TV

Afro-Futuristic “Iwájú” Is Coming to Disney+, Inspired by The Spirit of Lagos

Welcome to the world of Iwájú, a beautiful, original animated series set in a futuristic Lagos, Nigeria. The exciting coming-of-age story follows Tola, a young girl from the wealthy island, and her best friend, Kole, a self-taught tech expert, as they discover the secrets and dangers hidden in their different worlds.

Kugali filmmakers—including director Olufikayo Ziki Adeola, production designer Hamid Ibrahim and cultural consultant Toluwalakin Olowofoyeku—take viewers on a unique journey into the world of Iwájú, bursting with unique visual elements and technological advancements inspired by the spirit of Lagos. 

Said Adeola, “Crafting the narrative of Iwájú has been a journey of creative alchemy, blending the rich cultural tapestry of Lagos with imaginative leaps into the future. Collaborating with my Kugali co-founders and the visionary artists at Walt Disney Animation Studios has been nothing short of magical. The heartbeat of my hometown resonates through every scene, and I am thrilled for the world to experience this unique fusion of tradition and futurism.”

First announced at D23, the series is a Walt Disney Animation Studios’ collaboration with Pan-African entertainment company Kugali has culminated in the all-new six-part series Iwájú, streams exclusively on Disney+ beginning February 28, 2024. Release timing and distribution platform for select regions, including Nigeria, will be announced soon. 

MEET TOLA – Set in futuristic Lagos, Nigeria, “Iwájú” is a coming-of-age story from Walt Disney Animation Studios and Pan-African entertainment company Kugali. Tola (voice of Simisola Gbadamosi) is a curious and opinionated girl who’s eager to learn more about the world around her. Kugali filmmakers Olufikayo Ziki Adeola, Hamid Ibrahim and Toluwalakin Olowofoyeku take viewers on a unique journey into the world of “Iwájú,” bursting with unique visual elements and technological advancements inspired by the spirit of Lagos. Produced by Disney Animation’s Christina Chen, and written by Adeola and Halima Hudson, “Iwájú” streams exclusively on Disney+ Feb. 28, 2024, in a six-episode event. © 2024 Disney. All Rights Reserved.

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

Also debuting February 28th on Disney+ is Iwájú: A Day Ahead, a documentary special filmed across three continents that shares the story of the founders of the Pan-African entertainment company, Kugali, who made their dream a reality creating an original animation series with Walt Disney Animation Studios. Created by the ABC News Studios and Walt Disney Animation Studios team that brought you Into the Unknown: Making Frozen 2, the documentary shows anything is possible when talent meets opportunity. Iwájú: A Day Ahead is directed by Megan Harding and executive produced by Amy Astley and Beth Hoppe. 

Disney has already seen great success in its embrace of Afrofuturism: Marvel’s Black Panther, set in a high-tech shadow nation, was a global phenomenon when it premiered in 2018. A sequel, titled Wakanda Forever in 2022.

With authenticity and creativity at its heart, Kugali is an African-owned and operated storytelling collective spearheading Africa’s modern emergence into the AAA media landscape. Founded in 2017 by Tolu Olowofoyeku, Olufikayo Adeola and Hamid Ibrahim with the purpose of taking African stories to the world, Kugali Media has attracted recognition from companies like Disney and the BBC, as well as paved the way for a generation of new African storytellers to find their voices in graphic novels. Their most notable achievements include record-breaking crowdfunding campaigns, a slew of award-winning graphic novels and their upcoming Disney+ series in collaboration with Disney Animation, Iwájú

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