Nollywood actress Adesuwa Etomi is voicing the lead role in new Nigerian animated series Malika: Warrior Queen.
Written by Roye Okupe, founder of YouNeek Studios, and produced by Niyi Akinmolayan of Anthill Studios, the series is an adaptation of the graphic novel by Okupe which was published in 2016.
It is the story of a strong black African queen fighting for her kingdom, which is under threat of invasion by foreign cultures. The story is inspired by the 12th century Oyo empire although the characters are fictional.
According to Okupe: “You basically get to see how an African queen lived her life back then.
“I have to give credit again to Niyi, who’s also the director of the highest-grossing movie in Lagos, The Wedding Party 2. We discussed about who we would like to bring to this and Adesua was the first person I had on my mind to voice it. Not only is she a huge star, she’s also super-talented. After both of us went through the proper channels to present the idea to her, she basically said it would be a dream for her to do it.”
Other Nollywood actors taking speaking roles include Femi Branch (Chief Dogbari), Deyemi Okanlowon (the Windmaker and King Bass), Blossom Chukwujekwu (Abdul) and Sambassa Nzeribe (General Ras).
The series, which will be produced in Nigeria, consists of episodes featuring three scenes with a total runtime of 15 minutes.
Etomi has starred in movies including The Wedding Party, Knocking on Heaven’s Door, The Arbitration and Couple of Days and she won the Best Actress prize at the 2016 Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards for her role in 2015 film Falling.
“I hope that YouNeek Studios and all the other studios in Nigeria and Africa as a whole can start to bridge this gap between acquisition and trying to tell our stories through Nollywood as much as we’re doing it through Hollywood,” Okupe said.