Seasoned Kenyan comedian, actor and scriptwriter Eddie Butita confirmed on his social media accounts on September 16th 2021, that he has been approached by global streaming platform Netflix as the very first Swahili comedy writer and director. This was following a project he had been spearheading for the past few months, piecing together the Swahili audio version of the hit Wanda Sykes comedy ‘The UpShaws‘.
‘I have always wanted to be on Netflix, this year God made it a reality. I was reached out to be the first Netflix Swahili Comedy Writer and Director,’ Eddie posted on his Instagram and Twitter accounts late Thursday.
To listen to his work, all you need to do is use your Netflix account and search for the American comedy show ‘The Upshaws’, which stars Kim Fields, Mike Epps and Wanda Sykes, and then switch the audio output to Swahili. The show first aired on 12th May 2021 and as of June has already been renewed for a second season.
Eddie Butita began his professional stand-up career in 2010 on the set of the popular ‘Churchill Live’ show, where he would often parody life in the ghetto. He would then on proceed to feature on a host of national comedy festivals such as ‘Night of a Thousand Laughs‘ and ‘Kenya’s Biggest Laughs‘. He is now the CEO of his own media company, Stage Presence Media.
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Since 2016 when Netflix went global, expanding into over 130 countries across the world, the streaming giant has been looking to cement its footprint in regions across the globe, often looking to increase its local content. The diversity of content has paid off, with the companies quarterly and annual revenue increasing rapidly over the past decade, posting in excess of 25 billion dollars in revenue in 2020.
In 2019, Dorothy Ghettuba, a leading name in the media production scape in Kenya, joined Netflix, where she now heads Content for Africa. The streaming platform has since released a significant number of African original productions from countries such as Nigeria, South Africa and Kenya, for long the cornerstones of the continent’s film markets. Some of the other Kenyan productions available on Netflix include Disconnect and Sincerely Daisy, as well as the KFCB award-winning film 40 Sticks.