Netflix's First African Animated Original Series, 'Supa Team 4' debuts on its streaming platform
Released on July 20, 2023, on Netflix, the Supa Team 4 story is about 4 teens trying to survive sec. school when an ex-spy recruits them for her superhero team to embark on a mission to save the world
After an announcement of its ‘first original animated series from Africa’ in 2019, Netflix, the movie-streaming platform giant released the trailer for its first African animation, Supa Team 4, an 8-part 3D-animated series four(4) years after in June 2023.
Created and co-executively produced by Zambian screenwriter Malenga Mulendema, the animated series originally titled Mama K’s Team 4 is produced by award-winning South African animation studio, Triggerfish and London-based family entertainment production company, CAKE, with additional animation support from France-based animation studio, Superprod.
In 2015, Mulemdema was one of the eight winners in a pan-African talent search by Triggerfish and The Walt Disney Company.
Released on July 20, 2023, on Netflix, the Supa Team 4 story is about four(4) teens trying to survive secondary school when an ex-spy recruits them for her superhero team to embark on a mission to save the world.
The official synopsis says that;
Four teen girls living in the neo-futuristic African city of Lusaka are recruited by a retired secret agent still committed to saving the world... even if it’s on a budget. In their journey from school girls tackling homework to undercover superheroes fending off supervillains, they’re transformed from a motley crew of friends into Supa Team 4!
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Speaking about why she embarked on the project in 2019, Mulemdema told Animation Magazine that “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.”
“I'm thrilled that the world will finally get to see the fantastic series that the very talented team, from Africa and beyond, has made.” Mulemdema told AFP following the release by Netflix. “We hope that ‘Supa Team 4’ will lead to further investment and collaboration so that we can continue to grow the industry.” she added.
The voice cast includes stars like Nancy Sekhokoane (The Woman King), Zowa Ngwira (Mpali), John MacMillan (House of the Dragon), Namisa Mdlalose (Bypass), Kimani Arthur (Shimmer and Shine), and Pamela Nomvete (Andor).
Sampa the Great, the Zambian rapper, singer, and songwriter, was tapped to create the theme song of the series. Sharing about her involvement in the project on Instagram, she wrote, “I was super honoured to work on a superhero Theme song… Animation series shaped our childhoods and to know young Zambians get to see what they’ve never seen on TV before is Amazing!! The First but never the last!!!! Congratulations Malenga Mulendema!”
With a Zulu audio version made available by Netflix, the titles of the eight (8) episodes of the 3D-animated superheroine thriller are Team 4 in the Byu Byu; Hanger Management'; The Zee; The Monde Challenge; Smart Art; Missing Kid; Herstory; Brain Power P1.
This interesting release from Netflix comes after a recent release from Disney Plus, a rival streaming platform, which premiered a 10-part series animated anthology of African sci-fi films created by African creators at the beginning of this month.
With an increase in the inflow of investment from giant media corporations such as Netflix and Disney, African animation talents and creators will be able to explore more interesting and indigenous African stories.
Watch the series on Netflix and let us know what you think of it.