Streaming giant Netflix is picking up steam and boosting its African content, adding its first original animated series, Mama K’s Team 4.
Produced by Cape Town’s award-winning Triggerfish Animation Studios and leading London-based kids’ entertainment specialist CAKE, Mama K’s Team 4 follows four teen girls who live in the neo-futuristic African city of Lusaka, Zambia. They are recruited by a retired secret agent to save the world.
Zambian writer, Malenga Mulendema, who was one of eight winners in the Triggerfish Story Lab initiative in 2015, teams her work with Cameroonian designer Malcolm Wope, who draws his inspiration from retro-’90 R&B and hip hop girl groups.
When growing up, Malenga didn’t see cartoons that were a true representation of what she looked liked or the culture she lived in. “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,” Malenga said. “Most importantly, I want to illustrate that anyone from anywhere can be a superhero.”
"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," said Melissa Cobb, vice president of original animation at 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.”
The streaming service is now collaborating with Triggerfish and CAKE on a pan-African search for local female writing talent to join the creative team on the series. Writers who have had their work produced for either TV, film or theatre can found out more about the Writers Lab and how to apply by heading over to the website, http://careers.triggerfish.com.