Netflix recently announced that it would be featuring its first animated series from Africa, and the main characters are all girls! The show is set in a neo-futuristic version of Lusaka, Zambia where a retired secret agent recruits the four young girls to help her save the world. Mama K's Super 4 is a collaborative effort between Netflix, CAKE and Cape Town-based Triggerfish Animation Studios (one of South Africa's leading entertainment companies).
Zambian writer, Malenga Mulendema initially created the series, and Cameroonian artist, Malcolm Wope, supports her animations that draw inspiration from 90s R&B and hip-hop girl groups. Like many young women in Africa, the supergirls have to draw on limited resources to fight against rich and formidable opponents, which means that they have to be resilient, creative and resourceful.
“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 fun and crazy way. Most importantly, I want to illustrate that anyone from anywhere can be a superhero,”
What's more, Netflix is calling for African women writers to join the team and contribute to creating this epic series! The decision to make a conscious effort to recruit talent from Africa will go a long way towards ensuring that the series is as representative and authentic for Africans as it can be.
Netflix's VP also stated, "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."
The addition of Mama K's Super 4 to the superhero canon is incredibly exciting. This show is an excellent demonstration of the creativity, ingenuity and talent African people have. Superheroes are a symbol of our capacity for greatness and our ability to affect change. Now, young Africans (and especially African girls) have a fun and entertaining reminder of their value.
Female writers from Africa who have had their work produced for either TV, film or theatre can find out more about the Writers Lab and how to apply from the careers page of our website, www.triggerfish.com