Disney is launching an animated comic book series called Iwájú in partnership with African media house Kugali. The coming together of these two entities is the first of its kind and Iwájú will hit Disney’s streaming service in 2022.
The show is set in Lagos and is laced with elements of science fiction and explores motifs like class, innocence and challenging the established order. The themes in Iwájú are par for the course when it comes to Kugali. The work they put revolves around African culture, embracing the present and imagined future of the continent as well as respecting Africa’s history.
“Here was three talented comic book artists. Their dream was to bring African stories created by African artists to the world, highlighting the diversity of cultures, histories and voices across the continent. Their talents as storytellers blew us away.”Jennifer Michelle Lee, CEO of Walt Disney Animation Studios (BBC)
Back in 2019, the BBC had an interview with the founders of Kugali, Fikayo Adeola, Hamid Ibrahim and Tolu Olowofoyeku. In that interview, their ambition was to “kick Disney’s a** in Africa”. So for Kugali and Disney to be working together now is interesting, funny and unexpected.
I am very excited about this collaboration, it’s a big step for African creators. Besides this being the first collaboration of its kind, this is also the first time Disney has worked with another creative group to bring a project to fruition.