Kwame Nyong'o, the casting director and executive producer of "Twende,"the  pioneering 2D animated series, is a trailblazer in Kenyan animation. Beyond his role in the series, Kwame is recognized as one of Kenya's pioneering animators, with a versatile background in writing, illustration, and storytelling. His notable works include popular children's books like "A Tasty Maandazi."
Attributing his interest in animation to "Anansi the Spider" by Gerald McDermott, Kwame delved into various mediums such as drawing, photography, and sculpture during his Fine Arts major in university. His journey to animation was inspired by a suggestion from his painting professor to blend these mediums, leading him to the world of animation.
Passionate about weaving positive and culturally rich stories for African audiences, Kwame's creative endeavors extend to children's books exploring African adventures and cultural exchange through cuisine. His portfolio also includes the Kalasha-winning and Africa Movie Academy Awards-nominated short film "The Legend of Lwanda Magere," narrating the tale of the legendary Luo warrior and his extraordinary powers.
Expressing his joy in being part of the Showmax Original, Kwame dispels the myth that the 'west is best,' finding fulfillment in contributing to a fairer world. He eagerly anticipates sharing "Twende" with children, highlighting their excitement when encountering Swahili words or uniquely East African references.
As the anticipated  debut approaches, Kwame emphasizes the significance of projects like "Twende" in challenging preconceived notions. The series, premiering on December 1, 2023, introduces the vibrant fictional city of Milima in East Africa, following the adventures of a boda-boda-driving pangolin. Starring Junior Nyong'o and June Gachui, the animation is a collaboration between London-based Braintrust and Johannesburg-based Mind's Eye Creative.
Reflecting on the casting process, Kwame shares the challenges of finding the right balance for the laid back yet active character of Twende. Junior Nyong'o, ultimately chosen for the role, brought an authentic dynamic, having known co-star June Gachui as neighbors growing up. This unexpected connection elevated their performances, embodying the genuine sense of old friends, perfect for the roles of best friends Twende and Nuru.
"Twende" not only marks a significant achievement in African animation but promises to captivate viewers with its exceptional quality and relatable African narrative. Kwame assures audiences that the production showcases uncommon animals in children's cartoons, featuring a pangolin, mongoose, and Kenya's national bird, the lilac-breasted roller.

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