A List of Black African Made Children's Animated Cartoons October 28, 2016 12:26
As usual in our EVCL studio we were having a passionate debate about African animation for children. Why isn’t there much of it? When will we have African children’s cartoon brands and companies that are just as big as Cartoon Network etc? Are parents & children ready for something like that? The usual questions we usually argue over whilst producing Bino & Fino.
Then an interesting question popped up. What qualified as Black African Animation for children? Now we have already put together a list of children’s animations that are African themed and also feature African characters as in human beings and not talking animals. The distinction about the talking animals is a very important one. Because even though talking animals are cute, when it comes to available children’s animation that is located in Africa the balance of media seems to overwhelmingly feature talking animals. It’s almost as if there are no humans living in our continent or something! We need more African children’s cartoons featuring Africans as opposed to animals case closed. I can go further in to why that is important in another post but I’m sure if you are reading this you why it is important.
Back to the question as to what constitutes African animation for children. We decided to narrow things down a bit further. You know we love doing lists so here are the criteria for a list we came up with.
Has to be at least 70% - 80% made in an African country using local. The challenges producing animation in countries such as Nigeria , Kenya, Ghana, Rwanda, South Africa are different to those faced when producing animation in the US, UK or Europe . It is also important because producing the animations locally where possible means a local industry is growing providing income and jobs. It is not always possible to achieve this but it is important.
It has to feature African human characters. This I understand is could be a contentious issue but bear with us on this one. For the purposes of this list, this requirement is important for reasons mentioned earlier.
There has to be enough content for children and parents to watch right now. It doesn’t matter if it is only 5 minutes worth all the way up to 80 hours. There are a few projects in development and we will try to mention those but we want to focus on currently accessible on-going/finished project.
Ownership of the companies producing the content should be at least 51% African owned based in Africa. It is an ever more connected world we live in and sources of finance can come from many places. Also, as we have found out working on Bino and Fino, it might be hardest to get financial support from your own local financial / investment institutions. So that is why we came up with 51% ownership.
So with all that said I present our list of children’s Animations that are made in Africa. The list by no means definitive. I'm sure there are projects we don't know about and we hope to add them as soon as we find out about them.
Ubongo Kids is an exciting animated edutainment TV series, watched by over 1.4 million viewers in Tanzania and available in over a million more households across East Africa. Animated characters Kibena, Kiduchu, Koba and Baraka go on adventures each episode, using their wits and knowledge of math to solve mysteries and problems in their community. With the help of Mama Ndege, a mathemcatical bird, Junior Jumbo, a frugal elephant, and Uncle T, a rapping giraffe, they find the fun in math! Shout out to Nisha and the crew for the work they have put in.
The Anilingo Series is an animated multimedia product creatively designed to make the teaching and learning of Nigeria languages appealing to the younger generation., which come in a DVD that contains the three major languages (Igbo, Yoruba and Hausa)
Akili and Me
Akili and Me is an edutainment series for children between the ages of three and six years old. The radio and animated TV series follows the adventures of Akili, a four-year-old girl who lives with her family at the foot of Mount Kilimanjaro. Every night when Akili goes to sleep, she enters a magical land where the animals speak, but they only speak English. Akili learns English and other skills, with the help of the young audience.
Jabu’s Jungle is an animated adventure series that follows Jabu, an intrepid nine-year-old, and his Magic Talking Drum as they explore the jungle, helping animals in need. Along the way they meet plenty of friends who join in the fun, but need to be always on the lookout for naughty Van the Vulture.
The Adventures of Turtle Taido
Adventures of Turtle Taido is the story of a bubbly, lively turtle who travels to different cities on an adventure. On his journeys, he makes friends and learns about different cultures. He also learns about different animals. His special powers enables him get himself and others get out of trouble.
Five children of different backgrounds team up through games from African soil and use them to solve problems. Through this series, we want to share to the world an engaging and personal window into our cultures.
Abeba & Abebe
Abeba and Abebe is the first ever animated series to be made in Ethiopia by and for Ethiopians. It follows a standard kids series format of 52 x 7 min episodes (that’s one story a week for a year!) and is aimed at an audience of 6 - 12 year olds.
The show’s themes use the Ethiopian Constitution as guidance and intend to teach the rights of all children in Ethiopia in a fun and entertaining way.
Pokou Princess Ashanti
Poku, is the story of a princess of the 18th century witnessed the division of the Ashanti kingdom. Preferring exile to the confrontation, she left with a part of the population towards the center of the current Ivory Coast.
The Legend of Ngong Hills
This short animation film trailer is based on a Maasai folk tale. The story is about Ogre, who has a habit of attacking the Maasai Village but then falls in love with the beautiful young maiden Sanayian.
African Tales (ijapa ologbon ewe)
From what we can find out, this was done by a lady called Rashidat Hassan. If we get more information about the project we will share it with you.
Nicademia is the leading producer of local educational animated movies and cartoons to make learning easy and fun for young Nigerians. The company creates original animated movies to explain concepts in a voice and visual style that is accessible, educational, and entertaining for both children and adults
The Tibeb Girls