Walt Disney Animation Studios is teaming up with the Pan-African comic book entertainment company Kugali to create an all-new original series called “Iwájú,” which will debut on Disney+ in 2022.
WDAS Chief Creative Officer Jennifer Lee made the announcement this week, citing Kugali founders Tolu Olowofoyeku, Ziki Nelson, and Hamid Ibrahim’s dream to bring African stories—created by African artists—to the world through comics and animation.
“Developing ‘Iwájú’ with Tolu, Ziki and Hamid is not only a first-of-its-kind collaboration for Walt Disney Animation Studios,” said Lee, “but a personal pleasure for all of us who have the opportunity to work with them. The story Kugali is telling is powerful and dynamic, and we can’t wait to help realize their series through the talents of our Disney Animation artists.”
The long-form series, steeped in science fiction, is set in Lagos, Nigeria, exploring deep themes of class, innocence and challenging the status quo. “This show will combine Disney’s magic and animation expertise with Kugali’s fire and storytelling authenticity,” said director Ziki Nelson. “’Iwájú’ represents a personal childhood dream of mine to tell my story and that of my people.”
Kugali is an entertainment company that focuses on telling stories inspired by African culture using comic books, art, and augmented reality. These are stories that respect history, embrace the present and imagine the future of Africa.
The ‘Iwaju’ animation is the first time Disney is working with another team aside from Marvel Studios to produce content for their Disney+ channel.