The Making of a Nigerian Cartoon Show Pt1


Learn more about the Bino and Fino cartoon

Fino African cartoon girl sketch

This blog is partly supposed to be about the issues facing the Nigerian and African animation industry as it fights to produce content for children. I’m going to do a series of posts that relate to the vision and challenges of the Bino and Fino project itself within the context of the African animation industry as I see it.

I remember when I first said I wanted to produce a Nigerian educational cartoon show to friends, I had varied reactions. I might have well said I wanted to become a ballet dancer. They ranged from stunned silence to asking if I had been smoking mushrooms. Of course you have the group of friends who back you up no matter what mad idea you embark on. But they all asked why. Who was going to watch the cartoons? Who was going to PAY to watch the cartoons? What about piracy? All were valid questions. Can we even make cartoons in Nigeria? And honestly those were some of the issues that scared me off going ahead with investing in and starting the Bino and Fino cartoon.

But the funny thing is that it was the same group of friends who convinced me to go ahead. Every single one of them has said to me at one point or another ‘I can’t find many modern African toys for my children’ ‘I’m finding it hard to get African children’s books’ and ‘All we get on our TV stations are foreign cartoons. Where are the African/Nigerian cartoons that show our culture?’ I had to laugh to myself because they were same guys who were asking me why I would do something as crazy as produce a Nigerian cartoon because they wouldn’t know who would watch it. But at the same time they were proving to me that their families were the ones who would watch it.

If you look at it from another angle why wouldn’t families want to watch African cartoons? Disney’s being doing pseudo African cartoons for years with films like Madagascar and Tarzan . Also many pioneers such as Bill Cosby and others risked a lot to get African American cartoons produced. My friends and I were lucky enough to watch cartoons when we grew up in Nigeria. Even though they were all foreign, we loved them all. Voltron and Battle of the Planets (G Force) were our favourites for all you old school heads out there.

With many black children associating their cultures and colour with negativity, I’ve always known that it’s important to produce much more African children’s media for the global market. We need more black educational content for children, simple. Anyone who argues differently is wrong, crazy or deluded. I guess I was just waiting for others, like the NTA (Nigeria’s version of the BBC), to do it. I was just complaining from the sidelines. But as the cliché goes sometimes you have to be part of the change you want. It was time to shut up and put my money where my mouth is. Since animation is my game this made it a possibility.

Learn more about the new Bino and Fino Cartoon and visit the shop.

In the next post in this series I’ll go into the challenges facing the young vibrant Nigerian animation scene and how that affected the Bino and Fino project’s beginnings. By the way the 1st Bino and Fino DVD came out on sale on the 31st of March in the Northern American and European regions on our website at . The journey begins.

About BinoandFino

A new black cartoon made in Africa for kids all over the world.
This entry was posted in Behind the Scenes, Thoughts and Views and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

20 Responses to The Making of a Nigerian Cartoon Show Pt1

  1. What a gorgeous looking little girl! I really love how ‘open’ and child-like her expression is – not a hint of cynicism or sophistication.
    LOL at the magic mushrooms…pleased you went ahead anyway. 🙂

  2. I meant the girl in the photo. LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL

  3. bobotea says:

    i wil lik to join ur term

  4. andy James says:

    I will like to be part of your team.

  5. paschal says:

    i wish to commend and encourage you on this noble project. I once thought about it but didn’t find pple like u to partner with. When i saw ur post on nairaland my heart leapt With joy. I was happy that i cld find pple of like minds who are working hard for the emancipation of african from unhealthy colonial influences.another plus is academic performance of our dear children that it will boost. These are my driving forces not even d naira/kobo. I wish to partner with u pls get in touch with me. Together we shall lift nigeria 2 greater hieght.

    • BinoandFino says:

      Hello Paschal,
      Thanks for getting in touch and I’m happy you like the Bino and Fino cartoon. You are correct one of our main focus points is education of younger children. You mentioned partnering. In what capacity were you thinking of?

  6. Good work! We all faced lots of skepticism when starting out.. Its really good you went ahead.

    Hoping to have the complete season soon on our African online TV

  7. Michael O says:

    Love the concept, this will be a lot of inspiration for lots of younger Nigerians. Reach out if you ever need help.


  8. Pingback: The Making of a Nigerian Cartoon show Pt2 | Bino and Fino

  9. This is a wonderful cartoon. I am so glad people of color are doing for themselves.
    I watched the first cartoon with my nephew and her loved it. Keep the coming brother.

  10. Ezekwem says:

    I was really delighted wen i saw ur works on NTA. I hav always been gud in art works but had 2 go into engineerin out of pressure 4rm my parents. But 2day i want 2 make a carear in 3D Animations,pls hw do i start?

    • BinoandFino says:

      Hello Ezekwem. Thank you for writing. First of all, are you sure you saw the Bino and Fino cartoon on NTA? The only ‘cartoon’ that I know showing on the NTA is Sesame Square. Can please let us know when you saw it on the NTA and please confirm if it’s the Bino and Fino cartoon you saw. It is very important because the NTA do not have the rights to air Bino and Fino yet.

      As for getting into 3D. The first thing you have to do is to focus and work hard at building up your skills. As you are online, look at online tutorials. Also practice your basic artistic skills like drawing and painting. Keep on practicing and asking the opinions of friends and posting your work on 3D forums etc. I know this will depend on your internet access. Then when you are at a particular standard start approaching companies with your work to see if they’ll employ you. If you are good enough you might even start your own business. But there is a lot of hard work involved and it will not happen over night.

      I hope that helps. Please don’t forget to confirm with us if NTA is showing our cartoon. Thanks.

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