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Iwájú, a new afrofuturistic animated series, is coming soon to Disney+ and is the byproduct of a collaboration between Walt Disney Animation Studios and Kugali, a Pan-African Comic Book Entertainment Company. The series releases Feb. 28.

Iwájú is a coming-of-age show that takes place in a futuristic Lagos, Nigeria, and tells the story of a curious young girl from a wealthy island, Tola (voiced by Simisola Gbadamosi), and her self-taught tech wiz best friend, Kole (Siji Sorta), exploring their different world and unlocking hidden secrets and dangers.

It also features the voices of Dayo Okeniyi, Femi Branch and Weruche Opia.

Iwájú was inspired by the spirit of Lagos, Nigeria, and Kugali filmmakers director Olufikayo Ziki Adeola, production designer Hamid Ibrahim, and cultural consultant Toluwalakin Olowofoyeku ensured to project that in the series through extraordinary visuals and technology.

In addition to the filmmaking expertise of Adeola, Ibrahim and Olowofoyeku, Disney Animation’s producers, Christina Chen and Halima Hudson,  were also a part of making the Afrocentric series.

Iwájú includes African-influenced music from well-known Nigerian composer Ré Olunuga, who composed music for the 2022 Disney+ movie Rise and the BBC film Girl.

While composing music for Iwájú, Olunuga channeled the series’ characters’ emotions to enhance the storytelling and drive viewers to empathize with the characters.

“I rarely bring my own emotions into writing a score,” Olunuga said. “I tend to inhabit the emotions of the characters or subjects and then translate them into music. In this case, it couldn’t be avoided. In addition to Tola’s adventurous spirit, Kole’s ingenuity and the many other fun and beautiful emotional threads explored in Iwájú—the score is steeped in my own very deep love for Lagos and its multiplicitous layers.

“It also includes many treats and winks for anyone familiar with or curious about the film music lexicon of Nollywood. Being invited by Ziki and the amazing teams at Disney and Kugali to help tell this beautiful coming-of-age story that explores themes of family, friendship and ingenuity has been an amazing adventure in itself.”

The soundtrack for Iwájú will be available digitally March 1.

Along with the release of Iwájú, a culinary video game inspired by the animated series, will drop the same day. Developed by Maliyo Games, Disney Iwájú: Rising Chef takes players into Iwájú to explore some of the finest and most authentic African delicacies. The game is a fun and immersive way to lionize Nigerian cuisine and culture.

The objective of the fast-paced game is for players to gradually advance their culinary skills and eventually land the title of “best chef” in Lagos. The best chef acquires the town’s fanciest restaurant.

Iwájú, as well as the video game, Rising Chef, hits Disney+ on Feb. 28. Disney Iwájú: Rising Chef will be available for iOS and Android devices.


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