The Nigerian Digital Artists Currently Killing The Game.


July 29, 2019

Nigerian entertainment is taking on entirely different forms from 90s evil stepmothers and ghosts wearing powder. One of such forms is digital art, most popularly in the form of animation, and we are so here for it. Ever since the Malika teaser video dropped, I have been fangirling at the amount of detail that went into creating the project.

Can you see the braids on my good sis? Fantastico.

What’s even better is, the animation was produced by Nigerian company – Anthill Productions, the guys that gave us The Wedding Party and this short animated hit, for their partners – Youneek Studios.

This got me wondering who the actual individuals behind the animation are, and what other Nigerians are currently doing the Lord’s work in the animation sphere, here’s a list of  people that popped up on my radar:

Roye Okupe

The founder of Youneek studios, a company using animation, comics, video games, and other media to tell extraordinary stories, Okupe is also the hands behind the award-winning graphic novel that has now become the animation – Malika, which has sold over 40 000 copies.

His debut graphic novel – E.X.O. The Legend of Wale Williams Part One, a superhero story set in a futuristic Nigeria was featured on Forbes, CNNThe New York Times, The Guardian etc.

He is currently running a Kickstarter to fund Part 2 of the Malika animated series.

Godwin Akpan

A self-taught artist, Godwin works at Anthill Studios doing concept art and illustration. He is the illustrator of Malika- Warrior Queen Part One.

Just look at the amount of detail in this sample of his work.

Eri Umusu

A digital artist with Anthill Productions, Umusu is one of the brains behind the earlier mentioned animated short – ‘Plaything’.

Here is a project, written, directed and animated by Umusu, titled: The Sim. What is all this talent?

Nurdin Momodu

Momodu is a self-taught 3D generalist. He released his first animated project in 2015 called – Kpomo Men.

He is the second animator responsible for the Plaything animated project.

In 2018, he released an animated short film paying tribute to Chester Bennington. Check it out here:

Awele Emili

A self-taught artist, Emili is responsible for bringing a lot of laughs to your social media through hilarious and relatable comics. 
She’s taking her craft a step further by venturing into the world of animation. Using her talents in the recently released Di’ja video – Baby.

Shofela Coker

Coker was born and raised in Lagos, before moving to the US to study art. He is responsible for putting animated magic on the Thandie Newton produced documentary – Liyana. Check the trailer here:

We love the diversity in African storytelling. We can’t wait to see the stories told in coming years.

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