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Illustration by Malcolm Wope, courtesy of Netflix.

'Mama K's Team 4' Is the First Netflix Animated Original To Come Out of Africa

"I hope to introduce the world to four strong African girls who save the day in their own fun and crazy way," creator Malenga Mulendema says.

Netflix has announced its first animated original series from Africa—Mama K's Team 4.

Created by Zambian writer Malenga Mulendema, the series follows four teen girls living in the neo-futuristic African city of Lusaka, Zambia, where they get recruited by a retired secret agent who still strives to save the world. The series' illustrator is Cameroon's own Malcolm Wope, who was inspired by 90s R&B and hip hop girl groups.

Mama K's Team 4 is yet another addition to Netflix's growing slate of original animated programming designed for kids and families everywhere.


"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," Melissa Cobb, vice president of original animation at Netflix, says in a statement.

Illustration by Malcolm Wope, courtesy of 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."

For Mulendema, Mama K's Team 4 is her answer to not seeing heroes who looked and came from a world like hers growing up. "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 says. "Most importantly, I want to illustrate that anyone from anywhere can be a superhero."

Illustration by Malcolm Wope, courtesy of Netflix.

Mama K's Team 4 is produced by Cape Town's Triggerfish Animation and CAKE, London's leading kids' entertainment company. Mulendema was also one of eight winners in the 2015 Triggerfish Story Lab initiative—a Pan-African talent search.

Both Triggerfish and CAKE have launched a continent-wide search for local female writing talent to join the series' creative team. "Female writers from Africa who have had their work produced for either TV, film or theatre can find out more about the Writers Lab and how to apply from the careers page of our website, www.triggerfish.com," Vanessa Ann Sinden, Triggerfish's development producer, adds.

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Photo by Rachel Seidu.

#EndSARS: Security Forces Open Deadly Fire on Protesting Nigerians

Nigerian security forces have reportedly opened fire on protesters at Lekki Toll Gate amid continued demonstrations against police brutality. This comes after the Nigerian government recently enforced an abrupt curfew in Lagos.

It has been reported that security forces in Nigeria have opened fire on protestors at Lekki Toll Gate in Lagos. Several reports from various media outlets have confirmed this incident after numerous images and videos emerged on social media. The footage reveals protesters running away from security forces as they fire live rounds into the crowds while others have been shown to be injured. No fatalities have as yet been officially confirmed by mainstream media. Protesters have continued mass demonstrations against the infamous Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) which has been now been "rebranded" by the Nigerian government to a new unit termed the Special Weapons and Tactics Team (SWAT).

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When Nigerian youth shout the line "Why everybody come dey para, para, para, para for me" at protests, it is an act of collective rebellion and rage, giving flight to our anger against the police officers that profile young people, the bureaucracy that enables them, and a government that appears lethargic.