In a premiere that has been predicted to open doors for additional projects from the continent, Netflix has released its first original animated series from Africa.
“Supa Team 4,” which made its Netflix debut on July 20, tells the tale of four teenage girls who became undercover superheroes after being hired by a retired secret agent to save the world. The plot is set in a futuristic version of Lusaka, the capital of Zambia.
In April, Netflix announced that it intends to increase its presence across the continent and give “more African storytellers an amplified voice on the global stage,” according to Black Wall Street Times.
Malenga Mulendema, a writer from Zambia and the brain behind the series, said, “I’m excited that the world finally gets to see the fantastic show that the incredibly talented super team, from Africa and beyond, have put together. We hope ‘Supa Team 4’… will lead to further investments and collaborations so we can continue to grow the industry.”
Mulendema came up with the idea for the show while competing in Triggerfish’s pan-African talent competition, where she was one of the winners in 2015.
She stated that she chose to base the plot on her native country to “illustrate that anyone from anywhere can be a superhero” when the show was first announced in 2019.
Supa Team 4’s voice cast has a talented mix of African and foreign actors. In addition to Pamela Nomvete, the cast also includes Zowa Ngwira, John Kani, Kimani Arthur, Nancy Sekhokoane, John MacMillan, Namisa Mdlalose, Ashley Zhangazha, Yinka Awoni, and Thabe Ntebe.
Okay Africa noted that Zambian singer and rapper, Sampa the Great, also joined the voice cast and contributed to the theme tune.
“(Animation) series shaped our childhoods and to know young Zambians get to see what they’ve never seen on TV before is Amazing!!” he posted on Instagram.
Additionally, The secret agent, Mama K, is voiced by Linda Sokhulu in the series’ isiZulu dub.
Malenga Mulendema was recently signed by David Neumann’s management organization, Newmation, which represents animators working in cinema and television, according to Deadline.
She joins Newmation after the firm signed Ziki Nelson, the creator of the upcoming African-themed animated comic book series, Iwáj, for Disney+.