Netflix’s first original African animated series premiered on Thursday, July 20 in a debut its creator said she hoped would pave the way for more productions from the continent.
Set in a futuristic version of Lusaka, the capital of Zambia, “Supa Team 4” tells the story of four teen girls who turn undercover superheroes after being recruited by a retired secret agent to save the world.
“I’m excited that the world finally gets to see the fantastic show that the incredibly talented super team, from Africa and beyond, have put together,” Zambian writer Malenga Mulendema told AFP in a statement.
“We hope ‘Supa Team 4’… will lead to further investment and collaboration so we can continue to grow the industry.”
Mulendema created the series after pitching it at a pan-African talent search by animation studio Triggerfish, where she became one of the winners in 2015.
When the show was first announced in 2019, Mulendema said she set the story in her home country to “illustrate that anyone from anywhere can be a superhero”.
“(Animation) series shaped our childhoods and to know young Zambians get to see what they’ve never seen on TV before is Amazing!!” Zambian singer Sampa the Great, who worked on the theme song, wrote on Instagram this month.
African casts voicing the animation includes John Kani, Pamela Nomvete, Zowa Ngwira, Namisa Mdlalose, Nancy Sekhokoane and Sparky Xulu. International voice actors John MacMillan and Kimani Arthur complete the impressive talent lineup.
Netflix has bet on diversifying its production outside the United States in recent years, scoring big with series including Spanish smash “Money Heist” and South Korean dystopian drama “Squid Game”.
In April, the firm said it planned to expand operations in Africa and give “more African storytellers an amplified voice on the global stage”.