Today, Studio Yezi, an animation studio founded by Thandiwe Mlauli, officially announce their first development – South Africa’s first independently produced and women-led afro-animation which will see Thandiwe as producer, director and showrunner. The production, titled SOLA will comprise of a series and short film based on the series.
Per the company’s official site, “Studio Yezi is a development and animation studio based in South Africa.”Yezi” is short for “inkanyezi” which means “star” in isiZulu. As a company, we intend to be a symbol of hope and light, we intend to serve the world with our storytelling.”
As the studio’s founder, Thandiwe is already carving out a unique space in the South African animation and entertainment industries that foc
uses on heart-warming local stories, diverse narratives and character representations, as well as nurturing and developing fresh local talent.
Having graduated with a BFA in Producing for Film & TV from the New York Film Academy, the studio founder spent time in Los Angeles studying the international animation game by attending workshops like the first-of-its-kind, Black Women Animate Bootcamp in 2018 and returned to her home country having built a bad-ass network of like-minded creatives all over the globe.
SOLA is an action-adventure, fantasy and coming-of-age series about the adventures of a girl named Sola who experiences her magic awakening in a world where magic is dangerous and deadly.
Studio Yezi – true to its founder’s nature – has launched an ambitious global fund-raising campaign (#MakeSOLAHappen) to complete the SOLA productions. Having already begun the development process thanks to independent funding efforts, Thandiwe and her team are giving everyday South Africans and lovers of representative story-telling all over the world, an opportunity to invest in a project set to make a mark not only in local animation but international territories too. Potential funders can visit www.studioyezi.co.za to make a contribution that will see the production team, cast and developers move closer to getting SOLA on national and international screens.