MEET THANDIWE MLAULI, THE FIRST INDEPENDENT BLACK WOMAN TO BUILD AN ANIMATION STUDIO IN SOUTH AFRICA

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

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.

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