Friday, 26 April 2019

We are the World Blogfest # 24: Kugali – the African Comic Book …




Afrofuturism – ever heard of it?  The new Science Fiction Comic Book genre … opening doors to, and introducing, African culture to the world …

Three African friends realised in Science Fiction there are few black people so they decided they would craft their own genre – Afrofuturism – where black people could create and publish their own innovative ideas …



The Kugali Anthology

… for example a Senegalese creates a space opera … but he uses fishing boats as his space ships, rather than the ubiquitous jet fighters …




… while their colours – just enhance the whole … reminding us Africa is many countries with lots of different cultures and voices …


Many Nations, a Multitude of different
cultures, oral traditions, waiting to
be told, stretching back millennia
It is essential that Africans tell their own stories … and that the world has an opportunity to learn the oral histories of the different peoples in Africa …


These three got together and reached out across the African Nation to musicians, writers and artists to develop a work … then crowd-funded to bring together Kugali the Anthology



They would like to kick Disney’s arse in Africa … and by the look of their unconventional approach they are already reaching far and wide …


BBC video - 4 minutes showcase the Kugali project


Kugali showcases the best African stories by Africans using comics, art and animation. 




These are stories that respect the history of Africa, embrace the present and imagine the future.


An African Comics Anthology … 200 full colour pages; 15 incredibly talented creators; six amazing stories; and two wonderfully designed covers.  But above all: a comic book experience you won’t find anywhere else.


We are the World … In Darkness, Be Light


I’ll do another post highlighting other aspects I found while researching this #WAWTB post …

Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories

53 comments:

Elephant's Child said...

How wonderful. This post filled my heart, and made my eyes leak a bit. In a world which often seems filled with intolerance and nastiness I love hearing of steps to counter these things, and to develop pride. Thank you Hilary.

Hels said...

When Modigliani started borrowing African masks to inspire his own work, I thought Europeans would hate it. Wrong! He was hugely popular.

Not the same of course because you are talking about producing African work for an African audience. However influence can come from every culture. Thankfully... we are all richer as a result.

Gattina said...

We have some African friends who living in Belgium try to keep a few of their traditons. Mostly decoration which is beautiful.
Long time I haven't heard from you, only knew that you are back from Canada, but don't know why you have been there for such a long time.

David M. Gascoigne, said...

A genre completely new to me Hilary. I am happy that you made the point that Africa is a large, diverse continent, with many countries, ethnicities, topography, climate and cultures. For so long the view of many in the west has been of a homogeneous entity, without any of the subtleties of Europe, and nothing could be further from the truth. A Senegalese is as different from a Moroccan, as a Sicilian is from a Swede. I have been fortunate to visit Africa on multiple occasions to many different regions, with unique memories each time.

Lizbeth Hartz said...

How great when a culture finds its voice. This post gave me a good feeling, that Africans are telling their own stories, and keeping their own traditions, and creating their own anthology. Love the graphics too. Thanks for sharing this positive news story.

bazza said...

Wow, what an interesting topic. I would love to see that book. Is it actually available now?
CLICK HERE for Bazza’s madly munificent Blog ‘To Discover Ice’

Joanne said...

such a great idea. Anybody could be a superhero...from any country, etc.
Very cool

Mason Canyon said...

Sounds like a great plan and a wonderful way to spread the idea.

Jo said...

It will be interesting to see what comes out of "deepest, darkest" Africa. It is so true that we know very little of all the countries which make up this largest continent. Kudos to the originators of this idea.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I imagine Black Panther has helped pave the way.

Keith's Ramblings said...

I knew nothing of this and I'm so pleased you brought it to our attention

Jacqui Murray said...

That is a great idea. I hope it succeeds. We probably need a similar effort for all races!

retirementreflections said...

HI, Hilary - Stories that stories that respect, embrace and imagine definitely make a difference. I look forward to reading more about this.

John "By Stargoose And Hanglands" said...

I'm no fan of Science Fiction but I welcome this new genre.

Dan said...

This is a great choice for WATWB - "stories that respect the history of Africa, embrace the present and imagine the future" I can't think of a better kind of story.

Mark Koopmans said...

Some of these colors are so vibrant and I'd never heard of Afrofuturism, which only goes to prove how uncultured I am - and how happy I am that you bring loads of interesting culture to your posts!!

Liz A. said...

It's probably about time, and it's a bit sad that it would need to be its own genre. Because there should be enough room in sff for all sorts of different cultures and perspectives. Because we're all going to make it to the future, not just one culture or nationality.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ EC – it seems like the dream project … being able to collaborate across various nations (within the continent of Africa), drawing in the talent to open these doors to the different cultures – I loved reading about them, and seeing their route to publication …

@ Hels – it’s so interesting how we aren’t as closed as we think we are – yet someone has to open those doors for us …

… but again – put across as here their art and stories are beguiling and will be for many of us … as you so rightly say we are all richer as a result.

@ Gattina – yes I hold on to my African years as I can … this is just such an interesting idea coming out of Africa …

@ David – to me too … but after my time in Africa, like you, I can’t resist the lure of all things African, as well as this wonderful mix of ideas, new creative characters, new approach to cartoons, art, writing while weaving their historical oral stories.

You’ve certainly expressed and endorsed Kugali’s project through your comment here … it is an amazing continent with some truly wonderful talented people bringing their continent to light …

@ Lizbeth – it is such a brilliant positive story … I’m so pleased you’ve enjoyed learning about their project … I’m sure we’ll be seeing more about them. The graphics are just wonderful, aren’t they …

@ Bazza – I see one of their books is available on Amazon – the others appear but are not in print at the moment (check it out) – I’m sure they’d be delighted to hear from you …

Check out the links … from which you get linked across to other areas of the project …

@ Joanne – you’re so right … we could all be superheroes – and we don’t need a spaceship … a fishing boat would do …

@ Mason – they are certainly opening doors ... through their art, film, comics et al …the websites are so interesting to check out …

@ Jo – we need to understand their culture and their stories – then we’d appreciate so much of what they do … I agree – kudos to the founders and collaborators of the Kugali project …

@ Alex – Black Panther was mentioned … I can’t now quite remember where and how – perhaps my next post will bring that out …

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Keith – it was something I spotted on the Beeb and thought how interesting … just glad everyone seems to be appreciating the post and links to Kugali …

@ Jacqui – it is succeeding … they crowdfunded and achieved quite quickly … in fact more projects have been done, or are on the way … and perhaps we should do it for each community – not sure what you’d do about the Anglo-Saxons … rather muddled and rather spread about now?!

@ Donna – great to see you … and yes these stories I hope will open the western world’s eyes to what’s available on the magnificent continent of Africa …

@ John – Science Fiction isn’t my metier either … but my eyes are opening as I blog on – but I loved what the Africans were doing … bringing their own culture to life via this medium …

@ Dan – I’m so glad I put it up … I’ve been waiting a couple of months – so many unsettling things happening. Thanks for endorsing my ‘summing up’ of the stories in the Anthology … I was delighted to come across the BBC highlight video and storyline …

@ Mark – I’d never heard of Afrofuturism either – but love Africa … and love all sorts of learning I come across – so I’m really pleased with your comment that you enjoy the aspects I bring to your notice on the blog … thank you.

@ Liz – well there’s lots of niche genres now – but this is a whole continent and it really needs to have its own place in the world, rather than being a part of the western culture – we in the west … need to have the opportunity to learn their indigenous ways … and how their history is held for the different peoples …

Thanks so much to you all – I’m delighted this post has opened your/our eyes to African ways of life over the millennia … so we can respect that history … cheers Hilary

Lisa said...

Since I'm already a comic book fan, I can't wait to look into this! Thanks Hilary, for the introduction!

Debbie D. said...

It's wonderful to showcase different cultures and educate people at the same time. Hopefully, their horizons will be broadened by this initiative! Looking forward to reading more about this. Thanks, Hilary!

FROM DEATH COMES LIFE #WATWB

ReHiTu said...

What a good idea! I hope they can go on always...

Jz said...

You find the neatest stuff!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Lisa - oh how wonderful ... I'm sure you'll be totally drawn in with their stories delivered this way - so pleased you'll be investigating ...

@ Debbie - I'm sure they will open doors for other talented artists and then help promote news ones to succeed along the way, opening more doors for the African nation. As you say - a great initiative ...

@ ReHiTu - I too hope their projects develop and proceed successfully on - looks that way ...

@ Jz - thanks ... I try and find different subjects to write about ...

Thanks so much - Kugali and the project was so interesting to come across - cheers Hilary

Rhodesia said...

This was quite new to me and I had to look it up on Amazon. Interesting. Well done for this post.
So Africa smiled a little When you left.
“We are in you,” Africa said.
“You have not left us, yet.”

Have a good weekend Diane

Andrea Ostapovitch said...

An incredibly rich and diverse culture that needs to bebe shared with the world through every medium. So glad to hear it's gaining ground in the comic book industry.
Enjoy your weekend,
Andrea

Lynda Dietz said...

How great to hear this! And what a bummer that it's taken so long. Here's to opening doors that will open more.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Such a unique idea. Kicking Disney's ass - LOL.

Kay G. said...

Do I remember something about Disney and the phrase "Akuna Matata" being connected to a lawsuit? I will have to look it up.
Interesting post!

Deborah Weber said...

I'm delighted to hear this Hilary. I've just checked and it's available in the U.S. in a kindle edition. Hopefully the project will be wildly successful and inspire others as well.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Diane - you're right ... Africa never leaves, does it. It's always wonderful to see good things happening ... and seeing them coming together specifically with Africans in mind (made by Africans) makes so sense. I'm glad you found more on Amazon ...

@ Andrea - yes again you're spot on ... their rich and diverse culture needs to be share with others and through all the mediums available. Their approach through comic books seems perfect in our short attention span world ...

@ Lynda - so much has happened to the African diaspora, particularly in the last 500 years or so, let alone the movements occurring earlier - a lot to adjust to ... and now we are recognising and appreciating other nations' cultures - as you say 'at last' ...

@ Diane - glad that idea caught your eye ... 'kicking Disney's ass' - they're on their way ...

@ Kay - I hadn't noticed the legal aspect of the phrase Hakuna Matata ... but have just read via CNN that there's an online petition asking Disney to relinquish its trademark of the Swahili phrase. I might mention it in my next post ...

@ Deborah - that's great ... and thanks for checking out the availability via Kindle ... it looks like there will be more African collaborations of this sort - across the various nations.

Thanks so much to you all ... interesting comments here and great to know you enjoy learning about these sorts of 'break out' projects from such talented peoples ... cheers Hilary

Indywrites said...

This is so wonderful, sharing and creating stories of one's own culture is always wonderful. More so for Africa, we need to read their stories. Wonderful initiative and thanks for sharing this post. I am eager to read more about them.

Sandra said...

What a wonderful idea!

DMS said...

I have not heard of this before and think it is wonderful. Sounds like they are already spreading and getting their stories out there. Yay! I am so happy to learn about this and look forward to finding out even more. :)
~Jess

Peter Nena said...

Thank you for highlighting this endeavour. It is a great idea and I hope it blossoms fruitfully and helps shape the image of the continent.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Indy - yes ... it is good that Africa is taking care of its own promotion and we'll be seeing a lot more of their stories being promoted to us - so we can learn about their culture ... that's great to know you'd like to know more ..

@ Sandra - thank you ...

@ Jess - yes it seems like they're pushing ahead with stories, art, comics etc that resonate their way of life ... showing us the way they interpret their culture or would like us to see their culture ... I obviously need to put together some more information on what's happening ...

@ Peter - thank you ... I too hope it blossoms out and many more projects will appear out of Africa - it's an amazing continent ...

Cheers to you four - I'd better get researching ... all the best - Hilary

D.G. Kaye said...

A wonderful collective effort and a great share for #WATWB Hilary :) x

Inger said...

How great is this! Thanks for sharing all this information, I will check into it further.

Pr@Gun said...

It's interesting to know about Kugali, a great initiative on Afrofuturism. loved the lines - respect history, embrace present, imagine future. thanks for this share.

Kalpana said...

Kugali sounds so creative. Thank you for drawing our attention to it by writing about it.

cleemckenzie said...

This was beautiful, Hilary. I loved the fact that Africans could tell their own stories, and how creative, colorful, and interesting they are.

diedre Knight said...

"Kugali the Anthology" - what a fantastic idea! I can't think of a better way to blend and properly serve up a stew of many ingredients. Thanks for once again reminding us of the good in this world ;-)

LD Masterson said...

This is wonderful. We need to learn about other cultures and history from the people who live them.

Empty Nest Insider said...

Hilary, This is such an interesting concept that will spread African history in an exciting and colorful way! Kugali is bound to appeal to multi-generations around the world. What a great find, Hilary!

Julie

Pradeep Nair said...

What an interesting initiative this is! I am sure there are many heart-warming stories. After all, richness is in diversity.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Debby - it's great to see talented artists promoting their own cultures and bringing others in to the various projects that art and comics can open other doors to the separate African countries ...

@ Inger - isn't it ... and I'm delighted to see you'll be looking further into their innovative projects ...

@ PrG - thanks for coming by ... and yes there are a lot of positives here ...

@ Kalpana - I agree ... it does sound so creative - and I'm just delighted people are interested in their works ...

@ Lee - yes they need to tell their own stories in their own countries and then let it spread out to 'this western world of ours'. The colours are different, the feel is different - I was so pleased to find out about these creative skills ...

@ Diedre - it's great that Africans are finding their own voice for their own cultures ... and then broadening their skills with others joining them; there is good in this world, as you say ...

@ LD - you're so right we need to appreciate others' ways of life and their own indigenous history ... so different from ours, yet so similar, but with longevity on their side ...

@ Julie - I'm sure you're right there ... and the innovators in the Kugali project are just so talented and are already spreading their wings. The multi-generational appeal certainly seems to be there in this short attention span life we now lead ...

@ Pradeep - exactly ... you've said so correctly: richness is diversity ... and here with their Kugali take on life - they'll appeal to lots of readers throughout the world ...

Thank you all for coming by - it's great to know you've taken an interest in the comic book Kugali Anthology project ... it has certainly opened my eyes. Cheers Hilary

Jean Davis said...

This is great! I love the art and colors. It's wonderful that more visions of the future are being shared with readers by other cultures. We have a lot to learn from each other.

Sandra said...

How creative and farsighted.
Cheers,

Suzanne Furness said...

What a fantastic idea and not one I had heard of before reading your post, Hilary. Sharing experiences, thoughts and cultures around the world. Best wishes to you.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Jean - I'm glad I found out about the Kugali project ... as it's opened my eyes to an innovative approach that the different African countries have decided to take. There's so much talent in Africa and it will open our western eyes to their approach - which as you say we do have so much to learn from each other.

@ Sandra - thanks ...

@ Suzanne - I've been delighted to let anyone who reads this blog about the Kugali project ... the more we learn of other cultures - the better we'll all be. As you say sharing experiences, thoughts and cultures from different countries will be so enlightening ...

Thanks so much for visiting and comment - great to see you all ... cheers Hilary

Victoria Marie Lees said...

Truly fascinating, Hilary. I love the artwork. Africa is a patchwork quilt of different cultures, and yes, they each need to tell their own story for the world to truly understand Africa and the many nations that make it up. Thanks for sharing this with your followers. All best to you!

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

Africa encompasses so many different cultures, and most westerners (including me) are woefully ignorant about its history and stories. Africans embracing their own culture to create these books is a great idea. Who better to tell their stories? (Not Disney!)
Cheers!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Victoria Marie - it was so interesting finding out about Kugali ... where the artists are making sure all the story tellers are able to tell their own African oral stories in whichever media they wish to use ...

@ Susan - when I learn something (all the time) I realise how little I know and as you mention how ignorant I am about other areas of life. Exactly they need to tell their own stories - not Disney or the western world ...

Cheers to you both, I'm so glad you found the post interesting and informative ... Hilary