Kalabash is a groundbreaking online manga anthology series produced by Afrotokyo, featuring four exciting short stories by talented, up-and-coming writers and illustrators from Zimbabwe. The name Kalabash, like the calabash gourd, represents a diverse mix of homegrown manga talent all in one place.
A print edition of this debut manga collection, Kalabash (also known as Afrotokyo Magazine) was launched exclusively at ComicCon Africa in South Africa last year and released online later on the AfroTokyo website.
The anthology includes four stories: Rebel Woman by Nyasha Primos Madakadze, Mutupo by Kuda Rwizi (creator of the webtoon, Engrave), A Nu Afrika by Kuda Mastanga & Africuz.png and Haven by Elisha Nash & T.S Zombie of Paradox fame.
Comic UP by Comexposed previously laid the foundation for young artists like Bill Masuku and Tafadzwa Tarumbwa, while events like Converge and ComicCon Africa created demand for fresh, new content among avid readers.
I hope any artist or writer who wants to get into comics reads Haven and they feel inspired to get their stories out.T.S. Zombie
With this anthology by AfroTokyo, a new wave of creators have been thrown in the spotlight and this should serve as inspiration for other budding talents in Zim and across Africa to engage in societal transformation through evocative and culturally relevant stories that allow them to reimagine their own futures through manga.
Live life, make bad comicsGerald Bakasa
We’re stoked this is coming out as Africa transitions from its comic learning phase into its comic refinement era. To encourage more new creators, the quote above, one that’s guided the career of Bill Masuku and challenged him to keep creating and improve with each work bears repeating.
This move by AfroTokyo isn’t unexpected. The creative unit has previously produced unique mangas like Paper Angels, Bawt!, Monkey Ngano and Grim Reaper’s Reaper. All these titles are a potpourri of deliciously stirred Japanese, African and Brazilian themes and aesthetics.
AfroTokyo is a Zimbabwean pre-production company, specializing in Afro-Japanese art, operating under the Japanese style Art, Brewed in an African Pot but brewed in an African pot.
Officially though, AfroTokyo is described as an award winning pre-production studio specializing in Storyboarding and Concept Art, across the Arts and Entertainment industry, from Edutainment, Advertising, Game Development, Film and Animation to Manga and Comic-book creation.
Looking for inspiration to create your own comics? Fingers crossed Afrotokyo’s Kalabash does it for you. Read Zimbabwe’s premier manga anthology.
The 4 Stories in Kalabash Manga Anthology
The story of a young girl who forms a rebel group to fight against the oppressive system in her homeland. The story is set in an alternative Zimbabwean future.
Story: Nyasha Primos Madakadze | Art: Kudzai Nyamurowa
This story follows the origin of the first ever Mutupo tournament for users of this rare and illegal power to compete against each other. Why was this tournament created? Will the police let the work of Lumbasi, a visionary billionaire thrive? Who will win?
Story: Kudakwashe Rwizi | Art: Kuda Rwizi, Rutendo Rwizi, Justin Mutasa, Panashe Chimasa
A Nu Afrika
Hidden in the shadows, revolutionaries embark on their most daring mission yet – infiltrate the upper echelons of society and kill, Baba, Master of the World.
Story: Kuda Mastanga & Africuz.png | Art: Africuz.png, Tarisai Gerald Bakasa & Shaun Khoza
Haven is a story of survival and self-discovery as a man goes in search of a rumoured safe haven while trying to stay safe in a nuclear post-apocalyptic wasteland..
Story: Elisha Nash & T.S Zombie | Art: T.S Zombie
This anthology was made possible with the support of the British Council, The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation and Kay Media Africa. This support shows a strong interest and willing bets on using the comic book format as a viable entertainment and educational tool to communicate, inspire and shape narratives.