London – In what is likely the first such deal on this scale, Nairobi-based edutainment company Kukua has raised $6 million to create a digital-focused brand based on its superhero animated Super Sema, a 10-year-old girl. Russell Southwood examines why the deal is so important and its chances of success.

The current investment round has been led by China’s Tencent and Alchimia. The latter is an Italian venture capital firm that focuses on early-stage and growth-stage investments. Among other things, it has invested in Virgin’s Hyperloop One and e-commerce facilitator Quicup. In 2018, the company raised $2.5 million from Lagos-based EchoVC, Eghosa Omoigui and Auxxo Female Catalyst was also an investor.

As far as attracting ‘A Casting Team,’ he’s put together an interesting team. It was produced by Kenyan Hollywood star Lupita Nyong’o, who is also a shareholder in the company. It also has as creative director Claudia Lloyd who has a long experience in the creation of animations for children and preschoolers.

Super Sema follows the heartbreaking adventures of an extraordinary 10-year-old girl Sema and her twin brother MB on their mission to protect their African town of Dunia from the evil Tobor. Together they use science, technology, engineering, arts and math to create inventions from a secret lab to battle this evil robot villain – the ruler of the town – and his minions.

Kukua’s first digital strategy initially focused on You Tube. He bought the rights to the first season of Super Sema for his YouTube Originals channel in March 2021 and it got over 40 million views.

The second season has been ordered by YouTube Originals and released this month. In terms of viewership, it manages to reach the Diaspora sweet spot which generates the higher ad revenue (than Africa) which it so badly needs and thanks to this, its viewership figures are expected to generate essential income. 60% of its audience comes from the United States. He’ll need that revenue because animation, especially at this scale, doesn’t come cheap.

However, it does not ignore television broadcasting and has aired on Citizen TV in Kenya and SABC in South Africa. It would be easy to make more such sales across the continent, but it will generate “eyeballs” and awareness, but not contribute much in terms of revenue.

The financial hurdles are considerable, and Kukua will have to continue producing both its seasons and other future products. But the fact that investors took the risk shows that digital has created a world in which African content companies could finally figure out how to access both diaspora and other international revenue.

In short

Kenya: The Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (KBC) has acquired the broadcast rights to air various local and international sporting events scheduled between July 2022 and May 2023. According to the broadcaster, the sporting events will include the FIBA ​​Africa World Cup Qualifiers in Egypt from July 1. to 3 2022, the World Championships in Athletics in Eugene from July 15, 2022, the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham from July 28 to August 8, 2022 and the Under-20 Worlds in Cali from August 1 to 6, 2022. Among other events include the Rugby League 3 test matches between Kenya and South Africa from July to October 2022, the Global Half Marathon in Yangzhou, China from November 13, 2022, the Rugby World Cup FIFA in Qatar from November 21 to December 18, 2022 and DFP Poka in Germany from August 22, 2022 to May 2023.

South Africa: eMedia Investments said it was aware that it needed to free up analog frequency bands for South Africa to progress. It comes after the broadcaster won an overall victory in the Constitutional Court against Communications Minister Khumbudzo Ntshavheni – ending its plan to shut down analogue TV broadcasts in South Africa on June 30, 2022. In a statement responding to According to the court ruling, Khalik Sherrif, CEO of eMedia Investments, acknowledged that the continued broadcast of analogue television in South Africa affects technological progress as it prevents telecommunications operators from accessing crucial frequencies.

Nigeria: Less than a week after its release, Glamor Girls, an original story produced by Play Network Studios, has become the first Nollywood film to crack the top 10 on Netflix’s global charts.

Namibia: The Chief Executive of the Namibian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC), Stanley Similo, has called on the corporate sector to invest in the creation of local content.

Ghana: Owners and operators of broadcast stations in Ghana must begin the process of reducing the threat of unauthorized television content in the country, says the Satellite Channel Operators Association of Ghana (SCOAG). The SCOAG – the umbrella association that looks after satellite broadcasters in Ghana – says it has observed how most television stations have moved away from the broadcast principle and resorted to broadcasting what the SCOAG considered to be ” illegitimate content”. In a statement, the association said: “As a human institution, we cannot say that we are without faults and that we have performed adequately to the admiration of all stakeholders involved in the effective control industry and audience that we are very concerned about.” The association has set up a working group with a mandate to review content on the satellite space to ensure that audiences are offered safe content for all ages,” the statement read. In addition, the SCOAG has called on its members to permanently halt the broadcast of television content “characterized by dishonest/misleading statements.” As a result, the association has advised all members to stop selling airtime to content owners whose programs include posting money with immediate effect.The Satellite Channel Operators Association of Ghana has thus ordered that the he broadcast of fetishistic content depicting macabre imagery is “stopped” immediately.

YouTube, announced that applications for its Black Voices Fund, class of 2023, are now open. The fund was created in 2020 to recognize and equip Black creators, artists and songwriters with the resources and support they need to thrive on the platform. The program has hosted over 300 fellows from Australia, Brazil, Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya and the United States. It includes musicians, comedians, beauty entrepreneurs, activists, poets, parents, personal trainers, photographers and gamers. YouTube Nigeria Manager, Solafunmi Sosanya, said, “The creative community in Africa is filled with talented, bright, passionate and driven creatives, and we are honored to equip these talented creators and artists with additional resources to match. of their motivation. YouTube has always tried to facilitate the rise of diverse, gender- and race-inclusive voices. Since its inception in 2020, the Black Voices Fund has been able to amplify the perspectives and experiences of these diverse creators.”

Ghana: Over 40 journalists from the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation, GBC, have been trained on the need to build better journalism as part of GBC’s transformation agenda.