Children’s broadcaster Cartoon Network Africa will premiere Lwazi Msipha’s original hybrid animated comedy series My Cartoon Friend this month.
Msipha is a Johannesburg-based designer and 3D animator. In the 13×90” shortform show, he accidentally exports his animated character, named Themba, into the real world and finds himself unable to reverse what he did.
Msipha won the 2019 Digital Lab Africa #3 pitching competition, a springboard and incubation platform for African creatives.
Msipha took to Instagram to say: “A special shout out to Cartoon Network Africa for giving me the opportunity.”
My Cartoon Friend will debut on July 12 at 16.15 CAT.
Cartoon Network Africa has unveiled a new original production titled CN to the Rescue which will premiere on YouTube on November 14.
The seven-episode series follows Tapiwe Lembwa (aka Taps), a creative and fun-loving youngster with a knack for getting into trouble.
With the help of his cartoon friends and visits to his imagination room – a mental archive of everything that he’s ever seen on Cartoon Network – he solves daily household issues in a surprising and imaginative way, according to the producers.
The show features the voice of African comedian André Lembwa, who will play four characters, including Taps’ nerdy younger brother Garcia, their glamorous mom Lyzette and the happy-go-lucky Gogo.
The aim is to keep audiences laughing with African humour and fresh content relating to everyday situations in an African household.
Lembwa said: “I am ecstatic to be part of CN to the Rescue on Cartoon Network Africa’s YouTube channel. This collaboration is an all-new format that combines the power of Cartoon Network with the clever use of local comedy and humour. I know that young audiences and families across Africa rate Cartoon Network, and I know they will enjoy the crossover of their favourite channel with their soon-to-be-favourite family – The Lembwas!”
Children’s channel Cartoon Network Africa has extended the submission deadline for entries to its Creative Lab until next week.
Launched in June, the project is aimed at up-and-coming animators across the continent. It invites them to submit original shortform animation for the chance to land a pilot on Cartoon Network Africa.
The deadline for submission was initially August 31, but now Cartoon Network has now extended it to Monday September 10.
Interested animators must be at least 18 years old to qualify. Entries should be in the comedy genre and in video form, and must be no more than three minutes in length. Submissions can be made here.
Ten projects will be shortlisted from thousands of entries. These will then be whittled down to a top three, which will be revealed at the DISCOP Johannesburg conference this November before being piloted on Cartoon Network Africa next year.
US-based Cartoon Network is owned by Turner Broadcasting System, a subsidiary of Time Warner.
Children’s channel Cartoon Network Africa has selected Nigerian animator Ridwan Moshood as the winner of its Creative Lab competition.
Moshood’s project was selected from the Annecy International Animation Film Festival’s Animation du Monde pitches.
Moshood, who hails from Nigeria, is the creator of Garbage Boy & Trash Can. The judges were impressed by the project’s characters, graphic style and absurdity. It is the story about a garbage boy who assumes he has super powers he can use to fight for justice together, with his trash can.
“Ridwaan’s style is a perfect fit for the channel and shows fantastic graphism that makes the show instantly lovable, unique and full of energy,” said Ariane Suveg, programming director and head of kids’ content for Cartoon Network Africa.
In June this year, African creators, animation students, artists and writers were challenged to design innovative and local shortform content that reinforces the local importance of the brand. In September, 10 projects were shortlisted out of 250, which were then pitched to Cartoon Network Africa’s content team.
“We were pleasantly surprised by the wealth of animation talent on the continent and the selection panel had a tough task. The editorial guidelines for the channel were very specific, and yet we received many applications,” said Suveg.
The runners-up were Intergalactic Ice Cream, from South African toonist Andrew John Phillips, whose storyline centres on a delivery boy’s adventurous after-school job; and Majitu, a project by Kenyan Mark Kinuthia, which follows two characters on a mission to save the world from evil.
Along with the winner, both runners-up will be given the opportunity to get their project produced as a pilot with Cartoon Network Africa, and the pilot will then premiere on the broadcaster and its digital platforms in 2019.
“We are thrilled that the Creative Lab winner and runners-up reflect the vibrant nature of the continent and look forward to collaborating with each of them. We’re excited to have seen strong African inspiration and captivating proposals all around, with strong human stakes in characters and stories that go straight to the heart,” said Suveg.
Children’s channel Cartoon Network Africa has selected 11-year-old Nigerian Daniella Soje as one of the winners of its PowerPuff Girls Award competition.
Selected out of 3,000 entries, her project is named Trash to Art and won the artistic creator category. It is aimed at converting everyday rubbish into beautiful works of art.
Soje is on a mission to equip more than 100 kids and teenagers in Lagos with skills that can make them financially independent and also motivate them to keep their environment clean.
She said: “I am so appreciative of the judges for selecting my Trash to Art project.”
Other winners include 10-year-old Uviwe Bubu from South Africa, who won the social helper category for her Mini Sparkles sanitary care project, and 12-year-old Mwangala Maunga from Zambia, who won the science and tech innovator category for her solar water purifier.
The PowerPuff Girls Awards were launched in August to empower young African girls between the ages of nine and 14 to come up with ideas that can make a difference in their community.
The awards were given at the Turner Upfront event in Johannesburg and winners received cash prizes to help bring their entries to life with the help of a dedicated mentor.
“I applaud the work of Cartoon Network’s PowerPuff Girls Awards for the time and effort they put into this award process, which promotes awareness and recognition for African children with creativity and talent. This will definitely encourage other children in Africa,” said Jaime Ondarza, senior VP for Turner Southern Europe & Africa and CEO of Boing.
“The PPG Awards is an excellent example of how we can help celebrate and empower young girls through such innovative projects. The winners in each category demonstrated a positive impact in people’s lives in their communities and it is awe-inspiring to see the difference they’ve made.”