We previously brought Roye Okupe to your attention as the forward-thinking writer and CEO of YouNeek Studios, who creates African superheroes and graphic novels.
One of his standout graphic novels is Malika: Warrior Queen, which is set in 15th century Africa. Although Malika and her kingdom are fictional characters, the world they inhabit is very real, featuring the Oyo Empire, Timbuktu and other historical locations.
Okupe is now hoping to turn the popular comic into an animated series, to be produced entirely in Nigeria. As exciting as the prospect is, however, it is an extremely expensive venture, and so he has launched a kickstart campaign to raise $15,000 for the production of the pilot episode.
Okupe explains that:
"All my life I've wanted to create stories that are inspired by African history, culture and mythology. Until this point, I have fulfilled this goal successfully by publishing graphic novels.
My books have been successful due to an amazing group of fans that constantly support my projects.
Everything I've created and achieved up to this point has led me to this moment. I know that it is now the time to move into the realm of animation!"
The animated series is important, as it will allow black children — particularly black girls — to see themselves as heroes. In a world where most of the heroes we saw growing up were white and male, proper representation makes a significant impact on the lives of young people of colour.
You can donate to the kickstart campaign right here.