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'Kizazi Moto: Generation Fire' - A Promising New Afrofuturism Series from Disney+

Disney has kept its word and allowed a new generation of Black and/or African storytellers to tell their own original stories. The question remains, will the public keep their word?

Here, creators have kept their promise of bringing original Afrofuturism and Black storytelling to the mainstream. Many would-be critics of The Little Mermaid and other films featuring African American actors in previously all-white roles swore they simply wanted original stories. Here’s to me hoping this was a true desire, and not a gaslighting tactic to deflect from anti-Blackness and/or pseudo intellectualism.

I can only hope. Without further ado, here is my review for episode 1 of Kizazi Moto: Generation Fire.

Episode 1: Herderboy | Dir. Raymond Malinga (Uganda)

This is your straightforward “wanting to be a hero for all the wrong reasons, but when the chips are down your courage and heart shine through” story. That works as an introduction to the series. Save the bombastic and controversial for the apex of the short films.

The story works here.

Ndahura is a brave boy, he has a cute cattle side kick, and wants to join an elite trio of herders who protect cybernetic cattle. The trio are Ndahura’s heroes, and we start the story watching him prepare a speech to introduce himself. Naturally, this all goes wrong and shenanigans ensue. The story takes place in the Chewzi Kingdom of a future Uganda. After a tough lesson on what it means to care about the herd (read: others), Ndahura makes a choice at the inciting incident proving their is a hero buried deep inside. The action is awesome, sure to please sci-fi fans of all stripes.

The characters feel real, despite being mostly cybernetic. The humor is not forced and Ndahura’s forward styled green twists and high fade have me calling around for inventive stylists. The animation was fun, glitchy, and full of neon colors. The heart of the story is touching and best of all, it these characters feel Black without the need for an oppressive state. The film is focused on their particular lived experience in this moment. There is much to love here. I had only wished it was longer at the end.

Available now on Disney+ as of July 5, 2023.