Netflix is hiring a team of women to work on an African teenage girl’s superhero animated series

Netflix has signed a deal to collaborate with South Africa’s award winning Triggerfish Animation Studios and UK distributor CAKE on an animated action-comedy series called Mama K’s Team 4.

The series was created by Zambian writer Malenga Mulendema who was one of eight winners of the Triggerfish story lab talent search in 2015.

Malenga Mulendema, animation, superheroes

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The story line focuses on a group of teenage girls living in a futuristic version of Lusaka, Zambia, who are recruited by a former secret agent to help save the world.  

They will be fighting rich and powerful opponents with limited resources, making them an intelligent and resourceful power team.

When superheroes first appeared in comic books and movies, minority groups including black women were heavily underrepresented and we think the series will  reinforce the notion that African girls can also be superheroes.

READ MORE: The number of women in lead roles in Hollywood has increased by only 2% in the past 10 years

Malenga Mulendema, women, animation

Malenga who grew up watching cartoons as a little girl, found herself asking why no heroes looked like her and why they didn’t live in a world that felt like her own.

“In creating a superhero show set in Lusaka, I hope to introduce the world to four strong African girls who save the day in their own fun and crazy way.

Most importantly, I want to illustrate that anyone from anywhere can be a superhero,” she said.

Vice president of original animation at Netflix Mellisa Cobb highlighted the importance of the inclusion of African superheroes in mainstream animation. 

“Mama K’s Team 4 has the potential to give a whole generation of African children the opportunity to see themselves on screen in the powerful, aspirational characters they look up to,” she noted.

women, animation, superheroes

Netflix is now on a continent-wide search to hire black women writers for the show. Their mandate is to find candidates who have had their work produced for either TV or film, and who are English-speaking African citizens or permanent residents.

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“In addition to giving African writers a global platform on which to be heard, we are excited to present this powerful and entertaining new animated series that brings Malenga’s incredible and unique vision to life on Netflix," said Mellisa.

And while we can't wait to see more representation and inclusion, let’s celebrate the fierce black heroines Mama K’s Team 4 will be bringing to our screens very soon. 

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