The streaming platform Netflix released its first African animation series on Thursday, a launch that has its scriptwriter, Zambian Malenga Mulendema, hoping for more original productions from the continent.
The series “Supa Team 4” is set in a futuristic version of the Zambian capital Lusaka and tells the story of four teenage girls recruited by a former secret agent to save the world.
“I’m thrilled that the world will finally get to see the fantastic series that the very talented team, from Africa and beyond, has made,” Malenga Mulendema told AFP. “We hope that +Supa Team 4+ will lead to further investment and collaboration so that we can continue to grow the industry,” she added.
Malenga Mulendema created the series after being one of eight winners of the Triggerfish Story Lab initiative in 2015, a continent-wide talent competition in Africa.
When the series was announced for 2019, the scriptwriter said she wanted to set the story in her home country, Zambia, to “show that anyone, from anywhere, can be a superhero”.
“(Animated) series have shaped our childhoods and knowing that young Zambians are going to be able to see something they’ve never seen on TV before is great,” Zambian rapper Sampa the Great, who worked on the main theme tune, recently enthused on Instagram.
In recent years, the streaming platform has focused on diversifying its output outside the US, with hit series such as Spain’s “La Casa de Papel” and the South Korean dystopian drama “Squid Game”.
In April, Netflix said it planned to expand its operations in Africa and give “more African storytellers an amplified voice on the global stage”.