Streaming giant, Netflix has announced its first original animated series from Africa, titled, Mama K’s Team 4. Created by Zambian writer Malenga Mulendema, the inspiring action-comedy is produced by Cape Town-based Triggerfish Animation Studios and London-based kids’ entertainment leader CAKE.
One of the winner’s of the 2015 Triggerfish Story Lab, Mama K’s Team 4 revolves around four teen girls living in a neo-futuristic version of Zambia’s capital, Lusaka, who are recruited by a retired secret agent still committed to saving the world. The show’s designs by Cameroonian artist Malcolm Wope draw inspiration from ‘90s R&B and hip-hop girl groups.
Netflix VP of original animation Melissa Cobb said, “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 Mulendema’s incredible and unique vision to life on Netflix. Mama K’s Team 4 has the potential to give a whole new generation of African children the opportunity to see themselves on-screen in the powerful, aspirational characters they look up to.”
Netflix is also collaborating with Triggerfish and CAKE to launch a continent-wide search for female writing talent across Africa to join the series — local writers who have had their work produced for film, TV or theater who can apply or register through Triggerfish’s website .
“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 own fun and crazy way. Most importantly, I want to illustrate that anyone from anywhere can be a superhero,” commented Mulendema.
“After animating four multi-award-winning BBC Christmas specials set in England, including the Oscar-nominated Revolting Rhymes, Triggerfish is delighted to bring an African capital city to life on Netflix,” added Triggerfish development producer Vanessa Ann Sinden .
CAKE CEO and creative director Tom van Waveren concluded, “We are delighted to be partnering with Triggerfish and Netflix on Mama K’s Team 4, a uniquely empowering, but most of all fun project, which brings a fresh perspective to a classic cartoon genre.”
Mama K’s Team 4 joins Netflix’s growing slate of original animated programming designed for kids and families everywhere, brought to 190 countries by artists from around the world.