disney and kugali envision a futuristic nigeria with the iwaju series

Disney and Kugali envision a futuristic Nigeria with the “Iwàjù” series.

Immerse yourself in the captivating world of “Iwàjù,” a groundbreaking animated series set in a futuristic Nigeria. As the storyline unfolds, viewers accompany the characters as they navigate the vibrant landscapes of this imaginative portrayal. While the series showcases the city’s magnificent setting, it does not shy away from shedding light on the more challenging aspects of the megalopolis. Exploring critical themes like salary disparity, “Iwàjù” delves into the realities of life in this dynamic future Nigeria.

Ziki Nelson, director and co-founder of Kugali, describes “Iwàjù” as a heartfelt tribute to Lagos, emphasizing the team’s commitment to authenticity in crafting this tale. The aim was to create a world that both visitors and those familiar with Lagos could resonate with and appreciate. While Lagos is undeniably a beautiful place, it was equally important to confront and reflect upon the harsher truths and realities that exist within the city today.

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Hamid Ibrahim, co-founder of Kugali, expressed his surprise when his statement about “shaking up Disney” during a press interview led to a collaboration with the entertainment giant. This unexpected partnership resulted in the joint design of “Iwàjù.” Marlon West, visual effects supervisor, was immediately captivated by the series’ fusion of science fiction elements, its African setting, gripping crime narrative, and infusion of Afrobeat music. This innovative project represents uncharted territory for Disney, as it marks their first long-running series in collaboration with another studio.

The co-founders of Kugali, who grew up immersed in a diverse array of animated series from around the world, take great pride in their role as contributors to the transmission of African culture among viewers on the continent. Toluwalakin Olowofoyeku, cultural consultant and co-founder of Kugali, reflects on their own upbringing, watching anime and American cartoons, learning about cities they had never visited, and absorbing different cultural influences. They see their work on “Iwàjù” as a continuation of this tradition, promoting African culture and storytelling.

“Iwàjù” stands as Disney‘s first African story, offering a unique and compelling narrative that can be enjoyed through streaming on Disney+. This groundbreaking series not only entertains but also serves as a platform for cultural exchange and the celebration of African creativity.