'Iwájú' Exclusive: Magic Makers Behind Disney's Vibrant New Animated Series Reimagine Afro-Futurist

'Iwájú' Exclusive:  Magic Makers Behind Disney's Vibrant New Animated Series Reimagine Afro-Futurist

If you've been looking for a fun watch for the entire family to enjoy, look no further than Iwájú, streaming on Disney + now!

Source: Courtesy / Disney

Kugali filmmakers-director Olufikayo Ziki Adeola, production designer Hamid Ibrahim and cultural consultant Toluwalakin Olowofoyeku spoke with BOSSIP about their new Disney series Iwájú. The project tells the story of a privileged island girl Tola and her friend Kole as they face tremendous danger from an evil man and his formidable helpers. Powered by their unique friendship, the pair use technology to overcome all obstacles!

Source: Courtesy / Disney

The series is set in a futuristic Lagos, but the Kugali team used the real Nigerian city as their main source of inspiration.

"Lagos is a huge city, one of the biggest cities in in in the world, so representing its entirety in a six episode miniseries is beyond the scope of that particular project," Olufikayo Ziki Adeola told BOSSIP.

"Nevertheless, we wanted the show to at least give people a snapshot into the feel of Lagos, so although we feature a finite number of areas, the breadth of the areas that we feature give a representation as to the to the larger Lagos in many ways."

Source: Courtesy / Disney

"Lagos is divided into the island - where the wealthy live, and the mainland - where the working class and those less fortunate live, and the physical locations that we go to in the story in both places give you a very clear sense," Adeola continued. "So even though we feature one specific area of the island, if you go to almost anywhere in the island, having watched the show, you won't feel like a fish out of water. Similarly in the mainland I think a lot of the mainland is centered in a specific place but if you go to other parts of the mainland, they're also quite similar. So the key thing here is giving people a feel for Lagos and building something that is authentic."

Source: Courtesy / Disney

Viewers are sure to love the advanced technology featured in Iwájú, including flying cars, robot pets and more.

"The first thing I looked at was 'Where is Lagos, Nigeria right now?' What would that future look like?" Hamid Ibrahim told BOSSIP. "I tried to avoid outside influences as much as I can... but we try to make it make sense for the Lagos we're building and with Lagos everything was almost a consequence of the other thing. With the cars, in Lagos everybody I drives in a really crazy way, the traffic is insane - so the way the cars are built they have spherical wheels because you can move in every direction - right, left, back, front, very easily and that allows you to dodge around that craziness of traffic and then the wheels open up so you can fly. Of course they have flying cars! I don't know why, maybe it just looks cool, but the specific reason was if you're in Lagos traffic and you have enough money to fly over the traffic, you are going to fly over the traffic! So you have the flying cars to fly over the traffic. In Lagos, on the streets, a lot of vendors come to sell you stuff at your [car] window. In this world, you're up in the air if you're the most wealthy person. The venors want to reach the most wealthy people and make more money so they create drones that can fly up there to sell this stuff, so everything was built to serve real life Lagos where it is right now and kind of extend the vision of that 100 years from now and kind of build the possibility of it."


Source: Courtesy / Disney

The Lagos of Iwájú is one where class issues continue to persist and our beloved Tola is too young to fully understand the dangers ahead. Her best friend Kole has a better idea of the realities of the world and they end up being put to the ultimate test of their relationship.

"The relationship between these two characters very was very deliberate because I wanted to give viewers the ability to experience a breadth of perspectives," Adeola told BOSSIP. "With Tola you have a young girl who lives an affluent and privileged life and in Kole you have a young man who has had to deal with a significant amount of struggle in his life. When I reflect on my own childhood, I definitely was more in the Tola camp in terms of the conditions in which I grew up, and I often never could really fully understand the circumstances of people like Kole because there is such a huge division between these two worlds, even though you have people from the the mainland or from poorer communities coming to the wealthier communities to to work and and do a variety of of of tasks, it almost felt like we were of two separate worlds and I think part of what the story tries to achieve is how do we potentially bridge this gap."

"Iwájú" is streaming exclusively on Disney+.

Source: Courtesy / Disney

via: https://bossip.com/2607167/iwaju-exclusive-futuristic-lagos/

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