Animations From Africa

February 2, 2017 11:14 am Published by Leave your thoughts

African Animation Landing in Jamaica



JANN got an email from Kwame Nyong’o an animator from Kenya. He informed us he was visiting Jamaica and would be in Kingston to screen African animations from all over the content. The venue of the screening would take place at the eclectic Edna Manley College.

Let the Show Begin

The art based college, which is the only one of its kind in the Caribbean was the most fitting venue for the event. The Edna Manley College is the home of tertiary arts education in Jamaica and they hosted Kingstoon 2016, the biggest Animation Festival in Jamaica.  We ensured to promote it to our members as well as other interested groups to observe a snippet of African animation history. Animated films from way back as 1939 were screened. Some in black and white; some which used paint on glass; Some with pencil crayon in full moving colour. There were also several cut out style 2D animations, Animation mixed with live action film and 3D Animation.

The 90 minute showcase took place in the Vera Moody Auditorium in the center of the campus. The turn out was good from what looked like almost 100 people attending from the Edna Manley College, Mico Teacher’s College and Excelsior Community College. A full gamut of styles were showcased demonstrating there are several ways a story could be told. Speaking of story, this was the strong point of the pieces. They all told strong compelling stories rich in culture. There were folklore tales, animated poetry, topics about bleaching, identity, gender violence, war, poverty, you name it.


At the end Kwame was given the microphone and asked questions about the films and what the animation industry is like in Africa. For Kenya he expressed how similar it is to Jamaica with much of the work being on commercials for major companies. In South Africa however they have the bigger market partially due to their stronger economy.

One of the topics in the film talked about aggressive men and their perceived ownership of women. This hit home with several of the audience members who drew the parallel to Jamaican male culture and wondered if it was purposely targeting Jamaican men. He stated it was a common culture where he is from as well so there is clearly some culture continuity between countries.

Wrapping Up

Overall, the crowd enjoyed, appreciated and were inspired by what they saw. Kwame said he would love to come back and showcase more but would really love to see Jamaicans come to Kenya and showcase our work. We are certainly looking forward to that day too. A big thanks to ASIFA Egypt and Kwame Nyong’o for contributing the series of films we had the pleasure of watching.

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This post was written by Kevin Jackson

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