Ukonwa Ojo and Adeoyin Okuboyejo [Taeps Animation Studios]

Former Prime Video Executive Invests in Lagos-Based Animation Studio Taeps

Zaia Ventures, the venture capital firm founded by former Prime Video executive Ukonwa Ojo in 2022, has acquired a stake in Taeps Animation Studios, a rising animation studio based in Lagos. Taeps garnered acclaim for its short animated film, Ewa, which was nominated for Best Animation Short Film at the African Film Festival (AFRIFF) in 2023.

Variety Magazine reported the announcement on Friday, June 14, 2024.

Founded in 2017 by Adeoyin Okuboyejo and Ayobami Bello, Taeps is currently working on its first feature film, Adétóún and the Heart of Time. The animated film follows the story of Adétóún, a young descendant of an ancient warrior.

“This deal marks a great partnership with Ukonwa, bringing her wealth of experience from Amazon, Mac, Unilever, and RB to Taeps and our team,” said Okuboyejo, CEO of Taeps, in an Instagram post announcing the deal.

He added, “This collaboration with Zaia Ventures is evidence of our shared vision of celebrating African heritage through animation. With Ukonwa Ojo’s expertise and support, we are embarking on our most ambitious project yet: Adétóún and the Heart of Time. Together, we will not only entertain but also inspire and educate audiences on the uniqueness of African storytelling.”

Ukonwa Ojo, CEO of Zaia Ventures, expressed her excitement about the partnership. “I am thrilled to join forces with Taeps Animation Studios to amplify African voices and narratives in the world of animation. Their commitment to authenticity and excellence in storytelling aligns perfectly with our vision at Zaia Ventures. Together, we will showcase the beauty, complexity, and diversity of African culture to a global audience,” she said in a statement to Variety.

Ojo, who left her role as Chief Marketing Officer of Prime Video and Amazon Studios in 2022, launched Zaia Ventures to build and scale businesses that serve underrepresented and marginalized communities. As a member of Taeps’ board, she will provide expertise and strategic guidance to support the company’s growth and development.

This investment comes at a time when Nigerian creators are receiving significant investments from Hollywood giants to develop animated series based on Nigerian mythologies and magical realist re-imaginations of the country.

Disney recently released Iwaju, set in a futuristic Lagos, and Cartoon Network is developing Iyanu, based on the graphic novel by Roye Okupe.

The collaboration between Zaia Ventures and Taeps Animation Studios marks a significant step in bringing African stories to the forefront of global entertainment, showcasing the rich cultural heritage and storytelling prowess of the continent.

Oh hi there 👋
It’s nice to meet you.

Sign up to receive awesome content in your inbox, every week.

We don’t spam!

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *