Netflix has announced its first original African animated series as part of its strategy to acquire content from Africa.
The series is produced by award-winning South Africa based studio, Triggerfish Animation, and London based kids and family entertainment specialist, CAKE.
Called Mama K’s Team 4, the show tells a story of four teenage girls living in a futuristic version of Lusaka, Zambia’s capital city. The girls are recruited by an ex-secret agent to save the world.
Designed by Cameroonian artist Malcolm Wope, the animation drew inspiration for the visuals
from retro 90s hip hop girl groups, Netflix said in a statement announcing the deal.
It was written by Zambian writer, Malenga Mulendema who was one of the eight winners of the 2015 Triggerfish Story Lab initiative, a talent hunt for African storytellers.
Mulendema says she grew up watching cartoons and wondered why none of the heroes looked like her. “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. Most importantly, I want to illustrate that anyone from anywhere can be a superhero.”
The commission of Mama K’s Team 4 is not an isolated move from the streaming platform. Since its 2016 debut in Africa, the company has been investing in original content from the continent.
Netflix also recently appointed Dorothy Ghettuba, an award-winning Kenyan film producer, as the Manager for International Originals, signaling an intention to commission more African content.