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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African Animation Network, Digital Lab Africa Team for Transmedia Pitch Category

As seen on Animation Magazine with slight modifications (links and video insertions), May 10, 2017. Post by Mercedes Miligan.


Following last month’s announcement of the pitch competition partnership between DISCOP, the African Animation Network and Annecy International Animation Film Festival & Market, Digital Lab Africa has been confirmed as the partner for the Animation Transmedia category of the inaugural Annecy-MIFA Pitches Animation du Monde in the continent.

Continue reading “African Animation Network, Digital Lab Africa Team for Transmedia Pitch Category”

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”

8th Classics In The Park: An Afromation Experience

Classics In The Park is an informal approach to the cinema that most people don’t get to experience. Forget the air-conditioned and sound-proof theatre halls. Instead, embrace a more relaxed, picnic-like setting, ripe with funky African sounds and most importantly, classic African films. This a sweet escape into the realm of classic films that still resonate pure artistry and fluid storytelling by African cinema legends such as Kwaw Ansah, Ousmane Sembene and more. This laudable initiative is spearheaded by the good people at Africa Film Society. Continue reading “8th Classics In The Park: An Afromation Experience”

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!”

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 Accra Roadshow Launches Today!

The MTN App Challenge Accra Roadshow starts today at the Mensah Sarbah Hall at the University of Ghana from 10am and we’re eager to taste what tech enthusiasts and especially animators have been cooking.

While tech folk in Accra have had the opportunity to pit their ideas against each other – in an attempt to scale their projects, enjoy a challenge and hopefully make some money thanks to initiatives like the annual MTN App Challenge – animators, not so much.

But that’s about to change.

In its fourth year, the MTN App Challenge has introduced two new categories that has us break-dancing on stilts: animation and the internet of things.

The MTN Apps Challenge is a competition aimed at unearthing brilliant local app developers who create mobile apps that are both locally relevant and have a global appeal. Past winners include Oware 3D , Buzztrick App and Wheelo

We’re ecstatic that Ghanaian animators, through thin budgets, sheer tenacity and an unquenchable passion have carved a niche for themselves that’s getting the attention of corporate Ghana.

The challenge kicks off with a national roadshow (Accra, Kumasi, Tamale, Cape Coast) where techies and animators alike can showcase their projects.

The animation category calls for animated videos between 30 seconds and a minute. Rather short, but a start. Hopefully, longer videos will be considered next year.

The Internet of Things (IoT) category will see developers submitting applications that leverage the power of the internet to interact with physical objects. Think smart homes, wearable tech, heart monitors and so on. Check out this comic book for a much better explanation.

There isn’t a lot of info on issues such as selection and judging criteria for example, but that’s what today’s Roadshow is for. Come out and support when you can.

We’ll keep you posted on what’s happening as much as we can, promise.

By Kadi Yao Tay