Netflix announced Tuesday that it will air its first animated original series from Africa.
Titled Mama K’s Team 4, the series will revolve around four teen girls, who reside in a neo-futuristic Lusaka, Zambia, that are recruited by a retired secret agent to save the world. Mama K’s Team 4 is produced by the Cape Town-based Triggerfish Animation Studios and CAKE, a London-based kids’ entertainment specialist. We originally reported on the project, pre-Netflix, back in 2018.
The series was created by Malenga Mulendema, a Zambian writer who was one of eight winners in the Triggerfish Story Lab Initiative in 2015. Designed by Cameroonian artist Malcolm Wope, Mama K’s Team 4 draws visual inspiration from the retro-R&B and hip-hop girl groups of the ’90s.
“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,” said Malenga. “Most importantly, I want to illustrate that anyone from anywhere can be a superhero. ”
Netflix is also collaborating with Triggerfish and CAKE to launch a continent-wide search for local female writing talent to join the creative team on the series.
“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,” Melissa Cobb, Netflix’s VP of original animation, said. “Mama K’s Team 4 has the potential to give a whole new generation of African children the opportunity to see themselves on-screen in the powerful, aspirational characters they look up to.”