Netflix has announced its first original animated series from Africa, titled ‘Mama K’s Team 4’.
Created by Zambian writer Malenga Mulendema, the inspiring action-comedy is produced by Cape Town-based Triggerfish Animation Studios and London-based kids’ entertainment leader CAKE.
Mulendema said she was inspired by the experience of watching cartoons as a child in her native Zambia, where none of the heroes looked like her or lived in a world that resembled her own. “In creating a superhero show set in Lusaka, I hope to introduce the world to four strong African girls who save the day in their own fun and crazy way,” she said. “Most importantly, I want to illustrate that anyone from anywhere can be a superhero.”
“In addition to giving African writers a global platform on which to be heard, we are excited to present this powerful and entertaining new animated series that brings Malenga’s incredible and unique vision to life on Netflix,” said Melissa Cobb, VP of original animation at Netflix. “Mama K’s Team 4 has the potential to give a whole new generation of African children the opportunity to see themselves on-screen in the powerful, aspirational characters they look up to.”
One of the winner’s of the 2015 Triggerfish Story Lab, Mama K’s Team 4 tells the story of four teen girls living in a neo-futuristic version of Zambia’s capital, Lusaka, who are recruited by a retired secret agent still committed to saving the world. The show’s designs by Cameroonian artist Malcolm Wope draw inspiration from ‘90s R&B and hip-hop girl groups. Netflix is collaborating with Triggerfish and CAKE to launch a continent-wide search for female writing talent across Africa to join the series — local writers who have had their work produced for film, TV or theater can learn more here.
“After animating four multi-award-winning BBC Christmas specials set in England, including the Oscar-nominated Revolting Rhymes, Triggerfish is delighted to bring an African capital city to life on Netflix,” added Vanessa Ann Sinden, Triggerfish’s development producer.
CEO & Creative Director at CAKE, Tom van Waveren, concluded, “We are delighted to be partnering with Triggerfish and Netflix on Mama K’s Team 4, a uniquely empowering, but most of all fun project, which brings a fresh perspective to a classic cartoon genre.”
Mama K’s Team 4 joins Netflix’s growing slate of original animated programming designed for kids and families everywhere, brought to 190 countries by artists from around the world.
No word on when the series will release, but we will keep all you CritiX posted!