Her courage, determination and passion resonated from the moment I laid eyes on historical depictions of the legendary queen.”
“I am thrilled by STARZ’ continued commitment to much-needed stories about and by historically excluded voices and the deeply talented team being built to share this epic narrative with the world.”
Queen Nzinga will be the legendary tale of her transformation from an innocent princess into a fearless warrior queen, raging a ferocious 40-year guerrilla war against the subjugation of her people by Portuguese slavers. The first-ever female ruler, upon seizing the crown, Nzinga notoriously declared “Call me king.”
“The continent of Africa has a treasure trove of stories that are yet to be told,” Abudu added. “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 at STARZ and Lionsgate, it was a dream come true.”
“We are happy to be at the forefront of forging these new partnerships with such an incredible team of creatives because it is truly about sharing our local stories with a global audience – stories that are historical, authentic and progressive.”