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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 courtesy of Doble Seis Entertainment

Burna Boy, Teni, AKA, Sho Madjozi, Mr Eazi & More Earn 2019 BET Award Nominations

This year's "Best International Act" categories are stacked with some of the biggest names in African pop.

The nominees for this year's BET Awards have been announced, and one again, some of the biggest names in African pop have been named in the " International Act" categories.

This year, Nigerian acts Burna Boy, Mr Eazi have been nominated in the "Best International Act" category. They've each had standout years, with both artists performing at the Coachella Music Festival this year.

They're nominated alongside South African star rapper AKA, who won a Kids' Choice Award earlier this year for "Favorite South African Star," and the French-Malian pop singer and one of OkayAfrica's 100 Women Aya Nakamura. French-Cameroonian and Togolese rapper Dosseh and UK rappers Dave, and Giggs round out the heavily-stacked category.

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Film
Photo still courtesy of Chika Okoli.

This New Documentary Sheds Light On the History of a Beloved Nigerian Staple—Agege Bread

'Fresh Agege Bread' by Chika Okoli's FABA gives us a much-needed insight into the popularity of Nigeria's coveted Agege Bread.

This new documentary following Nigeria's own Agege Bread contributes to the need of preserving and documenting food culture on the continent.

In Fresh Agege Bread, directed and produced by filmmaker Chika Okoli of FABA (For Africans By Africans), we follow food researcher Ozoz Sokoh as she traces the history and popularity of Agege Bread featuring its pioneering bakers, community figureheads and locals. The documentary touches on the rise of the booming product as well as addresses some of the controversies around the health and safety measures applied in the production of this staple.

For Okoli, the inability to find such insights about this significant food in Nigerian culture is what inspired her to develop this documentary.

"Agege Bread is so popular in Lagos but shockingly, there is very little information about it online and the same can be said about other cultural elements that are significant to our way of life," she shares with us.

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News
amA picture taken on May 17, 2019 in Berlin shows a Stone Cross, a key 15th-century navigation landmark erected by Portuguese explorers, seen at the History Museum in Berlin. (Photo: TOBIAS SCHWARZ/AFP/Getty Images)

Germany to Return Stolen 15th Century Stone Cross to Namibia

Germany's Culture Minister says the move is a "clear sign" that the country is committed to coming to terms with its colonial past.

In the latest development in the movement towards African art repatriation, the German government will return a 15th-century Portuguese stone cross that has been in its possession since the colonial era, back to its original home in Namibia.

The cross was a navigation landmark placed on the coastline of present-day Namibia in 1496, before it was taken in the late 17th century under German colonial rule, BBC Africa reports.

The Namibian government put out a request for its return back in 2017, and the request was formally approved today by the Berlin Museum. The cross is set to be returned in August, according to a statement from the museum.

READ: Taking Back Our History: Understanding African Art Repatriation

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