Monday, October 21, 2019

Nollywood Animation - Malika: Warrior Queen

Today I came across this thrilling Nollywood animation tiled Malika: Warrior Queen.  It rings special for me because way back in the days when I was writing my thesis on Jamaican film I was then asking questions about the production of animated features that were informed by traditional African cultural themes that informed our childhood, and in particular my African-Jamaican childhood.  So to come across a production such as this that anchors itself in African mythology is particularly thrilling.

I have in the past written about Jamaica themed comics as in the Dread and Alive series which was inspired by the Jamaica Maroons, and where the writer takes the creative license to mix in some fact with fiction to create a uniquely Jamaican superhero, but still the space remains open in Africa and the diaspora for more creators to come forward and fill us with some unique experiences that we have probably contemplated in folk culture, but never really made it beyond that. 

Well, some of us may be in for a visual treat we always believed exists, but that we had not yet seen.  As this Quartz Africa story titled, Nollywood is one step closer to its first major animated cinema production tells us from an interview with Roye Okupe, a comics publisher and founder of YouNeek Studios,
After years of publishing Malika: Warrior Queen as a graphic novel with its central character inspired by Queen Amina, a 16th century queen who ruled in parts of Nigeria’s northwest, Okupe has stepped things up with an animated 15-minute short film which he expects to be the precursor to a full length feature."  
Have a look at the thrilling short film below:

I think the imagery is beautiful and very empowering for us as Africans who want to celebrate our culture. As the article tells us the short will be making the rounds at various film festivals and also shown to those who may be interested in producing a full length feature film.  As Roye says, “There’s no reason why our children [and adults] shouldn’t be able to turn on their TVs and see characters like this rooted in Africa.” I agree and I certainly wish this production well.

You may check out the company's website at YouNeek Studios where you can get some free comics or follow them on Facebook using this link.  Please feel free to share and also ask your kids what they think about this.