June 1, 2023

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Cleopatra African Roots: Why the Netflix Docudrama has Sparked Controversy in Egypt

Few historical figures have captured the imagination of people worldwide like Cleopatra, the last queen of Egypt. Her life was a tapestry woven with passion, power, and tragedy that has inspired countless books, movies and even documentaries. Recently, Netflix released a docudrama about her life that has sparked controversy in Egypt due to its portrayal of Cleopatra’s African roots. In this blog post, we’ll explore why this controversy emerged and delve into the fascinating history behind one of the most enigmatic figures in ancient history. So sit back and enjoy as we journey through time to discover more about Cleopatra’s African heritage!

The Netflix docudrama on Cleopatra’s life

The Netflix docudrama “Cleopatra in Space” is a fun, action-packed animated series that tells the story of a teenage Cleopatra who travels through time and space to save the galaxy. However, it’s not what we’ll be discussing today.

However, controversy arose due to its portrayal of Cleopatra’s African roots.
Despite this backlash, some historians argue that there is evidence supporting the idea that Cleopatra had mixed heritage from both Africa and Macedonia.

The controversy surrounding the docudrama in Egypt

The release of the Netflix docudrama about Cleopatra’s life has sparked controversy in Egypt, with some viewers criticizing the portrayal of the ancient Egyptian queen. Many Egyptians have taken issue with the casting choices and representation of Cleopatra as a white woman.

Some have argued that portraying her as white erases her African heritage and reinforces Eurocentric beauty standards. Others have pointed out that there is historical evidence suggesting Cleopatra was actually of mixed ethnicity, with Greek, Persian, and African ancestry.The debate around this particular docudrama shows just how complex these issues can be.

The historical roots of Cleopatra and her family

Cleopatra VII was the last pharaoh of Egypt and a member of the Ptolemaic dynasty, which ruled Egypt for 300 years. Her family originated from Macedonia, Greece but they had been living in Egypt for generations. Despite their Greek roots, Cleopatra’s family adopted Egyptian customs and religion to maintain their hold on power.

Cleopatra was born in Alexandria, a city founded by Alexander the Great after he conquered Egypt.Cleopatra became co-regent with her father at age 14 but later assumed full control of the throne after his death. She spoke many languages fluently which helped her to negotiate alliances with foreign powers such as Rome.

Others point out that while Cleopatra may have had some North African ancestry through intermarriage among neighboring kingdoms or even slaves imported into Alexandria over time; there is no evidence to suggest that she identified as “African” or ever saw herself apart from being Greek-Egyptian royalty.

The different interpretations of Cleopatra’s story

Cleopatra’s life has been shrouded in mystery since her death. Her story has been told and retold countless times, each time with a different interpretation. The most common interpretations of Cleopatra depict her as either a seductive queen or a ruthless ruler.

Some historians argue that the image of Cleopatra as a temptress is nothing more than propaganda created by her enemies to discredit her reign. They argue that she was an intelligent and capable leader who worked tirelessly to improve the lives of her people.

Others believe that while Cleopatra may have been politically savvy, she was also manipulative and used her beauty to gain power. This interpretation paints Cleopatra as a woman who would stop at nothing to get what she wanted.

Despite these differing views, one thing is clear: Cleopatra’s story continues to captivate us even today. Whether we see her as cunning or compassionate, there is no denying the impact she had on history.



The controversy surrounding Cleopatra’s African roots and her portrayal in popular media is a reflection of the historical complexities surrounding her story. While some argue that she was purely Greek, others believe that she had strong ties to her African ancestry. The recent Netflix docudrama on Cleopatra’s life has sparked renewed debates about this topic.

It is important to remember that history is often interpreted differently by different individuals and groups based on their cultural background and experiences. However, it is crucial to approach these discussions with an open mind and a willingness to learn from diverse perspectives.

Ultimately, whether or not Cleopatra was of African descent should not detract from the fact that she was a powerful ruler who left an indelible mark on ancient history. By exploring all facets of her life – including her ancestry – we can gain a deeper understanding of this fascinating figure and the world in which she lived.