Nollywood's Upcoming First Animated Feature Film "Malika: Warrior Queen" Is Inspired By The True Story Of Queen Amina Of Zaria

Nollywood is set to release the first animated feature film titled "Malika: Warrior Queen" based on African mythology. The first of its kind film in Nollywood is produced Roy Okupe, owner and creative director of YouNeekStudio, who is spearheading the groundbreaking project.

The 15-minute film comes after years of publishing Malika: Warrior Queen as a graphic novel, whose main character is inspired by the true story of Queen Amina of Zaria, also known as warrior queen or Queen Amina of Zazzau, who ruled in present-day Northwest Nigeria in the 16th century.

A combination of animation and African mythology is not a genre synonymous with the world's second largest film industry, Nollywood hence the upcoming film makes it more exciting to look forward to as it's something new.


"Set in fifteenth-century West Africa, Malika: Warrior Queen follows the exploits of Queen and military commander, Malika, who struggles to keep the peace in her ever-expanding empire. Growing up as a prodigy, Malika inherited the crown from her father in the most unusual of circumstances, splitting the Kingdom of Azzaz in half. After years of civil war, Malika was able to unite all of Azzaz, expanding it into one of the largest empires in all of West Africa.

But expansion would not come without its costs. Enemies begin to rise within her council, and Azzaz grabbed the attention of the most feared superpower the world has ever known: the Ming Dynasty. As Malika fights to win the clandestine civil war within the walls of her empire, she must now turn her attention to an indomitable and treacherous foe that plans to vanquish her entire people. From dragons to mythical relics, a feuding royal family and magical swords, the story of Malika: Warrior Queen stays true to the fantasy genre while adding something new by setting familiar concepts in an awe-inspiring African setting."

Watch trailer below: 

Concluding Thoughts

It's good to see something new from Nollywood; a long-awaited diversification of Africa's most popular film industry, inspired by African mythology and African history.

I will never tire from expressing how much we can never have enough of such stories by Africans being told by Africans. It is also refreshing to see Nollywood's first animated film portraying a historical figure. It's ironic how our education system keeps on feeding us European history whilst sleeping on our own history because most often things like African mythology are demonised and looked down upon. There are so many mediums to tell our stories; history as a subject in school should be one of the primary sources to dispense such information.

Here's to more stories like this on our screens. I hope those behind the project market and promote it as it ought to be, especially across the African continent. There are so many untold stories that we need to be told; be it by using traditional mediums such as books, television, in our communities and homes or digitally through web series - the outlets are countless.

Click HERE for more animated books based on African mythology from YouNeekStudios. 
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