All posts by John Winfield

The Next Titan S8 seeks participants

Nigerian entrepreneurial reality show The Next Titan has commenced registrations for its upcoming eighth season.

This year’s edition is subtitled ‘The Uncaged,’ and producers are on the lookout for talented young Nigerians who have great and innovative business ideas that can transcend all circumstances, barriers and limitations.

Nigerians aged between 21 and 35 can register here.

After auditions, the top 80 participants will take part in an online boot camp while engaging in different tasks, which will narrow them down to 50 hopefuls who will take part in a physical boot camp. Subsequently, 16 finalists will be selected to prove their entrepreneurial acumen through various businesses challenges on the 10-week show.

The winner will be awarded N15m (US$36,500) for the support of his/her business idea, while the top 1,000 contestants from auditions with good business ideas and with registered businesses will automatically qualify for N3m funding. Unregistered businesses will qualify for N250,000 funding from the Nigeria Investment Youth Fund.

The Next Titan will air on Africa Magic on DSTV channel 154/GOTV channel 25, as well as TVC (DSTV channel 418) and other channels. Debuting in 2013, the show is produced by Lagos-based Bravopoints International and sponsored by Heritage Bank.

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AVO TV brings Gusto content to Africa

Canada-based food channel Gusto TV has collaborated with Nigerian free streaming app AVO TV to bring its international content to Africa.

Chris Knight

AVO TV offers a selection of entertainment, movies, sports, news, music and other content to Nigerian and diaspora viewers. With this partnership, users will have full access to Gusto TV content, including such shows as One World Kitchen, Flour Power, Fish the Dish.

The AVO app was unveiled earlier this month, offering free live TV channels and VoD content. The app will monetise through advertising only, “a business model that has already gained huge traction in the US and Europe,” according to the company.

AVO TV is available to download in all app stores and via the web for mobile, tablet, and smart TV devices. It showcases top Nollywood Movies and TV shows, as well as major international TV channels such as Al Jazeera, Bloomberg, Silverbird, SportsGrid, France 24, AIT, WAP TV, Talent Sports and Dove TV.

Chris Knight, CEO and president of Gusto Worldwide Media, said: “We’re looking forward to being a part of AVO TV’s launch in Nigeria, as it is our first African market. Nigerian audiences will be able to enjoy Gusto TV content for free at home, as well as in the many global markets where AVO TV has launched.”

AVO TV CEO Awaes Jaswal added: “AVO TV is delighted to welcome Gusto TV, a leading innovative food TV channel, to our list of first-class content partners. Partnering with Gusto allows us to bring international content that engages global audiences via inspiring in-studio cooking series and documentaries to our viewers.

“This further strengthens our AVO TV content strategy of offering multi-genre content on the AVO TV free streaming app, which already offers over 100 live TV channels and thousands of hours of VoD content and we continue to grow.

“Our aim for AVO TV is to make premium content available to everyone, not just those who can afford expensive pay TV subscriptions. As data and internet costs reduce over the coming years, we hope AVO TV will be the main source of TV for all Nigerians.”

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Esther Benyeogo wins The Voice Nigeria

Esther Benyeogo from Nigeria’s Delta State has emerged as the winner of the third season of singing competition series The Voice Nigeria.

Esther Benyeogo

The series, based on the Dutch talent show format created by John de Mol, premiered in March with 12 contestants, six of whom made it to the finals. Benyeogo was on coach Darey Art Alade’s team and was selected as the winner ahead of Kpee, Eazzie, Naomi Mac, Dapo and Kitay.

Benyeogo was given a grand prize of a N10m (US$24,300), a car and a recording deal with Universal Music Nigeria.

Benyeogo said: “To everyone who supported, prayed, voted: God bless you, my family. My heavenly coach Darey Art Alade, thank you for being so selfless in training and just wanting the best for everyone. Best coach ever liveth.”

The Voice Nigeria is produced by UN1TY Limited and Livespot360. It airs on Africa Magic, AIT, Views TV and Wazobia TV.

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BritBox lines up SA launch date

Ex-BBC director general Tony Hall and ITV CEO Carolyn McCall announce BritBox

BritBox, the joint-venture SVoD service from ITV and the BBC, will launch in South Africa on August 6 after reaching two million subscriptions outside of the UK.

BritBox’s debut in South Africa will mark its fifth territory, following launches in the UK, US, Canada and Australia.

BritBox has experienced an 18% rise in subscriptions to two million in the US, Canada and Australia, while in the UK the platform now has around 555,000 subscriptions, marking a 10% increase on this time last year.

BritBox debuted in North America in March 2017 and announced it had surpassed 1.5 million subscribers in October 2020. It launched in the UK in November 2019, followed by Australia in November 2020.

Last year BritBox announced a global roll-out that would take the service into 25 new territories, bringing audiences a collection of UK shows and box sets, drama premieres and live events, as well as original commissions.

The subscription stats were released as part of ITV’s interim financial results today, with the broadcaster also revealing growth in subscriptions to its domestic SVoD service ITV Hub+, which offers its content on-demand without advertising. Subscriber numbers rose in the first half of 2021 to 452,000, a 10% increase on the first half of 2020.

Elsewhere in its results, ITV reported 26% growth in total group revenue year-on-year to £1.83bn (US$2.54bn) from £1.45bn, boosted by a 29% increase in advertising revenue to £866m from £671m and a 26% rise in revenue at production/distribution arm ITV Studios to £798m from £632m.

ITV said growth in its studios business was helped by the fact a “substantial majority” of programmes were back in production following delays caused by the pandemic. It also said it benefited from a number of programmes and licences being delivered earlier than expected. ITV Studios’ external revenue was up 31% at £523m.

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Toke Makinwa to host BBNaija’s The Buzz

Award-winning Nigerian media personality Toke Makinwa will host Big Brother Naija talkshow spin-off The Buzz, which will be available exclusively on MultiChoice-owned streamer Showmax.

Toke Makinwa

In The Buzz, Makinwa will share her opinions on the happenings in the BBNaija house as the current season continues, as well as offering viewers the inside scoop behind the latest dramatic events in the reality show. The show will also feature a secret diary room rant session from the housemates.

Makinwa said: “I am unfiltered. This is almost like the unfiltered version of Big Brother where we bring you weekly highlights, so I’m looking forward to them messing up, I’m looking forward to them creating more drama because that way my show gets even more interesting.”

The Buzz will stream on Tuesdays and Saturdays from 19.00, debuting on August 3. Big BBNaija is based on the globe-trotting Dutch format Big Brother, which became a global sensation when it launched over 20 years ago.

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SA’s Temptation Island to debut in August

Temptation Island is hosted by Phat Joe (centre)

The South African version of Banijay format Temptation Island will premiere on August 26 on MultiChoice Group-owned SVoD service Showmax.

The format sees couples go through the ultimate relationship test as they find themselves at a crossroads where they must mutually decide if they are ready to commit to one another for the rest of their lives or go their separate ways.

The couples will live separately in a luxurious holiday destination alongsisde 20 single men and women who are looking for love.

The recently released teaser trailer from Showmax revealed four South African couples, namely Precious Khumalo and Grant Manuel, Justin Fritz and Estelle Langa, Musa Qubinkomo and Sifiso Ndlazi, and Nthabiseng Maphago and MJ Maponya.

Billed as the first international reality format that Showmax has licensed, the show is being hosted by South African TV and radio personality Phat Joe. Afrokaans Film & Television is producing.

Distributed by Banijay Rights, Temptation Island has been adapted in 25 countries so far. It originated on US network Fox back in 2001 and was later revived by USA Network in 2019.

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King of Boys returns as limited series

Sola Sobowale (right) stars in the film and the series

Netflix is set to release an original series following on from 2018 African crime thriller movie King of Boys, which was written, produced and directed by Nigerian filmmaker Kemi Adetiba.

Due to premiere on Netfilx on August 27, the seven part miniseries is a sequel to Adetiba’s hit movie, which follows a businesswoman and crime boss who is drawn into a power struggle that threatens all she holds dear.

Originally titled King of Boys 2, the show is now called King of Boys: The Return of the King. Like the film, it is produced by Adetiba’s production company, Kemi Adetiba Visuals.

Original star Sola Sobowale returns for the series, with many other original cast members also reprising their roles. Toni Tones, Osas Ighodaro, Keppy Ekpeyoung, Nse Ikpe Etim, Charly Boy and Richard Mofe Damijo are among the other stars.

As well as King of Boys, Adetiba’s credits include 2016 film The Wedding Party and the King Women series on Accelerate TV.

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IFC boosts digital access in Africa

The International Finance Corporation (IFC) has invested in tech investment firm Convergence Partners’ Digital Infrastructure Fund to help strengthen broadband infrastructure and improve access to digital services for individuals and businesses in more than 12 countries in sub-Saharan Africa.

Andile Ngcaba

According to the IFC, based in Washington DC and part of World Bank Group, the Covid-19 pandemic has exposed the digital divide in Africa, with only 6% of rural households having access to the internet, compared with 28% of urban households.

The equity investment of US$25m in the Digital Infrastructure Fund is intended to promote improved digital connectivity and access to digital services by investing in independent operators and service providers in sub-Saharan Africa.

IFC’s investment in Convergence Partners’ previous fund – known as the Convergence Partners Communication Infrastructure Fund – will support critical digital infrastructure companies and projects including broadband networks, fibre cable systems, mobile towers, digital service provider platforms and data centres, adding new connectivity and data centre capacity in many countries in Africa where such infrastructure is currently limited.

Andile Ngcaba, chairman of Convergence Partners, said: “We are very pleased to extend our relationship further with IFC, who were also investors in our last fund and co-investors with us in underlying portfolio companies. We share a joint ambition to invest in those businesses on the African continent that are contributing meaningfully towards addressing the digital inclusion gap that exists.

“Africa is ready for high throughput pervasive fibre networks, independent hyperscale data centres, edge, AI, 5G and IoT. Connectivity is at the foundation of 4IR. Our new Digital Infrastructure Fund is the platform for building digital Africa for future generations.”

Makhtar Diop, IFC’s MD, added: “Increased broadband connectivity supports economic growth, job creation and quality of life. Together, we can help connect more homes and businesses in Africa by supporting funds such as the Convergence Partners Digital Infrastructure Fund to bridge the US$100bn digital infrastructure financing gap to reach universal connectivity by 2030.”

Internet access in Africa currently relies largely on mobile networks. Mobile broadband penetration stands at only about 34%, however, and fixed broadband at less than 5% across most of sub-Saharan Africa, excluding South Africa.

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BBNaija S6 premieres this weekend

The sixth season of reality show Big Brother Naija (aka BBNaija) will kick off this weekend with episodes on both Saturday and Sunday night.

The 10-week show is Nigeria’s adaptation of the 22-year-old Dutch format distributed by global production powerhouse Banijay. It features a group of strangers living together in isolation from the outside world, with housemates being evicted until the last one standing claims N90million (US$220,000) worth of prizes.

Ebuka Obi-Uchendu will return to host the series, which airs on MultiChoice-owned channel Africa Magic.

John Ugbe, CEO of MultiChoice Nigeria, said: “With each season of BBNaija, we task ourselves with delivering great content that will take the excitement a notch higher and meet the entertainment needs of our customers. For this sixth season, we are pulling out all the stops to give our customers a show like never seen before from Nigeria, with end-to-end production best practices under global health and safety standards.”

It will air from 19.00 on DStv channel 198 and GOtv channel 29, with a simulcast on Africa Magic Showcase, Africa Magic Urban and Africa Magic Family.

According to MultiChoice, BBNaija fans in the UK will also have access to the live, 24/7 show via African online streaming service Showmax. There will be no SMS voting in this season’s show; voting will take place only via the web and the MyDStv and MYGOtv mobile apps.

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Cameroon studio partners on fantasy series

Video game Aurion was inspired by African mythology

French outfits Chouette Company and Mounia Aram have partnered with Cameroon’s first video game studio to turn its game Aurion into an epic animated African fantasy series.

Paris- and Angoulême-based Chouette and distribution specialist Mounia Aram have teamed up with Kiro’o Games in Yaoundé to adapt the IP for the small screen.

Based on African mythology, the PC game launched in 2016 and since then Kiro’o Games has been expanding the brand into comics and smartphone games, with an animated series the next ambition.

The series will begin by recounting the Kori-Odan saga that is at the heart of the game, plunging viewers into an African fantasy world with love, action and existential dilemmas, the producers said.

A copro between Kiro’o Games and Chouette Company, production will be carried out by the artistic teams of both companies between their studios in Yaoundé and Paris.

Mounia Aram Company, set up in 2019, will oversee the distribution of the programme, as well as licensing.

Olivier Madiba, CEO of Kiro’o Games, said: “We have created a simple and deep fantasy universe which can be exploited for 30 years, depending on the ambitions of partners. Behind the action and drama, Aurion is mostly about the quest buried in each of us: who am I? What is the purpose of mankind?”

Mounia Aram, CEO of Mounia Aram Company, said: “I’ve been eager to bring African animation to another level since I’ve launched my company. Aurion is the perfect show to start with; it brings tradition along with a modern aspect of African tales. Partnering with Kiro’o and Chouette, I believe that we will bring together a fantastic story with a strong African DNA.”

Sylvain Dos Santos, chief creative officer of Chouette Company, added: “The Aurion universe is one of the most exciting and lavish creative universes I’ve come across in recent years. It immediately won me over, and I’m convinced that, with Kiro’o, we will develop it into an incredible animated saga.”

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MultiChoice readies East African movie net

Naspers-owned pay TV operator MultiChoice Group is set to launch a general entertainment movie channel on digital satellite platform DStv next week.

Barbara Kambogi

Maisha Magic Movies will be available in all key markets across Africa and will specifically cater to the Tanzanian, Kenyan and Ugandan audiences of East Africa. It will showcase authentic local movies with narratives that excite and resonate with that audience, according to the company.

The channel will feature movies from creators including Lovis Marcel Asimwe (A Reason to Die, Kiraurau, Nambachi), Mulwinda Richard (Freedom Movie) and Kang’ethe Mungai (Uradi).

Barbara Kambogi, channel head for Maisha Magic Movies, said: “We continuously study audience behaviour and tailor-make our offering to match the needs of the market at hand, hence the launch of Maisha Magic Movies.

“The channel is being positioned as a game-changer within the target market as well as in an industry where the creation of local movies has proven to be in deficit. Viewers can look forward to exciting homegrown titles in various genres, including action, thriller and drama.

“We are working alongside local producers in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda and continuously mentoring the teams to produce world-class content that resonates with the cultural nuances of the market thus making the content not only exciting but relatable to the viewer.”

The channel will launch on DStv channel 141 on July 26 and will also be available on DStv’s Premium, Compact Plus and Compact packages.

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DStv Media Sales expands portfolio

DStv Media Sales, the sales arm of pay TV group MultiChoice Africa, has expanded its Discovery Network commercial portfolio from three channels to all eight of Discovery’s networks.

Fahmeeda Cassim-Surtee

The move also means DStv Media Sales will now represent all Discovery channels as the media house of choice and will handle all ad sales bookings across the channels.

The channels are HGTV (channel 177), Food Network (175) and Travel Channel (179) in addition to the newly added channels Discovery (121),70 TLC (172), ID (171), Discovery Family (136) and Real Time (155).

Fahmeeda Cassim-Surtee, CEO of DStv Media Sales, said: “We are excited about the opportunity this presents for our business. The addition of more channels offers us bigger audiences and the ability to aggregate more commercial opportunities for the market. This is in line with our strategy of simplifying the media buy for the market.”

Piwe Motshegoa, head of sales, general entertainment, at DStv Media Sales, added: “We are looking forward to creating tactical opportunities for clients wanting to be a part of all the great content across the Discovery portfolio of channels.”

The expanded deal will come into effect on September 1.

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Kingdom crowned Nigerian Idol winner

Kingdom Krosiede, from Nigeria’s Bayelsa State, has been declared the winner of the sixth season of singing competition show Nigerian Idol.

Kingdom Krosiede

The series, based on the much-travelled Idols format that is distributed via RTL-owned Fremantle, entered its sixth run in Nigeria in March, with 11 contestants in the running for the grand prize and other consolation prizes.

For his win, Krosiede received a cash prize of N30m (US$73,000), a new SUV, a recording deal, a deal for three music videos, an all-expenses-paid trip to the Seychelles, a weekend getaway to Dubai for two, a range of Tecno products, a Bigi-branded refrigerator and a year’s supply of Bigi drinks, and a DSTV Explora premium subscription for 12 months.

Krosiede said: “Thank you all so much for the support and love. It’s a whole lot being the winner of something. This decision which you took to make me your idol wouldn’t be in vain. Thank you Africa, thank you Nigeria, thank you Bayelsa, thank you Port Harcourt.”

The show’s producers added on Instagram: “We wish Kingdom all the best as he begins his new life as Naija’s newest idol.”

Nigerian Idol airs on various MultiChoice channels, including Africa Magic.

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Nigerian trio join Oscars academy

L-R: Mo Abudu, Ramsey Nouah and Andrew Dosunmu

The Beverly Hills-based Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, the organisation behind the Oscars, has invited three Nigerian filmmakers to become members.

Listed among 395 members for this year’s class, the Nigerian trio are EbonyLife CEO Mo Abudu, actor/director Ramsey Nouah (The Figurine, Rattle Snake: The Ahanna Story) and director Andrew Dosunmu (Restless City, Mother of George) .

Abudu was named in the producer category for her films Oloture (2020) and The Royal Hibiscus Hotel (2017); Nouah was named in the actor category for his roles in 2016 movie 76 and 2009’s The Figurine; and Dosunmu was named in the director category for his films Mother of George (2013) and Restless City (2011).

Writing on Instagram, Abudu said: “It’s such an honour to be included in this category by the Academy. I am proud to be one of 29 producers from around the world who has received this invitation, and the only Nigerian and African woman in the producer category.

“Ladies, we can do anything! I give God all glory and all honour. My thanks and love to the EbonyLife team who work so hard to make these things possible. This membership is ours, guys! We will continue to do what we do best – telling African stories to audiences around the world.”

In 2019, Nigerian filmmakers Tunde Kelani and Chinonye Chukwu and actor Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje were invited to join the Academy.

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Godson’s Illuminators opens registrations

Registrations have opened for The Illuminators, the business and lifestyle reality show created and hosted by Nollywood actor Mike Godson.

Mike Godson

The Illuminators is aimed at discovering and spotlighting 100 original business ideas for funding, with entrepreneurs, innovators, start-ups, craft masters and more to be given the chance to seek funding.

Interested participants aged between 16 and 45 can register via the Illuminators website.

The show will be hosted by Godson (7 Books of Moses, Ultimate Sacrifice) and is sponsored by Culturati, Higame Digital and Digital Cognition, among others. It follows the enormous popularity of business-themed reality shows among audiences around the world, such as Dragons’ Den and The Apprentice.

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Arewa24 expands slate to mark anniversary

Hausa-language Nigerian entertainment and lifestyle channel Arewa24 has expanded its slate of programming to mark its seventh anniversary.

Jacob Arback

The free-to-air satellite channel’s new content will debut next month, featuring original dramas, a women’s talkshow, kids’ edutainment series, football shows and more studio shows.

Among the titles are three Hausa dramas: Buka Afrikana, an ensemble sitcom set in a local diner in Nigeria’s Middle Belt; a new season of Labarna, one of the most popular Northern Nigerian dramas; and mystery crime drama Sirrin Boye.

The women’s talkshow is Mata A Yau, meaning Today’s Woman in Hausa. It will feature four dynamic co-hosts from different backgrounds and ages discussing important issues that women currently face in Northern Nigeria.

Meanwhile, US kids’ favourite Sesame Street will be dubbed into Hausa for the first time, while African children’s animated superhero series Super Sema will also debut in Hausa.

Two football-focused shows will also have their premieres, Homage and Perfection.

In addition, new seasons of Arewa24’s original runaway hit drama series Kwana Casa’in and Dadin Kowa are currently in production and will debut in October.

Arewa24 CEO Jacob Arback said: “Many people don’t realise that there are over 80 million Hausa speakers in Northern Nigeria and the Sahel, and the region is bursting everywhere with young talent.

“What I am most proud of, however, is how our management and staff, comprised of such diverse Nigerian backgrounds, ethnicities, tribes, religions and geographies, can all gather as a team in Kano, Nigeria, to produce some of the best programming coming out of Africa today.”

Arewa24 reaches more than 40 million Hausa speakers in Nigeria and West Africa. This footprint is achieved through its Eutelsat satellite free-to-air broadcast and via the StarTimes pay TV bouquet channel 138, as well as carriage on MultiChoice pay TV platforms DStv and GOtv. It is also available via pay TV platform TSTV and on the Canal+ pay TV service in Niger, Chad and Cameroon.

Most of these new shows will also be immediately available on Arewa24 On Demand, the channel’s global subscription video-on-demand service connecting Hausa-speaking families around the world to Northern Nigerian entertainment, culture and lifestyle.

Arewa24 is owned by US-based not-for-profit organisation Equal Access International and is supported by USAID, UNESCO, the World Bank and other charitable foundations.

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Ten10 hires head of development

London- and South Africa-based prodco Ten10 Entertainment (formerly Ten10 Films) has hired actor, writer, director and producer Jafta Mamabolo as head of development.

Jafta Mamabolo

Led by producer Tendeka Matatu, Ten10 is behind Netflix neo-noir thriller Cold Harbour. Matatu said its rebrand and expansion reflects its growing slate of original series and film projects.

As head of development based in South Africa, Mamabolo will work on expanding Ten10’s Africa-focused entertainment slate.

The first projects he will oversee include: young adult series Abel & Ashanti, produced with Bill Borden (High School Musical, Kung Fu Hustle); African-futuristic Akebul-an Chronicles, produced with Fremantle; and a limited series based on the book Call Me American by Abdi Nor Iftin.

Mamabolo rose to prominence as a child actor on youth show Soul Buddyz, after which he has landed many roles in both film and TV. He also exec produced SABC 1’s travelogue series Mi Kasi Su Kasi, and wrote, co-directed and starred in Ralph Ziman’s film Freedom, currently on release in South Africa on MNet Box Office.

“We are delighted to have Jafta on board. He is uniquely dialled-in to the current zeitgeist of young South African audiences and is part of a cohort of exciting new creatives who are redefining African storytelling in a big way,” Matatu said.

“His joining marks a new direction for Ten10. Jafta’s remit will be on entertainment across the board. He’ll be curating a compelling slate of premium, film, series, non-fiction and podcasting projects that have both a distinctly local flavour and an international appeal.”

Mamabolo added: “I believe in telling impactful and world-class African stories and creating much-needed platforms for young, African storytellers to do the same. I am elated to be a part of Ten10’s long legacy of taking Africa’s stories, and storytellers alike, to a global audience.”

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Cartoon Network calls in Garbage Boy

Garbage Boy & Trash Can is set to premiere next year

WarnerMedia-owned kids’ broadcaster Cartoon Network has picked up self-taught Nigerian animator Ridwan Moshood’s superhero series Garbage Boy & Trash Can.

The story follows Garbage Boy, a self-proclaimed superhero who believes he has real superpowers, and his sidekick, Trash Can, as they fight for justice. It is being produced by South African studio Pure Garbage as a 10-part series in collaboration with Baboon Animation and the African Animation Network (AAN).

Nick Wilson, founder and head of projects and content for AAN, said the deal “takes African animation to new, exciting heights,” adding that the show “amazed the Cartoon Network Africa Creative Lab selection panel with its graphic style, absurdity, and unique and extremely funny characters.”

Moshood added: “When I was a kid growing up in Nigeria, I used to be bullied by the other kids, so I created a superhero cartoon to help other kids deal with this problem. I then taught myself to animate watching Cartoon Network classics on TV and doing tutorials on YouTube. I never imagined in my wildest dreams that my show would eventually be produced. Take that, bullies!”

Mike de Seve, Baboon Animation’s president and executive producer at Pure Garbage, said: “Garbage Boy really popped for us as a character. He comes from the heart of a brilliant young African – the amazingly talented Ridwan Moshood. But any kid, anywhere in the world, will connect with this hilarious, endearing character and laugh at his antics.”

Garbage Boy & Trash Can is set to premiere in 2022.

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Eyimofe enters Benelux with Mooov

Eyimofe (This is My Desire) was directed by brothers Arie and Chuko Esiri

Nigerian feature film Eyimofe has been acquired by Belgium-based Mooov to distribute in Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg.

The film will now debut in Benelux theatres on July 23. The news comes shortly after the film, directed by brothers Arie and Chuko Esiri, was picked up by Janus Films for the North American market.

Set in Lagos, Eyimofe and follows the stories of a factory technician (played by Jude Akuwudike) and a hairdresser (Temi Ami-Williams) on their quest for what they believe will be a better life on foreign shores.

According to GDN Studios, the Nigerian production company behind the film, the Mooov deal will allow audiences in the Netherlands and Luxembourg to watch a Nigerian film in theatres for the first time.

Marc Boonen, artistic director at Mooov, said: “The film is a migrant story without migrants because, even though the film consists of the chapters Spain and Italy, we don’t get to see anything from either country.

“Therefore, Eyimofe is a carefully observed story about dreams. Mooov is honoured to distribute in the Benelux this refreshing full-length debut and introduce the Esiri brothers, two young and promising talents.”

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First EbonyLife Academy students graduate

Mo Abudu (back row, fifth from right) with the graduates

The EbonyLife Creative Academy, which was recently launched in partnership with the Lagos State Government and Lagos State Creative Industries Initiative through Nigeria’s Ministry of Tourism, Art & Culture, has graduated its first intake of students.

Over 120 students completed eight courses over 12 weeks in courses such as the Art of Screenwriting, Producing for Success, The Director’s Toolkit, Acting for Screen, Cinematography & Lighting, Art Direction for Film & TV, Audio Essentials for Film & TV, and Visual Post Production.

The courses have been designed by local and foreign industry experts to help working film professionals improve their skills and to equip beginners with the skills they need to launch their careers.

EbonyLife CEO Mo Abudu said on Instagram: “It is with loads of excitement that we announce the graduation of the first intake of students at the EbonyLife Creative Academy on the completion of their 12-week courses. All of their courses were free of charge, courtesy of funding by Lagos State Government… I am excited about what the future holds for our bright creatives.”

Uzamat Akinbile-Yussuf, Nigeria’s Commissioner for Tourism, Arts & Culture, added: “I am so proud of this first batch of young filmmakers, who have spent the last three months honing their skills. They are well on their way to becoming the highly skilled technical and creative filmmakers that we need to help us to drive the creative economy forward.”

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