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This Video Explores the Rise of Nigeria's Animation Industry

Is animation the future of Nigerian cinema? A new video from BBC Africa, breaks it all down.

For years, Nollywood has been at the forefront of all things Nigerian cinema, but a new video from BBC Africa suggests that the country's animation industry may have the potential to become just as big as Nollywood.

The use of animation in films is steadily rising in the country, propelled by the innovative 2016 3D short film Dawn of Thunder, which tells the ancient story of Sango, the Yoruba god of thunder. The first animated version of Sango appeared in a Marvel Thor Comic from 1982 and then again in a DC comic entailed New Earth in 1990.

Dawn of Thunder, was created by Lagos-based animation house, Komotion Studios, where creators wanted the story of Sango to be told from a uniquely African perspective.


"What we were trying to do, was to tell an African story the African way, using technology and using tools that will be able to portray them properly," says Komotion Studios CEO Kolawole Olarewaju.

"People are kind of realizing now that it's going to be an economy booster in the long run," he continues.

While the industry still has some growing to do before it is fully competitive with Nollywood, the future looks promising.

"Animation is definitely growing at a slower pace than Nollywood in general," says Chioma Onyenwe of the African International Film Festival. "But the audience is growing, the animators are growing, they are getting better. The landscape is easier, so it's easier to learn, you go online—the technology is more accessible."

With the advancements made in Nigeria's animation industry and the upcoming US release of animated films like "Bilal," inspired by the story of the great Ethiopian warrior—who became Islam's first muezzin—it appears that the telling of African narratives through previously unexplored mediums is on the rise.

Learn more about Nigeria's budding animation studios with the short clip below, and head to BBC Africa to watch the full video.

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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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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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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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