Dear African geeks, here’s a calendar literally called African Geek Calendar of events happening across the continent in 2020.
2020 is in full swing and so are the organizers of various geek events across the continent. Some organizers, such as ReedPop, AAFFia and Animation South Africa already announced dates and venues for their annual events in 2019.
In this post, we highlight all the geek events from e-sports, game development, design, virtual reality, comic conventions, animation festivals and more happening across Africa in 2020.
While we’ll do our best to update this post as more events are announced, kindly refer to our events calendar for up-to-the-minute updates with all the information you need.
Hello 2020 African geek calendar.
Global Game Jam 2020
From 31st January – 2nd February this year, game developers and game enthusiasts will get together for a weekend of community, ideation and building games. This is an annual event with hundreds of locations worldwide.
The structure of a jam is usually that everyone gathers on Friday late afternoon, watches a short video keynote with advice from leading game developers, and then a secret theme is announced. All sites worldwide are then challenged to make games based on that same theme, with games to be completed by Sunday afternoon.
Discover all the jam sites in Africa at this link. Use the hashtag #ggj20 on social media to stay in the loop.
Frame x Frame Animation Nights
Frame x Frame Animation Nights or just FxF is a curated bi-monthly screening of animated short films from across the world in Accra. Animated shorts screened at this bi-monthly event are animation that is publicly accessible via YouTube and/or Vimeo. This event is curated by ed. of Lime & Honey together with Squid Mag’s Kadi Yao Tay and Kofi Sydney Asare.
The first edition occurred on February 15, 2020. More info on FxF Nights can be found here.
Social Media Week Lagos 2020
HUMAN.X, Social Media Week Lagos’ theme for 2020 will lead an important conversation focused on what it means to take a human-first and experience-driven approach to innovation across industries, our communities and the continent. Part of this human-first approach is through NXTFilms.
NXTFilms brings together industry stakeholders to discuss the future of film across the continent. This programming is coupled with creators showcasing bodies of work that are pushing the boundaries of what that future will be.
Why we’re interested? There are three different programs of animation and one for games (board games) during the 4-day event. These are:
- NXTFilms Shorts Program 1: African Animation (February 26, 2020);
- African Animation and Storytelling – The Final Frontier (February 28, 2020);
- 3D Animation Content Creation (February 24, 2020); and
- Impractical Games for Practical Minds (February 25, 2020).
African animated shorts to be shown at NXTFilms Shorts Program are:
- A Kalabanda Ate My Homework
- New Africa La Demo,
- Water Wahala; and
Speakers within the different animation programs at Social Media Week Lagos include Roye Okupe, Raymond Malinga, Adebimpe Adedapo, Brian Wilson, Awele Emili, Chekwube Okonkwo and Yetunde Ogundipe among others.
A full schedule of events and how to register to attend can be found on the SMWLagos website.
La Cup D’Africanna Pro Series – PUBGm
With a $1000 prize pool, the first African PUBG Mobile Community Cup. La Cup D’Africana aims to harmonize the entire African PUBG Mobile community; thereby becoming the most recognized title in African PUBGM esports.
Regional (country) qualifiers begin on March 28, with each country hosting qualifiers. The regional final is La Cup D’Africana where all the regional winners clash for the grand prize of $1000! Join the La Cup D’Africana discord channel for more updates.
stikk! fest is a 2-day celebration of the art of sticker design, creation and usage, as well as graphic design through posters. The first edition of this festival will feature the works of 15 artists from Ghana, working primarily in the digital art space.
This festival will also serve as a marketplace for artists to generate revenue from their digital work by selling them physically as posters and stickers to decorate human spaces and devices respectively.
stikk! fest 2020 is scheduled to take place on March 28 & 29, 2020. This event is jointly organized by Squid Magazine and Lime & Honey. More info on stikk! fest here.
ICON is South Africa’s longest-running comics, gaming and popular culture convention.
Each year, ICON provides the best in pop culture retail and experiences, board gaming & tabletop warfare, cosplay competitions, national tournaments, educational panels, and, most of all, loads of fun!
Dates for Icon this year haven’t yet been announced but based on last year, it is expected to come off in April this year.
Cape Town Animation Film Festival
CTIAF is arguably the largest dedicated African Animation Festival on the continent, with a selection of programmes for everyone. CTIAF screens the best of South African animation as well as animation from other parts of Africa and the world.
The festival is organised by Animation South Africa and features masterclasses, panel talks and artist alleys. Some speakers from the festival last year include Comfort Arthur (Director, FUPiTOONS Festival), Ramsay Noah (Spider-man: Spider-Man Into the Spiderverse), Moira Maguin (Head of Animation at Gobelins Animation School), Kabelo Maaka (Cabblow Studios) and Terence Ntsako Maluleke (Tako Universe) among others.
CTIAF will come off at the Cape Town Stadium from May 1 – 30 2020. This year’s edition of the festival is being organized in partnership with Comic-Con Cape Town. Stalk CTIAF’s website for updates.
Lagos International Festival of Animation (LIFANIMA 2020)
Lagos International Festival of Animation (LIFANIMA) is one of the major animation festivals on the African continent, hosted in Lagos which is home to Nigeria’s NOLLYWOOD, the world’s 3rd largest film industry.
LIFANIMA is an annual animation event which provides a platform for animators to interact with other stakeholders for optimum value creation and rapid growth of the animation film industry.
Lagos International Festival of Animation is dedicated to the promotion of Animation in Africa. The festival attracts the continent’s new generation of animators and visual effects talents and studios, as well as stakeholders in the film industry.
LIFANIMA will take place from 4th June to 6th June 2020 in Nigeria. Submissions to LIFANIMA are currently open. Submit your animation here.
FanCon Cape Town Comic Convention
FanCon Cape Town Comic Con is an annual comic book convention held in Cape Town, South Africa.
FanCon is Cape Town’s prized comic convention bringing together scores of comic book and pop culture geeks over a few days. The convention features an incredible artist alley showcasing local, national and international talent, a portfolio of award-winning guests (Brian Steelfreeze of Black Panther and Batman fame was one of the guests in 2019) as well as renowned and top-class cosplayers.
Visit FanCon’s website for more details.
Accra Animation Film Festival
The maiden Accra Animation Film Festival kicked off successfully last year and featured screenings from Africa in a specially curated program of African animation as well as screenings from other festivals such as CTIAF, Encounters Film Festival, Kaboom Animation Festival, Anim’est and more.
The festival also featured masterclasses and workshops from local and international facilitators such as ed. (Ghana), Somto Ajuluchukwu (Nigeria), Diana Rosu (Romania), Eyram Tawia (Ghana), Natasha Nayo (Ghana) and Roberto Moreno (Israel).
The festival is scheduled to take place in Accra from July 31st to August 2nd. No official venue has been announced yet. A call for submissions for African animation is currently open. More info on that here.
The fourth edition of Artmosphere by Design Experience Ghana is scheduled to take place on Augst 8th in Accra. This design meetup is a great learning, networking and portfolio review meetup where pros and newbies alike converge. The digital art areas explored at dEX Artmosphere include graphic design, illustration, animation, branding, video games and more.
Follow dEX Ghana on Instagram and Twitter to stay in the loop.
Otamatsuri Anime & Manga Convention
Otamatsuri Anime & Manga Convention is a festival of all things geek particularly in the world of Japanese anime and manga.
Otamatsuri, as a geek festival is a combination of two Japanese words, Otaku (nerds) and Matsuri (festival) and will feature cosplay, manga and a lot of anime.
The festival is chock-full of exciting activities that will sate the inner geek in attendees such as an anime arcade, cosplay dance performance and cosplay/anime tournament.
Otamatsuri is an event by The Anime Cafe Kenya, Movie Jabber, organizers of Movie Jabber Expo and The Tsunami Studio. It will come off on August 9, 2020 at The Alchemist Bar in Kenya.
East Africa’s biggest comic convention returns for the 7th edition in 2020. NAICCON attracts thousands of comic book, gaming and animation enthusiasts from Kenya and beyond.
NAICCON has attracted a lot of attention, even getting a full-blown feature on Buzzfeed about the unique cosplays on display in Kenya. The convention features cosplay competitions, comic book ptiching sessions, lots of comic books, artist alleys, the famous PSG e-sport tournaments and more.
Dates for NIACCON haven’t been announced yet but an August date is expected, keeping in line with previous dates for the con.
Keep up with NAICCON on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and this website.
The festival also features a large range of pop culture and entertainment elements in animation, toys, gadgets, clothing, collectible card games, video games, webcomics, and fantasy novels and the ever-popular Artists’ Alley.
Movie Jabber Expo
The Movie Jabber Expo (or MJX) is an annual pop-culture and entertainment convention in Nairobi. MJX features movies, gaming, entertainment-based tech, comic books (local and international), television, digital content, anime, cosplay and more! Last year, Avandu Vosi, a Kenyan creative studio released three comics at the convention.
We anticipate this festival will happen on December 5th 2020, based on last year’s December 7th date.
Follow Movie Jabber on Instagram to stay up to date on the convention.
These are but some of the events planned for 2020. We’ll update this post as much as we can but you should refer to our events calendar for up-to-date information. Go here for all comic conventions in Africa and here for animation festivals in Africa.
Cover photo is of Arie Sade in Dora Milaje cosplay at Lagos Comic Con 2018. Photo by Adeleke Togun