Netflix has become home to tons of great black content, with the platform constantly bringing the strong black lead movement to life, both on and behind the screen.


The streaming platform recently released three shows, which are all about pushing the narrative of strong black leads and Netflix South Africa has partnered with three creatives from Mzansi, Karabo Poppy Moletsane, Delmaine Donson and Sinomonde Ngwane, to illustrate what shows with strong black leads mean to them.

Through their creations, the local artists have highlighted the importance of being a strong black lead – shedding light on the trials and tribulations of the strong, black South African female while at the same time highlighting the important work of the black creatives who brought us stories of inclusion and representation on Netflix.


As Netflix has Black lead shows such as She’s Gotta Have It, a comedy-drama series created by Spike Lee following artist Nola Darling’s romantic life in gentrified Brooklyn; Good Girls, a crime comedy-drama series, now in its second season, about three suburban moms who orchestrate a local grocery store heist to escape financial ruin, When They See Us, a four-part limited series from director Ava DuVernay that explores the U.S criminal justice system through the true story of the Central Park Five.


These brilliant South African illustrators – Mzansi’s very own pioneers, who are speaking truth to the status quo, were shot by the Concept 254 team (who also shot for Global Citizen), sharing thought-provoking insights about being a strong black lead as well as the hardships that women in South Africa face.


I am a Strong Black Lead


The creatives explained how the shows they illustrated for resonated with them, with Delmaine saying that Nola Darling, of She’s Gotta Have It, is her own person who is bold, who makes her own rules and doesn’t live under the laws of patriarchy. Delmaine thinks of herself in the same way and they this to say;

A Strong Black Lead is someone who is not afraid to challenge the status quo, someone who is strong, takes control of their life and is a great leader in their field,” said Sinomonde.


And Delmain said, “Strong Black Lead, to me, means someone who can inspire change, someone who is strong enough to take the first step to create change and someone who is able to influence the minds of others while giving them a different perspective”.


Karabo “It means being able to pioneer and make things that are seen as unconventional the new normal, the term to means, to achieve excellence, despite the push back and obstacles we as black people may encounter


Sinomonde said that Ruby, from Good Girls, resonated with her in that she entered a male-dominated industry and took on a role that is redefining, challenging and dominating, which inspired Sinomonde to have a little more Ruby in her.


Karabo, who illustrated for When They See Us, said that after 30 years we would think that progress made would be more substantial, however, she called out that we aren’t seeing a regression in progress, but rather a lack of moving forward. This resonated deeply with her in that she recognised that this lack of moving forward isn’t a third-world problem, but rather a global black problem.


By: Bradley Brizzy



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