Netflix announced its first original African animated series, Mama K’s Team 4. The series is produced by Cape Town-based Triggerfish Animation Studios and London-based kids’ entertainment specialist CAKE.
Mama K’s Team 4 tells the story of four teen girls living in the neo-futuristic African city of Lusaka, Zambia who are recruited by a retired secret agent still committed to saving the world. The series joins Netflix’s growing slate of kids’ original animated programming, brought to 190 countries by artists from around the world.
The series is created by Zambian writer Malenga Mulendema, who was one of eight winners in the Triggerfish Story Lab initiative in 2015, a pan-African talent search.
Designed by Cameroonian artist Malcolm Wope, it draws visual inspiration from retro-90s R&B and hip-hop girl groups.
To join the creative team on the series, Netflix is collaborating with Triggerfish Animation studio and CAKE to launch a continent-wide search for local female writing talent.
“In creating a superhero show set in Lusaka, I hope to introduce the world to four strong African girls who save the day in their own fun and crazy way. Most importantly, I want to illustrate that anyone from anywhere can be a superhero,” she says.
“In addition to giving African writers a global platform on which to be heard, we are excited to present this powerful and entertaining new animated series that brings Malenga’s incredible and unique vision to life on Netflix,” says Melissa Cobb, vice-president of original animation at Netflix. “Mama K’s Team 4 has the potential to give a whole new generation of African children the opportunity to see themselves on-screen in the powerful, aspirational characters they look up to.”