Country Queen – a new drama series set in contemporary Kenya tells the story of Akisa; a city girl who finds herself caught in between two worlds and must return home to save her village when an invasive mining company threatens its existence.
The series is a Kenyan-German co-production, whose pilot was shot in January 2019 in Nairobi, Machakos and Kajiado counties revealing stunning locations that Kenya offers. The production involved 45 actors, 51 crew members and 160 extras, a majority of whom are Kenyans.
The drama series was first created in 2017 by a writers’ room comprising 10 Kenyan creatives with diverse experience in visual storytelling with the assistance of Good Karma Fiction – a German production company.
Good Karma Fiction has since released a pilot of the series which received overwhelming feedback at the recent Kalasha International TV and Film Market, with many citing its cinematic production style and quality.
Country Queen has broken down barriers and created new norms based on its unique focus on the rural communities of Kenya, as well as its collaborative and Kenyan-focused production process.
The Country Queen pilot was directed by Vincent Mbaya. The writers included Lydia Matata, Annette Shadeya, Mkamzee Mwatela, Shirleen Wangari, Oprah Oyugi, Wanjeri Gakuru, Kimani Waweru, Florence Onyango, Ian Kithinji and Kamau wa Ndung’u. As part of the process, all the writers underwent a series of workshops run by Brazilian Telenovela specialists James McSill and Carla Bohler.
Commenting on his experience in directing the pilot of the drama series, Vincent says, “ I am a passionate story teller and for a long time, I have felt a gap as there hasn’t been much narrative work up for grabs with the quality that would really get me excited. When I had my first meeting about Country Queen, I knew that gap would be filled. The process turned out to be quite fulfilling, very detailed, nothing left to chance, an opportunity to exercise my creative muscles in a world class drama production. I cannot wait to get going on the full series.”
Country Queen is currently sourcing for funding for production of the first season of the series.