As Netflix aims to expand its slate of African content, the streaming giant has turned to South Africa’s award-winning Triggerfish Animation Studios and UK distributor CAKE to bring viewers the original animated series, Mama K’s Team 4.
The series centers on four teen girls living in a futuristic Zambia who are recruited by a retired secret agent to save the world, Variety reports.
Created by Zambian writer Malenga Mulendema and designed by the Cameroonian artist Malcolm Wope, Mama K’s Team 4 is the latest original African title for Netflix, which also recently announced its new South Korean romantic series.
Mulendema, who was one of the eight winners of the Triggerfish Story Lab in 2015, said she pulled from her own childhood experience of watching cartoons in her native country and seeing no heroes who looked like her or lived in a world similar to her own.
“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,” she said. “Most importantly, I want to illustrate that anyone from anywhere can be a superhero.”
Over the past decade, Triggerfish has become recognized as a powerhouse in South Africa’s animation industry, thanks in part to its two animated features, Adventures in Zambezia (2012) and Khumba (2013). Netflix is partnering with the company and CAKE on a continent-wide search to hire African writers for Mama K’s Team 4.
“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.
Cobb also noted that the series “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.”