african brands

variety.com
Nigerian Animators Look to Put African Brand on World Stage
By Christopher Vourlias

The challenges in Nigeria are daunting. Production costs are high for companies on shoestring budgets, and the studios that are developing IP can generally afford just a handful of full-time animators — enough to create an attractive product, but not necessarily at a breakneck pace.

“In terms of doing a full animated series, it’s something we can do, flawlessly,” says Ola Oyo of Lagos-based Spore-dust Media, which has five in-house animators. “We just need to have additional manpower.”

In order to finance development of its flagship property, animated series “Chicken Core,” Sporedust has been creating mobile games and ads for corporate clients. At EVCL, international DVD sales have provided a steady flow of foreign exchange that the company repatriates back into Nigeria.

But visibility remains a problem in a country with rampant piracy, while pay TV channels are crammed with U.S. imports. Worse, Nigerian broadcasters expect content creators to pay for airtime — an expensive proposition. Waziri notes that one reason his characters are virtually unknown in their home country is that they’ve never appeared on local networks. (Episodes of the show can be downloaded from the company’s website; some 20,000 DVDs have been sold worldwide, while YouTube views have hit roughly half a million.)

“The only way you finance this kind of content is by partnering with brands,” says Michael Akindele, producer of the animated series “The O Twins.”

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