Kunda Kids, the esteemed children’s media publisher and creative studio, has announced the upcoming launch of the Kunda & Friends YouTube series. This flagship animation series, aimed at preschool children, aims to bring diversity and innovation to YouTube’s lineup.
The series will premiere on May 29th at The Cineworld Cinema at The O2 in Greenwich, London. The launch follows the successful closure of Kunda Kids’ pre-seed funding round, raising $700k.
Zrosk Investment Management led the funding round, with notable participation from Voltron Capital, Argentil Capital, HoaQ, Kaleo Ventures, and angel investors Abi Ajayi, Adetayo Bamiduro of MAX, and Benjamin Fernandes, CEO of Nala Money. These funds will be utilised to enhance the Kunda Kids mobile app and collaborate with creative talent across the African diaspora.
Children’s media often lacks representation of Black and multi-racial characters, with only 1.9% and 0.6% respectively, as revealed by a 2022 study by the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media. Kunda Kids aims to transform children’s content and programming about Africa, providing the next generation with a comprehensive understanding and appreciation of African history and culture. By presenting various elements of African heritage in creative and engaging formats for children, Kunda Kids aims to raise global citizens who value and respect diverse cultures worldwide.
Kunda & Friends is a captivating 3D animation series set in an African landscape. The story revolves around Kunda, a four-year-old boy of mixed African heritage, as he embarks on exciting adventures with his friends—Sana, a girl of mixed African and Indian heritage, Fela, a boy from Nigeria, and animal companions Leo the lion and Ella the elephant. The soundtrack of Kunda & Friends draws inspiration from African culture, incorporating elements of popular genres like Afrobeats and Amapiano, as showcased by Grammy award-winning artists such as Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Burna Boy, and WizKid. The series emphasises friendship and imparts valuable life lessons, offering parents and educators an opportunity to engage with children while watching together.
Oladele Olafuyi, the creator of Kunda & Friends, expressed excitement about the successful conclusion of the pre-seed round and gratitude towards the visionary investors who share their vision. Olafuyi stated, “This milestone allows us to launch Kunda & Friends and invest in the exceptional creative talent across Africa. We are committed to bringing forth a new generation of African storytellers, and together, we will change the narrative.”
Louisa Olafuyi, co-creator of Kunda & Friends, emphasised the importance of children learning about Africa’s rich heritage and the company’s ambition to provide high-quality stories to children worldwide. By fostering pride and a sense of belonging, Kunda Kids aims to empower children to grow into confident and culturally-aware individuals who will shape the future.
Kunda Kids’ mission includes creating more opportunities for African talent in publishing and production. The company is dedicated to collaborating with animators, artists, writers, producers, and business leaders from diverse backgrounds. Raymond Malinga, Director of Kunda & Friends, co-founder of Creatures Animation Studio, and a former Disney Producer, expressed his enthusiasm for the series, stating, “Kunda & Friends is an opportunity to impact not only the younger generation of kids from all over the world but also to impact the lives of artists longing to work on larger scale productions.”
The first four episodes of Kunda & Friends will be available on Monday, May 29 with subsequent episodes to follow in the upcoming weeks.