Leading digital arts innovators platform Digital Lab Africa (DLA) has showcased the work of its winners of the 5th Digital Lab Africa awards at the Fakugesi Digital Arts Festival in South Africa. The award brought to the forefront inspirational and insightful stories from diverse emerging African digital artists.
This year’s 7 winners were selected based on their artistic, technical and financial criteria in the Animation, XR and Video Gaming categories.
The winners in Animation include: Ssagala Ndugwa from Uganda – Founder of Sheepish, an animated adult series following the adventures of two small-time hustlers as they try to make it big in a town determined to keep them small; and Brian Wilson from Nigeria who developed a series called Aminah’s journey, about a young Hausa girl who tried to make her way to safety after a violent attack on her village by Boko Haram terrorists.
The XR winners include: Godisamang Khunou from South Africa who developed an immersive piece called Black Women and Sex, about the tension between black women and the politics of sex and Arome Ibrahim from Nigeria is the creator of Virtuallity Africa, a virtual arts museum on mixed media and immersive technology, showcasing Africa’s rich history in arts.
The winners in the Video Gaming category include Karen Andriamamonjy from Madagascar who created Kalanoro, a third-person platform adventure game that also explores Malagasy folklore; Ifeanyichukwu Obi from Nigeria who created Mama Julie, an infinite Isometric 3rd runner game centered around Mama Julie who runs through the streets of Lagos to deliver food to her customers and Ismael Daouda Nouhoun from Togo who is the brain behind action-packed video game, I can Transform, a video game available on Android and Web.
Speaking on the winners selection, Eduardo Cachucho, DLA Programme Manager Says, “The Digital Lab Africa (DLA) remains one of the most exciting opportunities for digital creatives all across Africa. The emerging digital arts talents have been offered a foundation to fast track their project development and are supported by the DLA creative industries ecosystems in the countries of Africa, France and the world. We are grateful for our sponsors and partners for making this a possibility over the years and we are also looking forward to sharing more about our DLA 2022 opportunities which will launch in February 2022.”
One of the winners, Arome Ibrahim from Nigeria who is the creator of Virtuality Africa, recently represented Nigeria at the GITEX Technology Week held at the Dubai World Trade Center.
Speaking on his selection and participation at GITEX, Arome said: “I am extremely grateful to the whole Digital Lab Africa Team for this opportunity and I can’t wait for you all to experience Virtuality Africa platform by the end of the year. At the GITEX Technology Week, I had the opportunity to engage with some fantastic developers, startups and organizations building experiences with virtual & augmented reality technology.”
Also speaking, DLA Awards guest speaker Hugo Obi, founder of gaming studio Maliyo Games said, “It has been quite a great journey. This is my second year as a judge on the DLA gaming stream and it is always a pleasure discovering new creators on the continent and the interesting things they come up with. I feel Africa still remains significantly untapped in the gaming segment because we do not have a lot of local content creators in that space, but I see this changing in the next 2-3 years as we are seeing a lot more investment in this space with programmes like DLA supporting creators in this segment.”
Now in its fifth year, the DLA has an alumni group of 48 recipients of incubation, showcasing the best minds and projects in digital arts across the continent.
Digital Lab Africa is an initiative of the French Institute and the French Embassy in South Africa and is supported by the Agence Française de Développement (AFD), the French Embassy in South Africa, THE French Embassy in Nigeria, SACEM, TV5Monde as well as a network of incredible partners. The programme is managed by the South African innovation hub Tshimologong Digital Innovation Precinct since 2016. It has supported 48 digital artists since its inception.