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.

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Courtesy of the Livingstone Museum

The Zambian Women's History Museum is Returning to Africans What Colonialism Stole

In this interview, co-founder of the Women's History Museum, Samba Yonga, says that we need to discard the history we're holding onto as Africans. Most of it was never ours to begin with.

In January, Zambian playwright Mulenga Kapwepwe staged a Bemba-language musical in Lusaka based on her father's book Shalapo Chanichandala. When Kapwepwe's friend, the Zambian journalist Samba Yonga saw it, she was transfixed.

For Yonga, the theatrical experience which told the story of the time between Zambia's colonization and mass urbanization was captivating. The colors, music and the lived experiences of the Zambian people during the 50s were brought to life in a manner that for Yonga, wasn't overshadowed by the arrival of the colonists. Instead, it centered Zambians.

It spoke volumes to the narratives which had been cast aside, erased and forgotten. For Yonga, the play shared the same source of Afrocentric inspiration as the Women's History Museum, an ongoing project between the two friends.

Begun in 2016, the museum has largely been a digital archive thus far but will soon be be housed in the Lusaka National Museum in Zambia. A large collection of historical artifacts that both Yonga and Kapwepwe have been collecting over the years, will occupy the second floor of Zambia's national museum.

We sat down with Samba Yonga to find out how the Women's History Museum is challenging mainstream narratives which will ultimately change the way Africans see themselves.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

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News Brief
Courtesy of Samba Yonga

Check out the Women's History Museum's 'Leading Ladies' Podcast

'Leading Ladies' is a Zambian historical podcast on influential women who lived between the 17th and 19th century.

The Women's History Museum in Zambia was founded by Samba Yonga and Mulenga Kapwepwe a few years ago. Perhaps the most intriguing fact about the museum is that it doesn't occupy any actual physical space but is instead a digital archive meant to change how society views the role of women in Zambia.

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