Little Little Orisha
A young Kiyindou Yamakasi started drawing and writing comics since he was a small boy living in Brazzaville, Congo sharing with his classmates and acting out the scenes. The characters, like most young creators in the continent, looked and sounded like the foreign characters we see on screens and read on comics.
After going to university to study for economics and accounting, he got the support of his parents to drop out and instead join AFDA in Cape Town where he graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Motion Pictures with the hopes to further his studies in film and television.
His comic book series little little orishas is a direct U-turn from his earlier creations. In the comic book, Yamakasi draws inspiration from Yoruba spirituality with his characters as revered deities. He credits his time in South Africa with exposing him to African myths and turning him into an avid pan-Africanist.
The story is about Sango, the god of thunder and lightning, a simple-minded and defiant wandering spirit and his gentle sister Oya, the goddess of wind in Yoruba spirituality. They want to live a better life in heaven, free from the gods that bully them on a daily basis.
It is a story of overcoming barriers, dealing with bullies, class issues and resilience. All these are topics that are close to Yamakasi’s heart having endured similar hardships in school. He’s now equipped with the tools to get his stories to a larger audience using comics and hopefully in future an animated series.
Yamakasi’s choice to switch to content creating was a big one but his bet is paying off with the first comic book of the Orishas series having been read by more than 50,000 people and also having won the last year’s Lagos Comic Con award for Best Child Friendly comic book. The book is available free online, and was published by a Nigerian publishing house, Vortex, and is in easy to understand in English.
he has made his personal mission to make Africans especially from a young age appreciate their skin color just as beautiful if not more beautiful than other races saying “I knew I was being called to make comics that will make African children proud of who they are. Everything about how my characters look is about embracing blackness—their hair, their skin, their lips, their noses. It is all deliberate. I want people to value this type of beauty.” It is for this reason that he chose for Osun, the goddess of beauty to be the darkest character in the book.
You can read his book at https://issuu.com/vortexinc/docs
facebook: Kelvin Kyle
By NAICCON on Jun 6, 2019