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Thursday, May 23, 2024

New animated series IWájú lands on Disney Channel

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IWájú, an original animated series set in a futuristic Lagos, Nigeria, officially premiered on DStv, Disney Channel (Channel 303), and GOtv Channel 92 on Monday.

The exciting coming-of-age story follows Tola, a young girl from a wealthy island, and her best friend, Kole, a self-taught tech expert, as they discover the secrets and dangers hidden in their different worlds.

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The miniseries takes viewers on a journey, bursting with unique visual elements and technological advancements inspired by the spirit of Lagos.

Iwájú features a stellar cast, including Simisola Gbadamosi, Dayo Okeniyi, Femi Branch, Siji Soetan, Bisola Aiyeola, and Weruche Opia.

“Iwájú” is a first-of-its-kind collaboration with Pan-African entertainment company Kugali Media.

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PREMIUM TIMES announced that the partnership between Kugali and Disney was confirmed in December 2022.

It’s written and directed by Olufikayo “Ziki” Adeola, with Hamid Ibrahim as production designer and Tolu Olowofoyeku as cultural consultant, with screenplay by Adeola and Halima Hudson from Disney Animation.

Before now, Iwaju was only set to debut on Disney+ for global audiences, as the streaming platform is not available to viewers in Nigeria. The animation is now showing on Disney Channel on DStv and GOtv, which means Nigerian audiences will have access to it.

Episode 1

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The opening episode introduces us to Tola Martins, a 10-year-old girl who seemingly has everything in life. She lives in a mansion with a garden that provides serenity and robots that serve her every need. However, her house becomes a prison when her father, Tunde, forbids her from stepping outside.

It doesn’t take long to feel the tension brewing in the household, with an overprotective Tunde becoming more consumed by work and a lonely Tola yearning for a bit of attention from her father.

The first episode offers a visually stunning and creative portrayal of futuristic Lagos, Nigeria. The series is proudly African, focusing on the vibrant city of Lagos. Through its vivid animation, viewers are taken on a trip into a futuristic version of Lagos that is familiar yet advanced.

The attention to detail in the first episode of “Iwájú” is impressive. Despite the futuristic portrayal of Lagos featuring flying cars, the city’s essence remains authentic.

Digital faces on robot drones replace traditional hawkers at the windows, capturing the well-known street life. The bustling streets, complete with familiar traffic-packed roads, offer a glimpse into a world where innovation meets urban reality.

Another exciting aspect of the first episode of “Iwájú” is its rich and diverse use of Nigerian languages. While the languages promote African culture on the surface, they introduce Pidgin as a commonly spoken tongue of the mainlanders. Seeing the young Tola eager to speak her Yoruba language was also impressive.

Second episode

The second episode builds on the antagonists and focuses on the relatable class difference between the high and the low. The centre of focus is Bode, the villain of the series, and Kole, who comes from a modest family and works as a gardener for the Martins.

The episode briefly shows a scene of Bode during his childhood, where he rebelled against their upper-class employers. It then builds on the same energy in Kole when he gets maltreated by Tunde.

Kole has access to Tunde’s life, which Bode sees as an opportunity to extract money from Tunde. Given Kole’s current impression of Tunde, it seems like Bode intends to lure Kole into his plan and get help from him to run one of his dirty tricks. However, things can get tricky as Bode is known for kidnapping kids, and Tunde’s daughter is Kole’s friend. It is intriguing to watch everything unfold

“Iwájú” has brought a fresh and relatable perspective, making it a must-watch for anyone seeking a storyline different from the regular. Viewers can also anticipate the adventure packed in the next episode, as the show leaves no room for evident predictions.

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