African children would be hard pressed to find cartoons made by Africans for them. Being that cartoons are one of the most prominent ways of passing on knowledge and even cultural values to children, that is a pretty sad fact. A cartoon named Bino and Fino is, however, out to change all that.
Bino and Fino has been described as an African take on Dora the Explorer. The cartoon is made by Adamu Waziri and is impressive in the sense that it has become the first cartoon to be made available in Nigeria’s three major local languages (Igbo, Hausa, and Yoruba) as well as Swahili and French.
One can only imagine how much work would be required to execute a cartoon in five different languages but Adamu Waziri and his team seem to be doing just that with Bino and Fino. The cartoon follows the everyday life of a Nigerian brother and sister who live with their grandparents.
The two use the everyday situations that they encounter to teach African kids about their culture, and with the multiple language options, helps them learn their local dialects along the way.
Adamu Waziri sat down for an interview with African Screens and shared the inspiration behind the show creation;
“I couldn’t understand why there weren’t any Nigerian cartoons for kids. In fact, there weren’t really many African cartoons at all.
Children in Africa are watching imported cartoons that have nothing to do with them when it comes to ethnic and cultural issues.”
The cartoons that are being watched by most kids in Africa usually have no tie into realities on the continent. This is often a disservice to African children who grow up without a clear picture of Africa.
Creator Adamu Waziri also shared that Bino and Fino wasn’t only created to enlighten African kids, but to portray a positive image of Africa for kids from all around the world. On that note he said;
“Young children are constantly being bombarded with negative and patronizing images of Africa, and generally by the time they are around 10, they have already formed a negative impression about the continent.
So, it’s best to get started when they are young and give them positive images of the continent.”
Hopefully, more and more cartoons will be produced by Africans to promote positive images of Africa and hand down our culture to the next generation. Meanwhile, you can check out more Bino and Fino videos on their Youtube channel.