“You don’t have to be white to save the world.”
There’s a Yoruba super hero storm coming our way! Yoruba spirituality and history has a pantheon of deities , heroines and heroes each known for a certain power they possess. Shango – thunder, Ogun – metal/technology, Oya – wind , Osun – sea, Obatala – defender of the disabled, Oduduwa – warrior King, Moremi – selfless patriotism etc etc. The previously mostly oral tradition of Yoruba myths and folklore is now being digitised.
Read how some illustrators are bringing their Yoruba heritage to life using comic strips .
In the first issue of “Aje”, a Nigerian comic offering a new breed of superheroes strictly from Africa, university student Teni casts a curse on her boyfriend in a rush of jealous rage and purple lightning.
“Koni dara fun o ni aye yi (it will never be better for you in this life),” snarls Teni in Yoruba, a language and one of the major ethnic groups in Nigeria.
Teni is the creation of Jide Martins, the founder of Comic Republic, one of a handful of comic startups making African superheroes to rival Iron Man, Batman and Spiderman.
Unlike Storm, a beloved X-Men superhero who is a dual citizen of the United States and the fictional country Wakanda, the superheroes Martins brings to life are born and bred in Africa — and fight there too.
“In university, I started wondering what it would be like if Superman came to Nigeria,” Martins told AFP at his flat in Lagos, where his dining room doubles as a studio for his team of young illustrators.
“People are trying to break away from the norm and find new things to aspire to,” Martins said. The full article African superheroes: ‘You don’t have to be white to save the world
The Comic Republic fan base is growing steadily, a fan posted this animation of one of their super heroes in the Nigerian flag colours.
Check out the Comic Republic website for more animation videos.
Watch Michael Balogun, the Vice President of Comic Republic inviting folk to attend a Comic Book Workshop being held on Saturday 27th February at the British Council in Lagos
Another big player in the Nigerian animation world Adebayo Ibidapo Adegbembo of Genii Games also has this to say,
Think about what a child who’s already scribbling on paper or playacting before his or her peers can gain from knowing the invaluable application of his/her skills to the contents consumed daily via different media. Animated series like Genii Games’ African story apps require creative talents among children and who better to do it than kids themselves. Empowerment is inspiration. Thus, inspiring them forms the cradle of what’ll become of their narratives and skills.
Watch Genii Games trailer for Sango and His Wives below
More animation videos on Genii Games website too!
It’s absolutely a treat to see our Yoruba stories in animation! The Yoruba folk tales are so mystical and other worldy, some of the more preternatural aspects can only properly be captured using animation. This is the way to go! Exciting….