The Kwezi Animation Signals Exciting Times Ahead For African Comic Books

Kwezi, one of the superstars on the African comics scene is getting the animation treatment and that’s a sweet dream come true! The Kwezi animation screen test is an adaptation of the superhero comic by the talented Loyiso Mkize from South Africa.

The comic shares the adventures of a young narcissistic man, Kwezi, who discovers he has super powers, is part of an ancient race that pre-dates humanity and must set off on a journey to save the world and find his purpose. (Read the first Kwezi issue for free here).

Kwezi Heroes African Comic by South African artist Loyiso MkizeThe Kwezi Facebook page recently shared a screen test for the animation not long after sharing a short behind the scenes video and it’s all sorts of exciting! The comic is 7 issues deep and isn’t ending anytime soon; enough material for a short series. An animated series will keep the story going and the excitement overflowing.

Kwezi joins the likes of Strike Guard and Orisha Pikin, who have produced an animated short (by Spoof Animation Studios) and an animated storyboard proof of concept respectively over the last year.

As more and more comics pop up on the African comics scene (especially from Nigeria and Zimbabwe), it’s only logical that African creatives take the next step to bring their ideas and stories to the big screen through animation. After all, we’re well aware of the potential for African storytelling in more exciting and interactive forms beyond text-only literature. Exciting times ahead. Who knows how long before we can finally transition from comic books to live-action movies? Until then, revel in the beauty below:


By KaDi Yao Tay.

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Here’s What You Missed in African Comics Over The Weekend (And Then Some)

Can you believe it? We’re already halfway through the second week of May. Boy does time fly! The first week of May – let’s make that weekend – 2017 was beautiful for comic lovers the world over thanks, especially to Diamond Comic Distributors’ Free Comic Book Day initiative.

Here’s a brief rundown of what happened over the weekend as well as news we’re excited about in the growth of African digital arts manifested within comics, games and animationContinue reading “Here’s What You Missed in African Comics Over The Weekend (And Then Some)”

The 2017 GUBA Awards’ Animator of the Year Nominees

The Ghana UK Based Achievement (GUBA) awards have rolled around and we’re excited about the freshly baked Animator of the Year category. This inclusion gives us hope of good times ahead for Ghanaian animation as more people and institutions recognise this art form’s brilliant potential. Below are the nominees in the category. While you’re at it, kindly check out our thoughts on the awards hereContinue reading “The 2017 GUBA Awards’ Animator of the Year Nominees”

GUBA Awards 2017: Another Step for Ghanaian Animation

The mantra for a while has been to change the future of African movies through storytelling and an excellent medium to do this is through animation. An even better way to encourage stories in this beautiful medium is to reward creators for their hard work and consequently, promote them to a wider audience. That’s exactly what the Ghana UK Based Achievement (GUBA) award scheme is about to do and it wins them a special place in our hearts.  Continue reading “GUBA Awards 2017: Another Step for Ghanaian Animation”

Annecy Comes to Africa and African Animation Goes Global!

As seen on Discop, April 14, 2017. Post by Juan Romero


Pockets of animation excellence exist across Africa.  In boutique studios, bedrooms and garages, animation enthusiasts and professionals have been fastidiously scribbling their ideas on paper, transferring them to their PCs and frame-by-frame piecing together their unique stories with the aspiration of someday being able to see their artworks flicker on screen alongside the household names of global animation.

Now those aspirations are one step closer to being realised with the news that Annecy is coming to Africa… and African animation is going Global! Continue reading “Annecy Comes to Africa and African Animation Goes Global!”

Comics and Smoothies: A Creative Revolution

Comics and Smoothies is coming to Accra by way of Lagos and we can’t contain our excitement. We’re thrilled to announce that we’ve teamed up with Vortex INC to present Comics and Smoothies. Comics and Smoothies is a free informal gathering to talk African comics, games and animation. We’ll be discussing the way forward for African comics, cartoons and games at NourishLAB® Smoothy’s in Osu from 2 – 4 pm. Vortex Inc. is the publisher of Orisha Pikin and other comics we’ve previously covered. Continue reading “Comics and Smoothies: A Creative Revolution”

Ma-Otero: This Kenyan Animation is a Throwback to Childhood Role Playing Fun

Ma-Otero, which is sheng (Kenyan slang) for heroes is a short afromation about a group of friends saving their city, in superhero fashion (in all its forms, clothing and purpose).

The short is based on a comic created by Mmbasu Mbwabi and directed & animated by Salim Busuru. The afromation (African animation) stars Otero Prime, Otero Blue, Otero Small, Otero Buff and a big bad monkey.

While this 2d short isn’t in English, it’s really easy to follow the story and interpret the dialogue. This is all thanks to the clean animation style and simple story. The art is easy on the eye and delivers a wonderful experience.

This 2D afromation  was produced by Avandu formerly Urban Design Kings), a  Kenyan art studio responsible for comics such as Dunamis and Rovik as well as games like Kade:Ule Mtoi Mrui and this fascinating African superhero project.

See the hearty nostalgia below and check out this delightful review.

Happy #ThrowbackThursday. Squirt Creativity!

 

Plaything Brings Back Childhood Memories You Never Quite Forgot

We closed out last year mad excited about the future of African animation thanks to Plaything, an engaging and delightful animated short made with a lot of passion, love and childhood memories. The talent from Anthill studios, particularly Eri Umusu (you should check this list out), Nurdin Momodu and Godwin Akpan are to be praised.  Continue reading “Plaything Brings Back Childhood Memories You Never Quite Forgot”

A Piece for Peace is a Disturbing Vision of Ghana in the Event of post-Elections Violence

Election season in Ghana comes with a fervent call for peace that is understandable thanks to the many scary lessons learned from across the world. With Ghana going to the polls on December 7, it’s no surprise that rallying calls for peace have been echoed from several quarters, animation inclusive.

Animax FYB Studios put together a short PSA that paints a rather graphic portrait of a country destabilized by electoral violence. Yes, Ghanaians are relatively peaceful people but people are people and that’s what the animation, aptly titled A Piece For Peace points out. Continue reading “A Piece for Peace is a Disturbing Vision of Ghana in the Event of post-Elections Violence”

The Strike Guard Animated Short – Not Exactly a Review

Animation is a beautiful way to transport strangers into a dreamer’s world of color, imagination and infinite possibilities and the folk at Spoof Animation Studios have done just that. Premiered at the recently ended Lagos Comic Con, Ayodele Elegba’s Strike Guard comic couldn’t be more alive.

The almost 9-minute concept short is a direct adaptation of the comic’s first issue – Beads of Fury – and a laudable effort at storytelling.  For a first adaptation, the somewhat rigid and quick cuts, as well as the dull voice acting that feels detached from the on-screen action is excusable.

Published by Vortex Inc., the comic tells the story of Abolaji Coker, who gets a second chance at life by playing host to the spirit of an ancient Yoruba hero, Ajagbeja. Devastated by his best friend’s death, Coker takes up the Strike Guard persona to honor his friend’s fantasies as an evil-fighting superhero aided by his new found powers.

While not mind-blowing, this is a good effort. Also, with the comic being ten issues deep, there’s so much promise regarding storytelling and art direction.  All I can say for now is, baby steps chale, baby steps. With diligent practice, some extra hours, an expanded team and more resources (cue producers and investors), a rare beauty will be made.

The adaptation is a must watch that could inspire and motivate African animators and other creators in pursuing their dreams of creating comics that could be adapted into animated or live action projects.

Watch the concept animation below and do tell us what you think. Don’t be shy, we don’t bite, we only squirt creativity.

By Kadi Yao Tay

Continue reading “The Strike Guard Animated Short – Not Exactly a Review”