by Muthoni Kimani
December 17, 2020
Walt Disney Animation Studios has partnered with Kugali Media, a pan-African entertainment company, for ‘Iwaju’ a forthcoming animated TV series scheduled to debut in 2022.
Disney announced the partnership recently after it picked up ‘Iwaju’, Kugali’s comic book collection, as a new TV series for Walt Disney Animation Studios as the entertainment conglomerate seeks to tell more original African stories.
It also described the partnership as “the first of its kind,” while stating that the animated series will premiere on its Disney+ streaming platform.
Disney wrote on Twitter;
“In a first-of-its-kind collaboration, Disney Animation and Pan-African entertainment company Kugali will team up to create an all-new, science fiction series coming to #DisneyPlus in 2022: Iwájú,”
Kugali founder Ziki Nelson said;
“This show will combine Disney’s magic and animation expertise with Kugali’s fire and storytelling authenticity,’Iwájú’ represents a personal childhood dream of mine to tell my story and that of my people.”
Kugali is an entertainment company that focuses on telling stories inspired by African culture using comic books, art, and augmented reality. These are stories that respect history, embrace the present and imagine the future of Africa.
Kugali Media was founded by Tolu Olowofoyeku, Hamid Ibrahim, and Fikayo Adeola, three Nigerian-Ugandans colleagues in 2017. The friends created the comic book collection which is set in futuristic Lagos, Nigeria’s capital city. In Yoruba, the title ‘Iwaju’ roughly translates to “the future”.
Commenting about the project, Jennifer Lee, Disney Animation Studios’ CEO, said the series would explore themes of “class, innocence and challenging the status quo.”
On Kugali Media, Lee praised the skills of the creators, saying, “their talents as storytellers blew us away.”