This week on the internet, I came across a tweet from Kugali media that made me very happy.
Hey guys, we’re having a meet up next week Tuesday for comic and animation fans in Lagos, Nigeria. Bring your hard drives, physical comics, wallets and fully charged social batteries 😃 It’s free but you have to register here 👉🏾 https://t.co/YfYp9DLgX8 pic.twitter.com/sBdlLEygKz
— KugaliMedia (@Kugalimedia) January 29, 2020
Very few Nigerians know there is a thriving comics and animations industry in Africa. Or more specifically there is a thriving comics and animations industry in Nigeria. From enthusiasts like the guys behind the Mainland show, independent visual artists who share their work on those mediums via social media and have gained decent followings for their self-deprecating humor to proper, professional studios that are churning out comics by the week, month and year; the industry has evolved beyond the brand back Supa Strikas and the offering from animation studios like Anthill (who is doing amazing work by the way).
The problem that many of these creators face is that almost all of this innovation exists solely online. Either on social media or hidden behind paywalls on websites, the content is only consumed in one way and the people who create these stellar stories are limited to their online audiences who fail to forge any long lasting relationships with them. More importantly, comic lovers are isolated in this way, with their conversations limited to the creator they follow and are fans of. With the exception of isolated events like the annual Lagos Comic-con, there are no frequent offline spaces for comic book lovers to meet other comic lovers and for the community around it to grow into an industry.
Kugali Media, run by a number of Nigerian animators and comic book artists is trying to change that with their very first comic book/animation meet. Kugali has won a Nommo Award in 2018 for its comic work and has done extensive work to introduce global audience to African mythology through augmented reality so it will be exciting to meet the people behind the big ideas.
You can register for the event here.