Representation matters. Ask anyone who grew up without any examples of characters or public figures in whom they could see themselves and they’ll tell you: Feeling like you have those role models who look like you or share your family’s customs can be game-changing… and not having that can be so tough.
That’s why we’re applauding over the news of Super Sema, an animated series executive produced by Lupita Nyong’o. The show, which is part of YouTube Originals’ programming, is about Sema, a ten-year-old Kenyan girl who has super powers. It’s presented by Kukua, a female-led, Nairobi-run company of which Nyong’o is an equity partner.
Fittingly, the show’s first eight episodes dropped on March 8, which is International Women’s Day.”I am grateful that these women are helping to eradicate the scarcity of Black female protagonists in television and am honored to work alongside them,” Nyong’o told Variety. “I share Kukua’s goal to empower children through inspiring stories that feature characters in which the children see themselves reflected. [The show made me realize] how starved we have been as Africans for kid programming that centers us.”
GPS: Goat Positioning System | Super Sema
According to its YouTube channel, “Super Sema follows the world-changing adventures of an extraordinary young girl Sema and her twin brother MB on their mission to protect their African town of Dunia from the villainous Tobor. Sema knows that with determination, creativity and a helping hand from the amazing world of science and technology, anything is possible!”
We love the representation this show will bring — and we especially love that it will give children this incredibly important exposure to a culture and community that has, unfortunately, gone underrepresented in media for far too long. This isn’t just important for children who will see themselves in the characters on Super Sema, but for kids of all races, cultures and backgrounds.
“I cannot think of a better way to celebrate #InternationalWomensDay than with the release of #SuperSema, Africa’s first kid superhero series!,” Nyong’o wrote in an Instagram post announcing the show’s release. One Instagram user said it best, writing: “For this and soo much more I will always admire you know that you’re making a difference to change this world.”