Kenyan Animation Outpost Update

This is by way of an overdue update on Tinga Tinga Tales, the Kenyan animated TV series I reported here on June 30th. The series (see trailer above) has begun broadcasting on the CBeebies,(Children’s BBC) (those living in the UK can see past episodes here). In the meantime, check out this BBC story on the studio here.

BBC Tinga 3

Thanks to Cartoon Brew.

International Animation Day in Africa

ASIFA Egypt logoI just received an interesting report from Mohamed Ghazala. Director of ASIFA Egypt, on celebrations of International Animation Day across Africa  on October 28 (Tunisia, Ethiopia, Ghana and South Africa) and November (Cairo and Alexandria). (IAD commemorates the opening  of Émile Reynaud’s Théâtre Optique at the Musée Grévin in Paris on October 28, 1892.) The basic approach to these events were screenings of films submitted by ASIFA chapters from around the world, but also included a wide range of presentations, screenings  and workshops, which I thought I would sample with the following images:

Maha Sherwin and Ahmed El Ashwah speaking at 2009 International Animation Day in Alexandria, Egypt

ASIFA Egypt Alexandria Team Maha Sherwin and Ahmed El Ashwah speaking at 2009 International Animation Day in Alexandria, Egypt.

Ayaleh Mulat speaking at International Animation Day 2009 in Addis Ababa

ASIFA Egypt member, Alemu Damena organized the festivities in Addis Ababa, which took place in the Ethiopian National Theatre and the Candle Theatre in collaboration with the Ethiopian Animators Group. Pictured above is Ethiopian poet Ayaleh Mulat speaking in Addis Ababa. The event featured an hour long screening of films by 10 Ethiopian animators.

Samuel Quartey introducing 2009 International Animation Day presentation in Kumasi, Ghana

Animation Africa’s Samuel Quartey is seen here introducing a panel discussion in Kumasi, Ghana.

2009 International Animation Day Workshop in Ghana

A children’s workshop was also featured in Ghana, in which animators Salamatu Yakubu and George Opare instructed 20 students from Kumasi’s Ridge School in “basic digital photography exercises and Pixilation.”

Wassim Ben Rhouma introducing 2009 International Animation Day panel in Tunisia

Wassim Ben Rhouma of ASIFA Egypt Tunis is here seen introducing an IAD panel in Tunisia. The Facebook page in French promoting the event can be found here.


The IAD celebration in Cape Town, South Africa featured a screening of Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, a selection of African animation put together by ASIFA Egypt, and Animation SA indents by students from Learn2. The two students above were the winners of Toon Boom software prizes.

The Algerian event, which took place December 13-15 with the theme “Africa Comes to Life, in which Moustapha Alassane, the “dean of African filmmakers” happened after the report was written, but a story on the event, in French, can be found here.

For more on African and especially Egyptian animation, check out Mohamed Ghazala’s Animation from Egypt & Africa blog.

African Animation (Sub-Saharan)



The major film industry in  sub-Saharan Africa has always been South Africa, which also includes animation. While  a number of internationally recognized live-action filmmakers have emerged in other countries in the recent past, animated films have lagged behind. The African Digital Art website, in an interesting post on “Animation in Kenya” notes:

The growth of animation in Kenya can be traced back to the UNESCO Africa Animated Project, which was held between 2001 and 2004. The project consisted of regional training and production workshops for local artists. The program sought to address the lack of formal training in animation and film making. Subsequently Kenya is in mid-production of the animated series Tinga Tinga Tales, animal tales target towards younger audiences.

Other Animated series include The XYZ show [see trailer above], a television series fresh out of Kenya that is certainly turning heads and leaving viewers begging for more. This African political satire animated series is the brainchild of famous political satirist GADO and promises to influence other animated projects coming out of East Africa.

Paula Callus’s invaluable African Animation blog further notes that the series, “has been looked at by the BBC, giving it exposure on an international scale.” Her site provides clips and other valuable information on what’s going on, including the following showreel from South Africa’s Animation SA, an organization of local studios; if nothing else, it shows how commercial studios there seem to fit easily into the international mainstream.