Disney will for the first time work with African storytellers to create an animated series set on the continent. It has partnered with African entertainment company Kugali Media to create an all-new, science fiction series, Iwájú. Kugali Media was created in 2017 by three friends from Nigeria and Uganda to exclusively tell stories out of Africa.
The three friends, Nigerians Ziki Nelson and Tolu Olowofoyeku and Ugandan animator Hamid Ibrahim, subsequently created a comic book collection called “Iwaju”, set in a futuristic Lagos, Nigeria’s capital city. The three will now work with Walt Disney Animation Studios to bring their comic book collection Iwájú to life.
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The comic book’s title loosely translates to “the future” in Yoruba. “This show will combine Disney’s magic and animation expertise with Kugali’s fire and storytelling authenticity,” Nelson was quoted by BBC.
“Their talents as storytellers blew us away,” Walt Disney Animation Studios’ chief creative officer Jennifer Lee said after watching a short film on the Afrofuturistic media house, Kugali.
“Here were three talented comic book artists. Their dream was to bring African stories created by African artist to the world, highlighting the diversity of cultures, histories and voices across the continent,” she was quoted as saying.
Lee added that Iwájú will explore themes of “class, innocence and challenging the status quo” in its “first-of-its-kind collaboration” which will premiere on Disney+ streaming platform in 2022 although no other specific details about the series are out yet, CNN said.