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Watch Full-Length Award-Winning Nigerian Animated Series “Mark Of Uru”

Watch Full-Length Award-Winning Nigerian Animated Series "Mark Of Uru"

Mark Of Uru, an award-winning Nigerian animated series we first wrote about in 2009, is now available to watch online in its entirety.

Produced by Mayhem Productions, created by Obinna Onwuekwe, Mark of Uru was essentially created as a web-based animated series, allowing the producers to distribute it widely, outside of Africa especially, given that authentic works of animation from African countries by Africans are rarely covered by international media, and thus not seen by audiences outside of the continent, or the specific countries in which they’re made.

Uru tells the tale of Azuka, a girl born with a birthmark identical to the tattoo of the banished village sorceress Uru. Azuka’s mother’s tries desperately to keep the birthmark hidden from plain sight, but isn’t entirely successful, when it’s eventually made public, and Azuka becomes a hunted child, as the rest of the villagers want to get rid of this supposed cursed child. Azuka is nearly executed, but is saved by a fallen spirit and his apprentice, who take her on a “grueling journey through treacherous terrains to unravel the mystery behind her bizarre birthmark.

When we last wrote about this, there was just one episode available online to watch; but I was just made aware that a full hour+, which combines all the episodes together into one feature, was uploaded onto YouTube 2 days ago, said to be in partnership with the video sharing site.

It’s not the top-notch style of 3D animation from the likes of Pixar that you’re all familiar with, and isn’t without its technical gaffs, but it deserves a look. There’s an interesting story here, and baby steps, as the saying goes:

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When my oldest children were young (1960s) it was a challenge finding anything which reflected them or their culture (available in the US). To avoid bringing white images into the home we purchased Chinese Communist childrens' books for them to read. By the 70s things were better because of the environment of change in the US and Afrika. With the liberation/independence movements on the continent and the Black Power Movement in the states, the multitude of literature about Afrikans was abundant. Unfortunately most of this was written by whites, jews specifically, and little by us. Although this gradually changed and more of our literature appeared on the market like the 'Mark of Uru' was not readily available to the majority of us. Often when it was available we could not tell that we were the authors/creators because more often than not we bore the names of whites making us indistinguishable from them. Initially this was not important until I realized that we needed to tell our own story and I wanted to hear from us rather than an interpretation by someone from the outside. This was particularly important for my children and even moreso now for my grandchildren who are prisoners of white culture.

The internet has made many things possible. I was delighted to find Afrikan animation on the internet, although I had to carefully separate the animation of indigenous Afrikans from that of white nationals who call themselves Afrikans and exploit us as Disney has in the Lion King (a Luo folktale with a Zulu theme song). I thank you and all of the other brothers and sisters who make an effort to create and provide for our children and our people those things that we so desperately need. This is one brick in the rebuilding of our empires. Thank you.

James Madison

We definitely need more representation in animation. I know there are a bunch of us out there.

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