• Monday, June 17, 2024
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Most influential Africans group honours Kugali Media founders with Afrofuturism award for ‘Iwájú’

kugali media iwaju

The founders of Kugali Media, Olufikayo Ziki Adeola, Hamid Ibrahim, and Toluwalakin Olowofoyeku, have been named recipients of the 2024 Most Influential People of African Descent (MIPAD) award for their groundbreaking animated film series, ‘Iwájú’.

The trio were featured in MIPAD’s ‘Global Top 100 Futurists and Innovators’ category, which honours individuals who have made significant contributions to shaping the future and pioneering innovative solutions in their fields.

‘Iwájú’, a six-episode original animated series set in a futuristic Lagos, Nigeria, was produced in collaboration with Walt Disney Animation Studios. The series premiered on Disney+ on February 28, 2024, and also aired in 50 African countries on Disney Channel.

With five years of development and production, ‘Iwájú’ explores a new genre in African film, aiming to offer something “different from the usual” content produced on the continent, earning its creators global recognition.


The idea

Kugali Media was founded in 2017 as a Pan-African comic book storytelling company when the 3 friends, Adeola and Olowofoyeku, both from Nigeria, and Ibrahim from Uganda, partnered to build their company through augmented reality, comic books, and animation that rivals Disney’s.

The creators had earlier revealed that the idea for their most star series was birthed in 2019 from personal experiences in the city of Lagos which set a precedence to the idea of reintroducing animated film to Nigerians and Africans in a familiar setting and language, but projected in the future.

The trio were recognised in the Afrofuturism and creatives category, celebrating individuals who explore the intersection of African culture, science fiction, and art, shaping imaginative futures and pushing creative boundaries.

“Top 100 in the world, you know? When you see the caliber of the other honorees each year, you’ll see that I’m kinda a big deal now. I’m in elite company,” wrote Tolu Olowofoyeku on social media. “It’s an honor to share this recognition with my Kugali cofounders Fikayo “Ziki Nelson” Adeola and Hamid Ibrahim…We got recognised in the creatives section.”

The series was produced by Disney Animation’s Christina Chen, with a screenplay by Adeola and Halima Hudson, and features the voices of Simisola Gbadamosi, Dayo Okeniyi, Femi Branch, Siji Soetan, and Weruche Opia.