Two worlds in one

Disney’s Iwájú movie shows Lagos beauty and Nigeria’s kidnapping ugly face

Disney has taken a bold step into the world of African animation with its latest offering, “Iwájú”. The six-part series, now streaming on Disney+, introduces viewers to a futuristic version of Lagos, where technology, culture, and adventure collide.

Kidnapping in Nigeria also showed its ugly face in the series as well.

“Iwájú” follows the journey of Tola, a spirited young girl navigating the bustling streets of a sci-fi Nigerian megacity. Here, luxury cars soar above vibrant markets, supervillains wield bionic arms, and AI pets are essential companions. The series seamlessly blends futuristic elements with the rich cultural tapestry of Nigeria.

Set in a vibrant, futuristic Lagos, Nigeria, “Iwájú” (“the future” in Yoruba) tells the story of two unlikely friends: Tola, a wealthy young woman from the idyllic island of Iga Ato, and Kole, a resourceful teenager from the bustling mainland.

Their paths collide when Tola, yearning for adventure, ventures across the high-tech bridge connecting the two worlds. However, their exploration takes a dangerous turn when Tola is kidnapped by a group of rogue AI drones.

Kole, witnessing the abduction, must overcome his initial apprehension and work together with an unlikely ally, a mischievous AI named Tive, to rescue Tola. Their journey takes them through the diverse landscapes of Lagos, from the gleaming high-rises of Iga Ato to the bustling street markets of the mainland, exposing them to the city’s rich culture and hidden complexities.

“Iwájú” is not just about thrilling adventures; it delves into themes of class, social responsibility, and challenging the status quo. Tola and Kole, despite their different backgrounds, learn the value of friendship, empathy, and working together to overcome challenges.

The series boasts a talented team, including Nigerian writers Olufikayo Adeola and Halima Hudson, alongside director Adeola. The voice cast features prominent Nigerian actors like Simisola Gbadamosi, Dayo Okeniyi, and Femi Branch, further immersing viewers in the Nigerian experience.

“Iwájú” marks a significant milestone for Disney, representing the studio’s first original, long-form animated series co-produced with an African partner. The series has been lauded for its stunning visuals, captivating story, and authentic portrayal of Nigerian culture, offering a refreshing perspective to the global animation landscape.

Iwájú” delves into economic inequality, portraying characters with varying access to technology. The show’s exploration of this theme adds depth to the storyline. While some Nigerians have expressed frustration that Disney+ is not available in their country, the show will air on the Disney Channel for DSTV subscribers in late April and early May.

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