The Nollywood film industry has created worldwide adoration and birthed a new generation of film stars direct from the African continent. Even many Diasporan actors as well as A-list Hollywood actors have been attracted back home to become stars. The industry is said to be worth an estimated $250 million and continues to rise, but what of animation? or comic book superheroes? Why isn’t the African comic and animation industry just as successful? There are so many animations currently being broadcast in Africa, but most are imported. Where is the home grown talent? There’s no doubt that the talent is there, but the industry seems to lack proper investment.
The Nigerian creators of Bino and Fino recently attempted to raise cash for a feature length animation for the series. Comments posted on their YouTube channel are full of praise, but they failed to raise the necessary capital; thus, it seems that despite its popularity, their promotion strategy was fatally flawed.
Early depictions of African characters had some extreme racial stereotypes, prompting Africans to create their own characters and comic book superheroes in their own likeness; after all, the original superhero was an African.
The first African legend tells the story of Ausar, who is killed by his evil brother Set, who then has Ausar’s body parts scattered all over the world. Ausar’s wife Aset, in her mourning, she searches the earth to put her husband back together. With the aid of the divine speech of the God Dhjuti, her husband is resurrected but he is not returned whole. Aset is only able to conceive a child immaculately through her husband’s spirit. She gives birth to a son called Heru who avenges the death of his father by killing his uncle Set. Once Heru becomes an adult, he rules as King of the earth; whilst his father is ruler of eternity, as a representation of deceased individuals and as a personification of the cycles of death and rebirth and spiritual salvation.
The hero tale of a son’s vengeance for his father has been retold in many forms. Strong influences can be found in great classics from Star Wars to The Lion King.
The only closest modern day African centered character that gives an African hero status I have viewed is the comic series/animation Black Panther, which was aired in 2010. This was the first African comic book superhero and was debuted in 1966 in the Fantastic Four. In this series the Black Panther also avenges the death of his father his whilst trying to protect his fictitious country Wakanda, in Africa. An amazing six-part animation was produced and can still be viewed on YouTube. It is a well written, action packed series that depicts a modern day African superhero. I loved watching this series as it was so refreshing to view a truly independent African country free of colonialism and imperialism, that is able to defend it’s own people using its own technological resources and strength. It is a very clever animation full of wisdom, written by the same genius that wrote The Boondocks, Aaron McGruder.
It stars T’challa, the Prince of Wakanda. T’challa’s father (The old Black Panther) is killed by the evil Klaw, in order to gain a valuable mineral, only found in Wakanda, called Vibranium.
T’Challa returns to become the new Black Panther to lead his country. Naturally, there are always enemies and T’Challa must protect his lead his people, which is thrilling to view. Unfortunately, not everyone was pleased with the nature of series, as it offered alternative views of modern day superpowers. The series is incomplete, however it is hugely inspiring. African superheros, African cultures, an independent African family powerhouse. Enjoy the animation here
With today’s internet and the ease of being able to make connections worldwide, continental Africans and Africans in the diaspora are slowly teaming up to produce their own comics and animations. We will hear more Africans voices, telling their stories through African eyes in African animation.
This magazine cover was produced by a fan of the series, Daniel in 3D a very talent multi talented artist.
The All Knightz team is in the process of creating its own animation. Casting is almost complete, however we still need Nigerian voice actors to complete the casting and move on to the next stage of the project. All Knightz are developing a short animation for the Hardwired Rebel Alliance series, and are still looking for three African male voice Actors.
Find out more about this casting here. WE ARE STILL IN NEED OF ACTORS!!!! JOIN US !!!!!