Edutainment Startup Kukua Partners With Lupita Nyong'o For Animated African Superhero Series
Photo Credit: Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images for Kering

Edutainment Startup Kukua Partners With Lupita Nyong'o For Animated African Superhero Series

Kukua, a multidisciplinary media and technology startup that combines entertainment and education to inspire today’s generation of children, has announced its new partnership with Oscar-winning superstar Lupita Nyong’o.

According to a press release announcement, this partnership not only  includes the actress as a shareholder but also features Nyong’o as an executive producer of the “Super Sema” animated series, which is being billed as “Africa’s first kid superhero animated series.”

“74% of characters on TV remain white, and only a few portray black female leads in STEAM. As a Black girl growing up in North America who majored in science, I didn’t see anyone that looked like me when I watched cartoons or walked into a chemistry class,” said Kukua’s COO Vanessa Ford. “Today when my children turn on their favorite program, I want to know that they not only can see themselves positively reflected on screen but that they are emboldened to believe they too can be scientists, inventors, and change-makers. Sema is the role model for today’s generation of children.”

In each episode, Sema and her twin brother MB use their “tech-novating” powers to save their town of Dunia from a heartless robot uber-villain. From their “Secret Lab,” they code world-changing apps, create energy from waste, engineer solutions for their community, develop virtual worlds, and might even launch a space rocket! And they do this all to be home in time to print 3D pizzas!

“I share Kukua’s goal to empower children through inspiring stories that feature characters in which the children see themselves reflected. I am delighted to be a part of this talented, female-led team of purposeful creators,” said Lupita Nyong’o, in the press release statement. “As a Kenyan, I couldn’t be prouder of Super Sema’s introduction to the world and the opportunities Kukua provides for our local creative community to produce entertainment that reflects our culture.”

Founded by Lucrezia Bisignani in 2015, Kukua is a Nairobi-based children’s edutainment startup with an award-winning female team working at the intersection of technology, entertainment, and education.

“We are thrilled to announce that Lupita is a part of our company and our mission to empower children with the skills and capacity to dream beyond what they think is possible and to imagine and create a better world. Our team couldn’t be prouder to partner with Lupita, whose voice and talent has already inspired millions across the world,” said Bisignani in a press release. “Together, we’re excited to build the next big global kids’ franchise, starting with the Super Sema animated series. Our aim is to continue to create content and products that inspire children to take what they’ve learned from Super Sema into the real world to invent, create, and play.”

The first eight episodes of “Super Sema” will debut on March 8, 2021, exclusively on YouTube TV.