Nigeria’s animation studio takes off


A small animation start-up wants to bring back traditional African storytelling. Sporedust's short cartoon Chicken Core will serve as the basis for a TV series or film that is part of the rapid expansion of the creative industries on the continent.
On a small side road a few kilometres from Lagos airport there is a nondescript and rundown building. Behind it stands a smaller two-storey building.
Inside, new worlds are being spliced together, universes born, stories hammered out and rendered into moving wonder.

Welcome to Sporedust, a studio rising like a digital phoenix out of the Ajao Estate – better known as the birthplace of Nigeria's other computer skill of renown, the 419 scam.

Compressed into a tiny but thumping studio downstairs, musicians and actors record the speech and sounds that will make up the soundtrack.
At the top of the stairs, two writers storyboard a new cartoon that features superheroes that soar through the sky but keep their feet fully grounded in Nigerian realities.

Down a short corridor, a room hums with a dozen computers as artists and animators flesh out simple line drawings, colour them and render them frame by frame.
Sporedust Media employs around 30 people, spanning from their teens to their thirties, though there is not always enough money to go around.

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