2015 has started with such a bang. This year I have dedicated myself to pursuing my core passions – comics and animation. This is not without risk, it means I leave my bread and butter being my graphic design work. It’s hard to turn your back on the tried and trusted world of design when you’re in a country like Zimbabwe where every dime, cent, rand and bond coin counts but it is more terrifying to imagine living a day longer off path. So I venture ahead, not just for my self but for all those I owe it to who have believed in me and those to whom I have a responsibility to give what is within me.
Comic books have changed the world. They have been a source of inspiration and an expression of it. Entire generations have ideals and principles embedded within them by the fanciful panels filled with tales of adventure, drama and suspense. Lessons that have shaped lives have leaped off the page to reside in the hearts of grown up kids. This beautiful use of visual medium has largely evaded Africa leaving us wanting for a pride in identity and an honesty in our history. I believe now is the time. Across Africa the agitated youth have begun to question the captor that is their location and environment. They are asking ‘why NOT African anime?’ ‘why NOT and African Superman’ ‘why NOT an African proud of their heritage in the 21st century?’ Nigeria has a comic con, and in December 2015 Nairobi held Naiccon (the Nairobi Comic Convention), even South Africa has attempted a comic con. It seems the air is abuzz with the energy of imagination and Africans are taping into it. Sites such as Comic Bandit reveal a wealth of African comics telling everything from history to fantasy. Comic Republic publishes amazing stories following everything from spirit beings to ancient souls. It is time from Zimbabwe. We too have a history of comics short though it is. With the help of my friend Eugene Ramirez Mapondera we formed Comexposed – The Zimbabwe Comic Book and Digital Arts Convention. And now we have launched ComicUP, a fantastic initiative to to kick start the Zimbabwe comic book industry. There is so much to tell, so much to do and a very long journey ahead. Follow and share in the adventure.