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Squid Alley with Tinodiwa Zambe Makoni – I Am Moved by Mastery 

When Zimbabwe, animation, comics and comic conventions pop up, Tinodwia Zambe Makoni’s name is never missing. Together with Eugene Ramirez Mapondera, he has created a community for Zimbabwean creativity to flourish.

Through their Comexposed platform, a Swiss army knife dabbling in events, publishing, training, promotion and building a community, rising stars like Bill Masuku have emerged into the spotlight.

Tino is an animator, illustrator, writer, publisher and founder of CCX Comics. He is an active contributor to the Zimbabwean local art scene where he not only creates his own stories and art but fills the shoes of a mentor, fostering growth and a united Zimbabwean digital art front. You wouldn’t be off the mark to compare his dedication to nurturing the local scene to Tony Stark’s nurturing of Peter Parker in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Through Comexposed, Tino and Eugene have published three anthologies of Zimbabwean comics called Comic-Up. He also has 3 comics to his name, Mhare, Ganyamuto, The Gift and GUNDOG, Zimbabwe’s first nationally distributed action comic book.

We threw Squid Alley questions at him and he happily responded.

1. What are your go-to tools?

Rocky Man by Tinodiwa Zambe Makoni

Good old pencil and paper, add to that my Wacom Intuos and then Photoshop on whatever will carry it.

2. What inspires you?

Lions Roar by Tinodiwa Zambe Makoni

I am moved by mastery, seeing people do their best in whatever they are positively passionate about. I enjoy craftsmanship in animation the most, whenever I see a few seconds of brilliance on screen, it just makes me want to create.

3. What major challenges do you face?

WWII Zombie illustration by Tinodiwa Zambe Makoni

Africa’s fear/lack of understanding/self doubt. They seem like different faces of the same problem but they seem to be at the root of bad clients, unreceptive audience and resistance to ‘new’ all the same.

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4. What’s is your favourite (and most fun) piece of work?

Ganyamuto by Tinodiwa Zambe Makoni
Ganyamuto

Ganyamuto #1, its old now but it’s part of an idea I have been coming back to for years. He’s a hero I have a carried from childhood and he seems imbued with childish imaginative energy.

5. Who do you absolutely listen to when you work?

Sanyanga, a character from Kurhwa the Art of Combat by CCX Comics

Wow, now that’s an interesting question. I have a very variegated sense of music. I shift between Japanese anime music, from shows throughout my life, to Glitch Pop, to Acid and Afro Jazz, to Nu Metal Linkin Park, to Christian rap. If I’m not listening to those, I listen to podcasts and shows like Internet Today on YouTube.

6. What do you do for fun?

Jumping 30, artwork by Tinodiwa Zambe Makoni

I let the wind take me on this one lol. Most often I am hanging with friends, going for coffee meet-ups or playing League of Legends.

7. You have 24hrs in the Squid Time Tunnel to change something about your past. What would it be and why?

Ha, everyone has thought about this at least once but I think many like myself end up seeing it as a trap. There are things I would want to tell myself in my youth, decisions I would want to help myself with but if I really did have a time travel device any change I would make in my past would result in my ceasing to exist or living in a timeline that is not my own. I am the sum of my life decisions, changing those changes me and I can do that now, so there is no value in doing it in the past.

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8. What’s your hope for African comics, games and animation in the next 3 years?

Mhare

I hope for a revolution! An awakening of sorts, that sees us fully own our mediums to create our narrative and share that with the world. I would want African countries to realise the potential and value in building the creative economies in their countries and how that can create livelihoods, change culture and bring dreams into reality.

9. The Triomphant Bonus: Who are your top 3 African creatives across comics, games, animation, music, technology etc?

Ganyamuto by Tinodiwa Zambe Makoni

In comics, I am a big fan of Salim Busuru, I really enjoy his artwork and style. In animation I’m a fan of what Roye Okupe is doing with the Malika project, I’m closely watching that and looking forward to it. For African games, I feel we don’t have enough activity in that but I do still highly regard ‘Aurion: l’heritage des Koriodan’ by Kiro’o Games.


See more of Tino’s work on Behance and Comexposed.

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