Animators roll out township-inspired videos

The young animators from Motherwell who want to give back to their township through their lifestyle-animated videos. Photo: Afikile Lugunya
The young animators from Motherwell who want to give back to their township through their lifestyle-animated videos. Photo: Afikile Lugunya

TWO artists from Motherwell have started an animation production company as their first step to open a studio where youth could be trained in animation and to put township lifestyle in the spotlight.

Fun-art Entertainment has been registered by Mpumelelo Matayi and Lubabalo Loyilani as an animation production company to generate employment by making use of the township’s local talent.

Their profound passion for animated videos started at a young age when they could express their feelings on paper.

“The two of us met in school and both had a love for drawing animations. We made drawings of our classmates and everyone loved them.

“When we got older, we decided to make our characters move like in the cartoon movies we watched everyday,” Loyilani said.

At first, the duo created short videos as a hobby and later realised that the animated videos could serve as permanent employment.

“We have always had a shared passion for drawing since our school days, but we did not realise that our love for drawing would come this far,” Matayi said.

Fun-art Entertainment has made it possible for children in the township to pursue their love of drawing and animations in the hope of reducing crime.

“The youth here in the townships are so eager to learn and many want to have a career in the film industry.

“We want to do this for them and keep them busy. We hope that it will reduce crime and drug abuse in our township that’s increasing everyday.

“That is one of our main objectives,” Matayi added.

The young animators appoint voice-over artists, among other roles, to locals in the township.

“We never thought that people would actually give us so much support. We love what we’re doing and would not trade it for anything,” Loyilani said.

The animators want to bring a sense of belonging to black children in South Africa by watching cartoons that they can relate to.

Loyilani said, “We want children to discover their careers at a young age.

“For example, if you have never tried to do a voice over recording, you will never know that it is your talent and passion. Therefore we want to give people a chance to also explore their ideas on video and have fun while doing so.”

Although the animators are yet to flourish, their lack of finances remains a challenge as equipment is always needed to bring their characters to life.

“We do have some equipment, but we hope to get more laptops to be able to train the youth and get them off the streets. We also want to try to introduce animation in schools in the Eastern Cape and nationally,” Matayi said.

The duo have plans in place to open an animation studio in Port Elizabeth to be able to generate an income and train prospective animators.

“We want to do so much more in the future and opening a studio forms part of that. This will ensure people get involved to make our business grow and the youth having something to do, which they can enjoy,” Matayi added.

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