Leading global entertainment, talent and sports company UTA has been appointed as the North American licensing and publishing agency for YouTube Originals series Super Sema. The program marks the world’s first children’s animated series focused on an African kid superhero. UTA will work alongside global master toy licensee Just Play, and will focus on retail initiatives and key partners in publishing, apparel, home and accessories.
Up first, Just Play will be introducing Super Sema toys, including talking dolls and plush characters, with products expected to launch across North America in fall 2022.
Super Sema is produced by the next-generation startup Kukua, merging the worlds of entertainment, education and technology. The female-led team includes Forbes 30 under 30 CEO Lucrezia Bisignani and Oscar-winning and New York Times bestselling children’s author Lupita Nyong’o as Executive Producer and shareholder in Kukua. The series focuses on the world-changing adventures of an extraordinary young African girl, Sema, and her twin brother MB on a mission to protect their town Dunia from the villainous Tobor. Fueled by STEAM superpowers, Sema knows that with determination, creativity, and a helping hand from the amazing world of science and technology, anything is possible.
“Super Sema represents a historic step forward in the world of educational children’s entertainment, and we couldn’t be happier to help bring its characters to life,” said Sid Kaufman, an agent in UTA’s Ventures department. “We are looking forward to working with Kukua and Just Play to license and publish products that embody the show’s positive themes.”
“Like UTA, we were drawn to Super Sema, who embodies strength, curiosity, innovation, and confidence. We’re thrilled to partner with Kukua and UTA on this phenomenal franchise to bring the adventure-themed play of this inspiring African role model to kids all over the world.” Geoffrey Greenberg, Co-President of Just Play.
Super Sema’s first season of 20 five-minute episodes premiered as a YouTube Originals series in March 2021. Its second season, which will consist of 12 longer 11-minute episodes, will debut in Spring 2022. The animated series is the foundation of the Super Sema’s growing edutainment franchise, spanning a YouTube-first entertainment and educational programming slate, consumer products, books, and interactive and immersive digital experiences that will equip children with 21st century skills and the confidence to change the world. Complementing the new season, Kukua will launch a series of educational videos on YouTube to help kids explore the STEAM themes and topics in the animated series.
“From the very beginning, ‘Super Sema’ stood out as one of those shows that had that special something. They don’t come around very often, but when they do, it’s phenomenal,” said Nadine Zylstra, Head of Family, Learning and Impact for YouTube Originals. “We’ve been so inspired working with the incredible Kukua team, and with tens of millions of views on their channel in just the last year, it’s been wonderful to see the rest of the world fall in love with Sema, too.”