African Animations for Children

In a world where the most lucrative American entertainment genre – all things related to children entertainment – is dominated by Disney and Pixar, often there is speculation about their shows (hidden) messaging. And how in the most popular form the cultural and political nuances injected in the show production may perhaps attempt to shape and influence the cultural and political views of children. As Disney characters invade homes on and off-screen, with its seemingly ubiquitous part of mainstream culture and few options to offer children, often, the push is to surrender.

Though now, surrendering will be less of an option as Africans in a groundbreaking way are creating original children’s African educational cartoon shows and animation TV series. Offering children education through entertainment with African inspired characters and positive cultural representations; and at times, delivering African folklores and other relatable tales in their native African language(s).

Here are two remarkable animated children’s series that grabbed our attention. The featured trailers are evidence to how the show production seeks to educate and expose children to the rich, dynamic, and diverse cultures of Africa:

Bino and Fino: is an African educational cartoon created by Adam Waziri, and is said to be the first of its kind from Nigeria. According to the creator “there is a hunger for such programmes and parents feel let down by major broadcasters in this regard”.

Following the cue and with hopes to fill the apparent gap, the pilot was released in 2010.

The cartoon is about a brother and sister who live in a modern day city in sub- Saharan Africa. The series uncovers aspects of African history, culture and languages. Bino and Fino is mainly for children between the ages of 3 and 6.

The Adventures of Nkoza & Nankya: is an animated Ugandan/African TV series created and directed by Solomon W. Jagew. According to the creator, the goal of the TV series is “to create a visually appealing experience that explores and teaches Youth and Adults alike, the value of Ugandan Culture, Languages, History and Geography. The TV series will also address social issues in Africa and Uganda, such as Poverty, life in Rural and Urban Schools, Health Challenges, Wildlife Conservation, Environment Awareness, and the hope and Value of Dreaming Big and pursuing one’s Vision and Passion.”

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