Inspired by Afrofuturism, African artists Ziki Nelson, Tolu Foyeh, and Hamid Ibrahim joined forces to create Kugali, a Pan-African comics company. “The idea was that in the scientific genre, there were hardly any Black people. It was as though they were passing on the message that there were no Black people in the future,” said Nelson.
Africa is oftentimes regarded as one large country, and the massive range of diversity is lost in this misrepresentation. From Senegal to Zimbabwe, the distinct stories from each African country matters, and the team intends on highlighting various voices.
Likewise, it’s equally necessary to allow these stories to be told by African people themselves. As Foyeh points out, “Most of what you find out there about Africa is being told by non-Africans. It was very important to us that Africans tell their own stories.”
With Kugali, a revolution has begun in Africa through art and storytelling. The team crowdfunded £25,000 for their comics anthology project, receiving donations worldwide. “I think that there is a sort of cultural revolution at the moment. People are hungry for content from other sources. There’s an opportunity for them to learn about African cultures, an opportunity for them to connect with these characters and to just grow up having more empathy for the people around the world,” Nelson said.
The future certainly looks promising with the company, as they are currently collaborating with Disney Studios to create an all-new science fiction series titled Iwájú, which is set to be released in 2022 on Disney+. Check out a first look of the project below:
Stay up to date with Kugali and the prevalent comics collection by visiting www.kugali.com.