EXCLUSIVE: Everything We Know About Netflix Naija’s First-Ever Young Adult Series, ‘Far From Home’

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Since Netflix made its debut in Nigeria, we’re consuming more and more original African content from the streaming giant. From notable releases such as Kemi Adetiba’s 7-part series ‘King Of Boys: The Return of the King,’ which became the first original series from Netflix Naija, to the streamer’s first African original reality TV ‘Young, Famous & African,’ and ‘Blood Sisters’ which was released earlier this year, there’s no dearth of entertaining content intently pressed on what’s coming out of Africa.


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Now, Netflix Naija is ready to premiere its first-ever Nigerian young adult TV series titled ‘Far From Home.’ Written by Dami Elebe, the forthcoming series will follow the life of Ishaya Bello (played by Mike Afolarin), a young teenager and talented visual artist from a poor family who gets to live his dream when he lands himself a scholarship to one of the most prestigious schools in the country. The Inkblot produced 5-part series also sees talented actors such as Genoveva Umeh, Ruby Okezie, Bolanle Ninalowo, Olumide Oworu, Funke Akindele, Richard Mofe-Damijo, Carol King, Bucci Franklin and more.

According to the show’s synopsis, Ishaya Bello becomes entangled with the affluent world of Nigeria’s elite and battles a huge secret that threatens his new reality and his family’s safety. Ahead of the series’ premiere on Netflix this Friday, 16th, we caught up with some of the cast from the ‘Far From Home’ series, to gain some exclusives ahead of tomorrow’s release.

When I asked a few of the cast members about the most challenging aspect of working on the series, Olumide Oworu who plays a character known as Atlas shared: The most difficult part about filming this show was just trying to not have too much fun, for me because this is the most fun I’ve had filming in my entire career.” Similarly, Bucci Franklin who plays Government in the series also shared: “I’ll say the most difficult part about filming was waking up everyday knowing it’ll all come to an end one day and we would wrap up on the production at some point.”

Our conversation with the cast, which follows below has been lightly edited for clarity.

What are you most excited for viewers to watch in ‘Far From Home’?

Mike: For me, the interesting thing would be the fact that I’m on Netflix’s first Nigerian young adult series, and I, for some reason, am the lead character. How did that happen? I find that really interesting.

Ruby: For me, the most exciting thing about sharing this is that it’s a Netflix original. Also, the fact that it’s speaking to young adults all over the country, the continent and even the world is such a big deal for me. I’m also happy for viewers to see how talented the young people are. There are a lot of young people in this series and these people are incredibly talented, so I’m definitely happy to be sharing this with the world in a few days.

Bucci: Honestly, I know as actors, we say this all the time but with this project, we created magic. This is the result of sweat, sleepless nights, people getting hurt physically, and a few hassles here and there. Filming during COVID was also a lot but to be here now, experiencing what’s going on, seeing the series come together is magical. I haven’t seen the series yet but I’m extremely confident about it and confident with what I did with my character. We all made magic honestly, and I can’t wait for the world to see what we have here in Nigeria.

Gbubemi: The most interesting thing is the character I played. She is very different from what I would usually play and that was what stood out for me.

Nino: Well, sort of the same thing. Being on the first Nigerian young adult series on Netflix, and now having to play the bad guy on it you know that’s quite interesting for me if you ask me.

What did you find most interesting about the character you play in ‘Far From Home’?

Mike: I love the fact that [my character] does it all. To be honest, my character is truly unique because of all the different places I had to go to communicate his special emotions. I enjoyed playing a lot of the scenes because these are things that I’ve experienced in my reality at some point in my life so it was easy for me to tap into that and get the emotions that needed to be communicated.

Olumide: Personally, I think the most interesting thing about my character is you expect him to be one dimensional but there are actually many different layers to him. I believe I was able to connect with him beyond just what you perceive when you initially meet him. His journey across the season is really interesting and I cannot wait for people to experience that.

What stood out to you the most about the casting? 

Ruby: With the casting, I believe they did an excellent job. Everyone literally ate their individual roles and it was so inspiring to see. Everyone brought their A-game to this and that helped me myself. I was able to feed off other character’s energies and that helped me bring my best foot forward and just bring my own A-game as well without feeling any sort of way about portraying Nnenna for who she really is. Everyone wanted to create magic and we all had like minds so the casting was well thought out in my opinion.

Bucci: Big ups to the people in charge of the casting. The casting was divine and this was beyond putting pen and paper together, they found the right people and everyone was able to show themselves and their individual strengths. 

Nino: A lot of work was put into that casting. This was my first time with many of the young characters on set and like I said it was a self realisation. I had a lot of self realising moments seeing the hunger in disguise and knowing that I’ve been there at some point and I’ve had a lot of opportunities where I’ve celebrated success in certain films that i’ve done and knowing that feeling that they’re going to get that opportunity and hoping and praying that they’re able to utilise it well and in the right direction.

What was the most difficult part about filming ‘Far From Home?’

Bucci: For me, I’ll say the most difficult part about filming was waking up everyday knowing it’ll all come to an end one day and we would wrap up on the production at some point. I won’t get to share time with the directors anymore, the cast, the crew and everyone, that was definitely a lot to take in for me because filming this has been the most exciting thing I had done in a while. It was my first time working with a bunch of people and I certainly made some great friends on this set, I literally fell in love with these guys. I don’t joke with my craft because I see this as a means of evangelism so when I see people that understand and at least appreciate why they are artists and creators, I don’t take that for granted.

Olumide: The most difficult part about filming this show was just trying to not have too much fun, for me because this is the most fun I’ve had filming in my entire career. It was just so much fun that I had to remind myself at some point that this is work. That was really the only challenge for me, just trying to cut down on the amount of fun I was having because the entire production was just so great. They really gave us an opportunity to thrive and we thrived. I can’t wait to see the outcome. 

What do you hope for viewers to take away from this? 

Mike: From the perspective of my character who is a dreamer, I would say your dreams are valid, stay on course, stay on guard and focus on the focus.

Olumide: The biggest take away I want people to have when they see this show is to really be sensitive to yourself and to your environment. Pay attention to what’s happening around and make the best of whatever opportunities you have. Sometimes these opportunities come to you and sometimes, you need to create these opportunities for yourself. So make the most of what you have and always be grateful for everything you have. 

Gbubemi: Think and make good decisions and of course you have something you want to achieve, goals to get to but please go about it the right way and not the wrong way cause at the end of the day even if you get to where you want there is no peace there if you used wrongful means to get there. Take your time and it’ll come to you.

Nino: I hope viewers find it entertaining, inspiring and motivating, that’s all. I really just want people to have fun with it. 

Watch the trailer for ‘Far From Home’ below.

Featured Image Credits/Courtesy Netflix Naija