February 27, 2024

African streamer Showmax has dated and unveiled a first trailer for “Twende,” its first original 2D animated series.

“Twende” follows a pangolin of the same name, the slowest moving animal in the savannah. The pilot screened in competition at Annecy in 2021. MultiChoice Studios is handling international sales and will present “Twende” at Mipcom.

“Twende’s belief that, ‘life is about the journey, not the destination’ is constantly at odds with his job as a boda boda (motorbike taxi) driver in the bustling, fictional East African city of Milima,” said South African showrunner Greig Cameron, who also wrote and directed “Seal Team,” which was in the Netflix global Top 10 film list in January last year, as well as hit soccer animated series, “Supa Strikas.”

Twende is voiced by Junior Nyong’o (“The Legend of Lwanda Magere”), while June Gachui (“Crime and Justice”) plays his best friend and navigator, Nuru – a smart bird who always looks out for Twende, even if his chilled-out vibe drives her crazy sometimes. Elsaphan Njora (“Super Sema”) voices Boss, the perennially broke and exhausted hyena who owns the boda boda agency where Nuru and Twende work.

The all-Kenyan voice cast also includes Charles Ouda (“Crime and Justice”) as showy stunt driver Kimbe and Mkamzee Mwatela (“Mali”) as Boss’s rival, Madam Mongoose, CEO of the evil tech empire Goober. Also featured are Nyokabi Macharia (“Super Sema”), Joyce Musoke (“Second Family”) and Khaemba W. Edward (“Ogas at the Top”).

Although poaching is not dealt with directly in the series, pangolins are the most trafficked animals in the world and are now on the endangered species list.

“It’s such a shame that this is happening to this amazing and unique animal,” said Kenyan executive producer Kwame Nyong’o (Annecy selection “The Wonderful Story of Aisha”). “’Twende’ is a super silly show, but we hope that, between all the humor and all the hijinks, our audience will fall in love with pangolins as much as we have and do their part to help protect them.”

“Twende” is created by Charlie and Regan Maas. The series is produced in partnership with London-based Braintrust and Johannesburg-based Mind’s Eye Creative. Co-creators include South Africans Mike Scott and Kayla Archer, while thewriting team includes Zambian Malenga Mulendema, Nigerian Vanessa Kanu, Kenyan J. Njogu Macharia and South African head writer Sheldon Bengtson. It features original music from Eric Musyoka (“Rafiki”), with a score by South African music studios The Music Works, Phonographic and Pressure Cooker Studios.

“Twende” premieres on Showmax on Dec. 4, with new episodes on Saturdays.

Watch the trailer here:

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