Amazon Studios has made several new appointments across its local originals development team for South Africa and Nigeria.
The execs join the team led by Ned Mitchell, Amazon Studios and Prime Video’s head of originals for Africa & Middle East, and alongside Wangi Mba-Uzoukwu, who was recently made head of Nigerian originals.
Kaye Ann Williams has been named as head of original scripted & movies for South Africa, while Brendan Gabriel has been appointed as senior unscripted creative executive for the country.
Meanwhile, Kemi Lala Akindoju has been named senior movies creative executive, Nigeria, while Mike-Steve Adeleye, has been made senior scripted creative executive, Nigeria.
The newly established local originals team across Nigeria and South Africa is responsible for finding and developing the next African originals for Prime Video locally and internationally, taking pitches and development ideas and serving as the key liaison for on and off-screen talent.
Announcing the news, Ned Mitchell said: “This immensely talented group joins with the singular goal of building Africa’s premiere studio and home for talent.
“Together with our colleagues and partners, we are at work to deliver authentic, premium, and beloved hit scripted and unscripted series and movies to our local and global audiences.”
Amazon is currently working on African originals including crime thriller feature Gangs Of Lagos and comedy format LOL: Last One Laughing Naija.
Gangs Of Lagos follows a group of friends who each have to navigate destiny while growing up on the streets of Isale Eko, Lagos. The movie is being directed and produced by Jade Osiberu, produced by Kemi Lala Akindoju and co-produced by Akin Omotoso, and will debut later this year.
LOL: Last One Laughing Naija is a Nigerian remake of the well-travelled unscripted format, which sees local comedians competing to be the ‘Last One Laughing’. Livespot360 produces, with the show set to launch next year.
Williams joins Amazon Studios following seven years at MultiChoice, where she most recently served as M-Net head of local productions and independent films.
Gabriel’s previous roles include lengthy stints at The Africa Channel as SVP of global content and as head of creative at Endemol Shine Africa.
Akindoju arrives having served as CEO of Nigeria’s The Make It Happen Productions since 2012, while Adeleye’s previous roles include head of content for West Africa and head of production at MultiChoice.