Netflix has released the first look at a new docu-drama series African Queens. The new series is narrated and executively produced by Jada Pinkett Smith and centres on significant African female rulers. The first season will focus on Njinga.
The Netflix synopsis explains that Njinga was “the complex, captivating, and fearless 17th-century warrior queen of Ndongo and Matamba, in modern-day Angola.” It added, “The nation’s first female ruler, Njinga earned a reputation for her blend of political and diplomatic skill with military prowess and became an icon of resistance.
The series will feature dramatised interviews with Njinga as she reveals details about her life. Discussing the show, Pinkett Smith previously said, “There are so many stories to be told in regard to the Black experience globally. I think that it’s important to tell the stories now because we can and haven’t always been able to.”
She added, “Even though there’s a lot more work to do, we’re at a place now where we have the ability and the opportunity to tell stories that have been forgotten as well as the stories that are part of our everyday lives, and what a gift that is.”
Pinkett Smith appeared most prominently in The Matrix as Niobe, and recently featured in the talk show Red Table Talk, alongside her daughter Willow Smith and her mother, Adrienne Banfield-Norris. She is, of course, Will Smith’s wife and was the subject of Chris Rock’s joke that prompted last year’s widely-publicised slap.
Reiterating the emphasis of her new show, Pinkett Smith said, “It’s a testament to standing on the shoulders of all of those that came before us that didn’t have the opportunities that we have but were part of carving out the path for all of us to get to where we are today. African Queens is in honour of that.”