In July, Disney is releasing a brand-new collection of shorts called “Kizazi Moto: Generation Fire”, which is an action-packed animated sci-fi anthology that presents ten futuristic visions from Africa inspired by the continent’s diverse histories and cultures. Executive produced by Oscar-winning director Peter Ramsey, these ten short films made by a new generation of animation creators draw on uniquely African perspectives to imagine brave new worlds of advanced technology, aliens, spirits, and monsters. This is Africa, as you’ve never seen it before.

Recently, I got to speak with the show’s executive producer, Tendayi Nyeke, along with the directors of “First Totem Problems” Tshepo Moche, “Muku” Tafadzwa Hove and “Enkai” Ng’endo Mukii, about the upcoming short series.

How did “Kizazi Moto: Generation Fire” come about?

Tendayi Nyeke: Yeah, so it started, the idea came from one of the publicity directors at Triggerfish, his name is Kevin Creedman, and he’d been doing a lot of travel and was covering a lot of stories where people were talking about the future of other places in the world. So what’s the future of Africa? What’s the future of the US in a hundred years? What does Europe look like a hundred years from now? But people weren’t really talking about Africa, I think I typoed earlier, but people were not talking about the future of Africa.

Black Panther falls on us, and it’s phenomenal, and it’s a movement. And the conversation started around, “Well, how would Africans define themselves? Because the Black Panther is an African-American take on the future, but how about us?” So we put this pitch together to Disney, and we were like, “There are amazing storytellers on the continent. If you can get behind us, we will find directors and support them and tell amazing stories about a future Africa.”

So we scoped, we found folks, we found 73 people, and we asked them to pitch a story that answered three questions. What does the future look like for you in your own perspective? Make it optimistic. If it was an optimistic future, what would your story be? And can it be sci-fi? So those 73 people pitched some ideas. We went over a development process of about a year with people kind of falling away, just depending on how the ideas evolved, and we ended up with 10 shorts, six African countries represented, and 14 directors directing these short films. So that’s been the life cycle of the anthology and 5 July the world gets to see them. So super pumped.

Where did the inspiration come from your shorts?

Tafadzwa Hove: Okay. So yeah, my short film, “Mukudzei,” a lot of the inspiration came from the ruins of Great Zimbabwe. I think that Black Panther really opened a door for us as African storytellers to really tell our stories. But one of the biggest criticisms around Black Panther was that Wakanda is a fictitious place, and the idea that Africans or people of color being part of a civilization that was leaders in any form of industries is just ludicrous. But we know, as Zimbabweans, that actually there was a civilization that was the pinnacle of all these things. And even though it’s not around right now, it was there and it was in us, and it’s proof that as Africans that we can be leaders in different forms of industry. So just to tell a story that would kind of materialize something that’s grounded. So as much as it’s science fiction, it’s actually grounded in a civilization that was real.

Ng’endo Mukii: I’m the director of “Enkai,” and my film is a coming of age story, and I was looking at the period in time where when you’re young and you’re looking at your parents, especially your mother taking care of you, and you can see that your mother is really struggling, I really can’t, your mother is really struggling, and maybe they’re overcome with the things that they’re carrying. Women, especially black women, indigenous women, are always carrying a lot of weight for their society.

So I wanted to create a film in which this young girl, who is seeing her mother carrying this weight, is able to understand that her mother could put this weight down, that there’s a different way to live in life, and that we don’t have to carry all of the things that have been put onto our shoulders, whether it’s through customs or it’s through the patriarchy or whatever it is that enjoys burdening women in society.

So I wanted to create a film in which I could look at that period, this almost 12-year-old sort of almost going into puberty period, where you are entirely helpless in terms of what’s happening within the adult world. But this child is able to provide liberation, is able to provide hope for a different future, and is able to envision that, because she’s young and because she has a different way of looking at the world.

Tshepo Moche: I directed “First Totem Problems,” also a coming-of-age comedy, family comedy that deals with a young teen, who is wanting to be seen and heard in a culture where children are seen and not necessarily heard. She’s basically claiming space and not necessarily finding her voice, but expressing her voice in a way that works for her, which results in also bringing together her family from an ancestral world and from her actual living.

Are you nervous or excited about the release of “Kizazi Moto: Generation Fire” on Disney+?

Tendayi Nyeke: It’s been three years, eh? I was like, “Somebody’s got to see this man.” So no, just excited. I’m proud of my African heritage, and I feel like everybody represented the uniqueness of where they’re from and their sensibilities, their art styles, the way they see themselves so beautifully, and I’m just excited for the world to experience it and react to it as well.

Tshepo Moche: No fear. Yeah, excitement, joy, feeling inspired, feeling warm and fuzzy all inside. Excited to get the feedback from people who are watching from all facets. I’m excited to further engage with the rest of the directors and be able to hopefully have more of these kind of interviews and express and share more of the behind-the-scenes of what happened on this journey, because that’s just as important as what we’re presenting on film. So just really excited for people to take in everything that we’ve created and hopefully paying it forward, moving it forward. Yeah, really excited.

Ng’endo Mukii: We first watched the 10 films when we were in LA for the American Film Showcase, and it was such a mind-blowing experience. We all knew that we were working really hard on these projects, but we just didn’t understand exactly how beautiful they were, especially as a whole group of films. So I’m really excited for the world to be able to see these African animations showcasing that we can work on a global scale, we are world-class animation producers.

And for other people who are on the continent to understand that they can also aspire to these sort of things, it takes seeing people who are already in positions, creating and doing things and moving and breaking boundaries for you to be able to think, “I want to do that.” We’ve already been breaking boundaries within music, within acting, in different spaces, and animation is just been waiting for this accessibility. We’ve been waiting for this sort of support so that we can really push the boundaries of how we express ourselves in animation. So I think that’s just really exciting to be able to get that opportunity and then for people to watch it on such a global scale. So yeah.

Tafadzwa Hove: Yeah. I’m sure at some point, my family probably thinks I’ve been doing something illegal, because I’ve been telling them I’m working on a film for three years, and it’s 10 minutes long. Every Christmas, “Are you still working on that 10-minute film? It’s been three years now.” So finally, they can see I’ve been working. I wasn’t lying. So yeah, I’m excited for people who’ve contributed and helped me over the last three years get to the finishing line to see what they’ve helped me contribute, or what their contributions have helped. Yeah.

Kizazi Moto: Generation Fire” is coming to Disney+ on Wednesday, 5th July 2023.

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Roger Palmer

Roger has been a Disney fan since he was a kid and this interest has grown over the years. He has visited Disney Parks around the globe and has a vast collection of Disney movies and collectibles. He is the owner of What's On Disney Plus & DisKingdom. Email: Twitter: Facebook:

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