Following the debut of Walt Disney Animation Studios and Pan-African Entertainment Company Kugali’s “Iwájú” on Disney+, the original animated series premieres on Disney Channel (DStv Channel 303) across Africa this April and May.

“Iwájú” will premiere each weekday from Monday, 22 – 26 April at 17:00(CAT) / 16:00(WAT) with a marathon on Saturday, 27 April from 14:00(CAT) / 13:00(WAT).

Special repeat broadcasts will run from Monday, 29 April – Saturday, 4 May with a marathon on Sunday, 5 May from 13:35 (CAT) / 12:35(WAT) and, on Africa Day, Saturday 25 May, viewers will be able to view another 6-episode marathon from 11:00 (CAT) / 10:00(WAT).

The premiere of the original animated series gives viewers across the continent an opportunity to view the series in territories where Disney+ is not available. Set in a futuristic Lagos, “Iwájú” tells the exciting coming-of-age story of Tola, a young girl from the wealthy island, and her best friend, Kole, a self-taught tech expert, as they discover the secrets and dangers hidden in their different worlds. 

“Iwájú” is a first-of-its-kind collaboration with Pan-African entertainment company, Kugali Media. It’s written and directed by Olufikayo “Ziki” Adeola, with Hamid Ibrahim as production designer and Tolu Olowofoyeku as cultural consultant.  

Christina Chen from Disney Animation was the producer of the series, with Jennifer Lee (chief creative officer for Walt Disney Animation Studios) executive producing along with veteran Disney director Byron Howard (“Encanto,” “Zootopia,” “Tangled”). The screenplay is by Adeola and Halima Hudson from Disney Animation.

“We created ‘Iwájú’ as a love letter to Lagos, Nigeria, and an ode to the rich legacy of African storytelling,” said Writer and Director Olufikayo Ziki Adeola. “We’re proud to share this series and hope that it inspires more Africans across the world to share their stories and shape our collective narrative.”

Says Christine Service, Senior Vice President and General Manager of The Walt Disney Company Africa: “‘Iwájú’ is a true celebration of the creativity and storytelling excellence that is at the heart of Disney, bringing the immense talent and creative vision of home-grown filmmakers to the world. With the distribution of the series on Disney Channel, we are excited to give audiences across Africa the chance to experience this ambitious and uniquely innovative series.”

Kugali Media’s president and “Iwájú” cultural consultant Olowofoyeku explains: “The origin of “Iwájú” is part of a phrase in the Yoruba language that is actually ‘Ojó iwájú,’ which means ‘the day ahead’ or the future. Many of our main characters in the series are Yoruba (one of the main ethnic groups in Nigeria).”

Ibrahim, Kugali Media CEO and “Iwájú” production designer, adds: “We wanted to imagine the future of Lagos, set roughly 100 years from now, where the mainland is designed to house as many people as possible in huge towers, and the island where the richest people live is made to look beautiful like an art piece.”

The series has garnered positive reviews globally with it being hailed as “an exciting new step for Walt Disney” by ScreenRant.com while ABC News in Australia describes the series as “both uniquely African, and yet universal in its appeal” and “beautiful to look at and the story draws you in”.  

Catch “Iwájú” in 3 special broadcasts, only on Disney Channel (DStv, Channel 303):

  • Weekdays from Monday, 22 – 26 April at 17:00(CAT) / 16:00(WAT) with a marathon on Saturday, 27 April from14:00(CAT) / 13:00(WAT)
  • Special repeat broadcasts from Monday, 29 April – Saturday, 4 May and a marathon on Sunday, 5 May from 13:35 (CAT) / 12:35(WAT)
  • On Africa Day, Saturday 25 May, with another 6-episode marathon from 11:00 (CAT) / 10:00(WAT)
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