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    Monday, August 13, 2018

    "Warrior Queen, Malika": The Rise of African Super Heroines

    Malika is the latest character created by Roye Okupe, a Nigerian graphic designer and screenwriter, passionate about Afro Futurism. Malika’s character is openly inspired by the legend of Princess Amina de Zaria, also known as “the Warrior Queen”, who ruled over a large part of the Hausa territory in the 16th century.
    Roye Okupe has been living in the United States since 2002, where he founded Youneek Studios, a Comics publishing house whose all heroes are African.

    His focus is to create compelling and extraordinary characters and stories inspired by African history and culture, to convey a positive representation of the continent that is too often summarized to poverty and corruption, and to change the way in which Africans and Black people around the world see themselves.
    That’s why he decided to self-produce the first episodes of Malika, via a crowdfunding campaign on .“Kickstarter “.

    Roye Okupe, born and raised in Lagos, Nigeria, growing up he also had a passions for video games, animation and superheroes. Basically none of these were based on Nigerian characters, he decided to do something about that when he created an African super hero and released his first graphic novel, the 136-page E.X.O. – The Legend of Wale Williams Part One in August last year and followed up with Part Two August 2016. Since then he has had his books featured on CNN, Forbes, The New York Times, NBC, The Washington Post, ABC7, BBC, The Huffington Post, Mashable, and more.

    “Set in fifteenth-century West Africa, Malika: Warrior Queen Part One follows the exploits of queen and military commander Malika, who struggles to keep the peace in her ever-expanding empire. Growing up as a prodigy, Malika inherited the crown from her father in the most unusual of ways, splitting the kingdom of Azzaz in half. After years of civil war, Malika was able to unite all of Azzaz, expanding it into one of the largest empires in all of West Africa.

    But expansion would not come without its costs. Enemies begin to rise within her council, and Azzaz grabbed the attention of one of the most feared superpowers the world has ever known: the Ming Dynasty. As Malika fights to win the clandestine war within the walls of her empire, she must now turn her attentions to an indomitable and treacherous foe with plans to vanquish her entire people.

    The story of Malika takes place in the same universe (the YouNeek YouNiverse) as the E.X.O. series, roughly 500 years before the events of Lagoon City.”
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