Resilience is inevitable
Text by Zainab Balami
I remember my childhood days watching TV and how all the cartoons on TV were foreign made animated shows. There were times that I tried to envision stories and characters depicting my culture, which was why I was really excited when I got the opportunity to work for an animation company in Abuja, Nigeria. As the animation industry in Nigeria is relatively young in comparison to film and music industry, it is faced with many challenges that are slowing down its growth. I will be discussing some of this challenges and what I took from the experience.
I was part of the production team working on Bino and Fino, an educational animated series that teaches children about the Nigerian history and culture. We were a team of 6 people, working on 5 episodes of the second season of the show. Anime Studio Pro and Adobe (Photoshop, AfterEffects and Premier) were used for the production of the show.
One of the major challenges is the over populated foreign animated programmes on TV stations and the high cost of airtime. This has hindered the progress of homemade productions, making it hard to break into the market. This is why Bino and Fino cannot be seen on any Nigerian Television Network.
Another major challenge is the lack of constant electricity supply, which can slow down a production as you can go for a week, or in extreme cases months without constant electricity supply. To enable one to smoothly run a production process, a powerful generator is needed to power all of the electrical equipments, along with a solar panel as a backup energy source. The Internet is another issue, as it can be unreliable at times, alongside the high cost of a limited amount of data.
The lack of financial support from the government is another obstacle to the growth of the animation industry, as the government is yet to realise the potential benefits of the animation industry towards the growth of the economy.
Despite all these challenges, Bino and Fino has become a successful educational animated series, with a warm reception received from children all around the globe. The experience and knowledge that I have gained during the production process has made me more determined to continue contributing to the growth of the animation industry. One of the major lessons I learnt from this experience is to see any obstacle as an opportunity and learn to find innovative ways of overcoming them.
Resilience is indeed inevitable, especially in the work of art.