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As African Superheroes Come on Screen, More Kids See Themselves

The overwhelming success of ‘Black Panther’ prompted a broader push for African content, particularly that focused on superheroes. With companies like Netflix, YouTube, Cartoon Network and others seeking out African talents to tell the stories, the tides are starting to turn with Africa becoming an originator and exporter of content. This newly broadened platform for African voices is not only having an economic impact, but also a societal one as it creates a way for youth to recognize themselves and aspire to greatness. Earlier this year, YouTube debuted a Kenyan-made show called “Super Sema,” about a math and science whiz kid called to save her village from a robot villain. Next year, Netflix will premiere its own superhero cartoon, “Mama K’s Team 4,” which follows a group of high school girls in a futuristic version of Lusaka, the Zambian capital, as they outsmart bad guys and save the world. And Disney’s streaming services have multiple African superhero shows and films in the works, including “Kiya and the Kimoja Heroes,” about a ballet- and martial arts-loving young girl whose magic headband turns her into a superhero.