Disney cartoons and animations have long been a family affair with various segments for the kids, the adults and both parties. From watching Beauty & The Beastto Star Wars, its been a long magical journey and adventure of watching heroes and heroines come to life on the big screen.

Today during The Walt Disney Company Africa (TWDCA) Press Conference at the MCA Content Showcase; Deirdre King (Head of Marketing TWDCA ) shared how Disney is working hard at broadcasting and creating more local content which would be more locally relevant to international markets.

“Disney is a global family entertainment company with a strong commitment to South Africa and Africa.” “Being part of the local community is a core part of Disney’s commitment to the market as is recognizing the importance of Africa’s unique culture and supporting the development of local creative industries by collaborating with relevant stakeholders and audiences.”

The following are the local content initiatives you can expect to see:

o   The dubbing of the hit Disney Junior series Doc McStuffins, in Swahili for East Africa.

o   Desperate Housewives Africa, produced in Nigeria with Ebony Life TV (DStv Channel 165), is the first format show Disney is producing on the African continent. The local adaptation of the multiple award-winning ABC Studios series premiered on 30 April 2015.

o   They have collaborated on two Fashion Halo Projects in conjunction with SA Fashion Week:

1.     In 2013 they launched Inspired by Minnie fashion collection with renown local designer Suzaan Heyns, a first for an African designer.

2.     In March of this year they also ran the first ever Inspired by Marvel Collections where 6 designers from across the continent were chosen to create a fashion line, inspired by the Avengers characters.

o   In February 2014, Marvel Studios took over the Johannesburg CBD to shoot a 10-minute action sequence featuring Iron Man and The Hulk in the 24 April 2015 release of Avengers: Age of Ultron

o   They also have run 5 successful mentorship programs through the Disney XD Aim High Initiative, which gives teens the chance to spend a day with their hero. Talent includes:

1.     Musician Elvis Blue

2.     Springbok Tendai ‘The Beast’ Mtawarira

3.     SA Cricketer Dale Steyn

4.     Bafana Bafana Player Siphiwe Tshabalala

5.     SA Swimmer Cameron van der Burgh

Then came a couple of questions from the journalists with most of these centered around broadening their local content sphere. This being important as every African country has a unique story about their local superheroes which have been stamped throughout their cultural stories. Talk about the stories of Kwaku Ananse, Yaa Asantewaa, Okomfo Anokye in the Ghanaian cultural space, these are amazing authentic stories which need to be captured digitally.

Is there enough content coming from Ghana being shown on the Disney channel? What about the other African countries aside Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa? Have your say in the comments below.

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