But to the general public (that’s me!) what I see when I look at all these artists’ work is Africa’s equivalent to my all time favourite animation studio – Ghibli. And I think more people should appreciate the imagination and artistry that goes into creating all of these characters and alternate universes.

I just know there are more fantastic illustrators in Africa – send me your own tips so that I can turn this 3 into a Big 5.

1 NomesDee, Zambia

I love the surreal romantic pastel shades of Naomi Doras’ African-futuristic work. She addresses ideas of romance, female sexuality and feminism in her work – challenging African societal norms.

(Image from NomesDee Facebook page)



NomesDee Facebook

Nomes Dee Instagram


2 Loyiso Mkize, South Africa

(Image left)

The young South African artist Loyiso Mkize seems to me to be some kind of force of nature. I love his hyper-real portraits in traditional oil on canvas but it is his graphic bildungsroman comic Kwezi that is creating a storm. The superhero Kwezi, a narcissistic young man, learns that along with his great new-found superpower comes great responsibility.

Loyiso Mkize Website

Kwezi Comics


3 Terence ‘Tako’ Maluleke, South Africa


Another South African artist, Tako created his own “big 5” series. These were images of powerful African woman standing with the Big 5 animals. He draws inspiration from the world of fashion as well as classic animated films such as Toy Story. Tako is also working on a top secret comic book project – so watch this space.

Tako’s Instagram