Super Team 4; Netflix’s First Original African Animation Series

To be honest, I haven’t grown out of my weekend mornings of watching cartoons. But does anyone ever do? I am a huge consumer of Netflix content, and pleased with the direction the streaming service is currently taking on animation content.

Supa Team 4 (now on Netflix) is another step forward for diversity: a Zambian animated children’s series about the adventures of four schoolgirl superheroes. It marks the first-ever African animation project for Netflix, which offers an ever-growing collection of series and films originating from the mother land.

The first thing that captivated me was the opening shot, which shows more establishing shots of a near-futuristic version of Lusaka, the capital of Zambia. Supa Team 4 is bright, lively, and colorful. Think Power Rangers, Power Puff Girls or PJ Masks, but better, in regards to storyline content. The Super hero girls also have ‘all sorts of gadgets’ and can count on a cool grandma to mentor and advise them throughout their electrifying journey. She’s also the one who recruits them after observing their interactions and behaviour for a while before deciding they were fit to wear the uniforms.

The voice cast features a diverse blend of African and international talent.  Zowa Ngwira (Mpali), Namisa Mdlalose (Bypass), Kimani Arthur (Shimmer and Shine), Nancy Sekhokoane (The Woman King), Pamela Nomvete (Andor) and John MacMillan (House of the Dragon).

Supa Team 4 is a thrilling and action-packed adventure, as the four girls employ their intelligence and skills to combat various supervillains. These villains include a towering figure with metal legs, swarms of locust-like bugs, a helmeted cyborg-like character, an older woman who generates electricity through her suit, and a crocodile described as a “man-croco.” Alongside their superhero duties, the girls must navigate their family and school lives, all while learning the importance of teamwork.

Four years after announcing that it had purchased the series, Netflix debuted ‘Supa Team 4’, co-produced by animation studio Triggerfish, on July 2023. The series was originally pitched by creator Malenga Mulendema to Triggerfish in 2015.  Mulendema created the series after pitching it at a pan-African talent search by animation studio Triggerfish, where she became one of the winners in 2015.

When the show was first announced in 2019, Mulendema said she set the story in her home country to “illustrate that anyone from anywhere can be a superhero”.

“(Animation) series shaped our childhoods and to know young Zambians get to see what they’ve never seen on TV before is Amazing!!” Zambian singer Sampa the Great, who worked on the theme song, wrote on Instagram this month.

Girl Power and Tech, all in one. This fresh series promises to be an excellent adventure for the whole family….. Stream It!!!

Netflix has bet on diversifying its production. The firm said it planned to expand operations in Africa and give “more African storytellers an amplified voice on the global stage.”

Have you watched Super team 4? What do you think about it?

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