In the last of couple of years, Disney as a media behemoth has been consolidating on efforts towards expanding its entertainment horizons. Last year, it was announced that the company was partnering with Kugali Media, an African entertainment company founded by three friends from Nigeria and Uganda — Tolu Olowofoyeku, Hamid Ibrahim, and Fikayo Adeola — to create a comic book collection called Iwaju, set in a futuristic Lagos.
Scheduled to be released on its streaming platform DisneyPlus in 2022, Disney is also making biggers moves in pursuing African animation. Called Kizazi Moto: Generation Fire, the 10-part anthology — consisting of original features that present “a wildly entertaining ride into Africa’s future” — was crafted by up-and-coming filmmakers hailing from a variety of different nations: Zimbabwe, Uganda, South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya, and Egypt. Each installment is expected to clock in at 10 minutes apiece when they arrive on the streaming platform .
Tendayi Nyeke and Anthony Silverston of Triggerfish Studios will serve as supervising producers.
Kizazi Moto derives from the Swahili phrase ‘kizazi cha moto’ which literally translates as ‘fire generation,’ capturing the passion, innovation and excitement this new cohort of African filmmakers is ready to bring to the world,” said Nyeke. “‘Moto’ also means fire in several other African languages, from Rwanda’s Kinyarwanda to Shona, a Zimbabwean language, speaking to the pan-African spirit we hope this anthology embodies.”
Here’s the official synoses of the projects and creator names:
Stardust (Ahmed Teilab – Egypt)
After receiving a blank scroll of destiny from the Oracle during her coming-of-age ceremony, Nawara, a rebellious stable girl, sets off on a perilous journey to track him down, and demand the kind of future she knows she deserves.
Mkhuzi: The Masked Racer (Simangaliso ‘Panda’ Sibaya and Malcolm Wope – South Africa)
Manzo is a half-human, half alien boy who must defeat the galaxy’s greatest—and craziest—racers in the Soweto Grand Prix to save his neighbourhood from destruction.
Hatima (Terence Maluleke and Isaac Mogajane – South Africa)
In a future Africa, tribes living on land and beneath the sea fight a constant war for Hatima, a powerful natural resource that causes cellular regeneration and also allows humans to survive beneath the waves.
Enkai (Ng’endo Mukii – Kenya)
Enkai is just a little girl trying to keep her working single mother’s attention, but her mom’s job is more all-consuming than most: she’s a cosmic deity trying to save our planet.
Moremi (Shofela Coker – Nigeria)
A sci-fi riff on a Yoruba myth, this story follows Luo, a spirit boy lost in the realm of the gods, and Moremi, his scientist mother, who is trying to return him to the land of the living.
Surf Sangoma (Nthato Mokgata and Terence Neale – South Africa)
Future Durban is surrounded by a monumental wall to protect the city from colossal waves too deadly to surf, but best friends Njabulo and Mqobi dream of returning to the ocean.
Mukudzei, aka Adventures of Muku (created by Pious Nyenyewa & written by Tafadzwa Hove – Zimbabwe)
After disrespecting a sacred monument, rebellious wannabe-influencer Muku is flung by the spirits into an alternate, utopian and futuristic Zimbabwe that was never colonized.
First Totem Problems (Tshepo Moche – South Africa)
Teenage Sheba is coming of age and determined to receive her digital totem, even if it means taking down the whole ancestral technocracy whilst trying to end an ancient feud.
Herderboy (Raymond Malinga – Uganda)
Determined to prove himself, an unlikely young hero must singlehandedly protect his tribe’s precious herd of cyborg cattle from a deadly spirit monster that threatens their whole way of life.
You Give Me Heart (Lesego Vorster – South Africa)
In the next millennium, when the gods are only as powerful as their social media following, a human nobody strikes up an impossible romance with the most adored goddess of them all.
When Bernard Dayo isn’t writing about pop culture, he’s watching horror movies and reading comics and trying to pretend his addiction to Netflix isn’t a serious condition.