I would like to introduce you to an animated series for children, that is focused on telling stories about everyday lives in an imagined West African city. The series title “Bino & Fino” already hints at the two main protagonists, the siblings Bino, a boy, and Fino, his sister. With their parents, grandparents and the help of their friend, Zeena the magical butterfly, the siblings learn about the ways of their continent Africa and the world. The stories are always created with care, blending fun with learning material, such as maths and history.
The creator of the series is Adamu Waziri who is based in Abuja, Nigeria. His drive to create this animation series for kids derives from the lack of representation of Nigerian and African culture in general in children’s TV formats or comics. There had been no children’s cartoons on TV in Nigeria that had been shaped in Africa. There had been no TV format for African children that represented people or cultures they could identify with. Even though Waziri loves the foreign TV formats for kids that were available then and are available now, he felt that he needed to add a show that presented positive African lives. And so he created what he felt was missing.
The team of creators has grown and the company has become a family business, as his brother, Ibrahim Waziri has joined the ranks. The series now consists of many episodes that can be watched in various African native languages as well as languages of countries where people from the African diaspora live: Igbo, Yoruba, Housa, Swahili, Twi, English, French, German, Dutch and Portuguese.
In the first episodes that were put together, all the characters were still spoken by one narrator. This has changed since and the voices of the children are spoken by children voice actors. In episode one of the first volume the series explains what the Nigerian Independence Day is all about. It touches on how Nigeria and several other countries got free from under colonial rule. This complex topic is explained in a simple and easily understandable way for little kids. It is a day to celebrate for many African countries and so the family in the series celebrates a symbolic birthday party for Nigeria.
The costumes of the characters are designed in typical African fabrics that brim with bright colours and fantastic patterns. The food they eat is popular Nigerian food, like for example jollof rice and fruits that grow in the area. All this makes the series very relatable for children who are connected to African culture and roots. One of my favourite features of the characters is Fino’s hair style. She wears two puffs on either side of the head, which is a very common style, because it is simple and easy to make with kinky curly hair. As a child, I wore this style rather often and I believe many African or African-mixed ethnic women can relate.
It is important to add here that the show is not exclusively aimed at consumers in Africa or the African diaspora. It is meant to be inclusive and is intended to be something like a “cultural ambassador”, as Waziri explains. The series “Bino & Fino” tells stories about Nigerian and African culture, teaches valuable skills like maths and is simply fun to watch for kids all over the world.
Find out more about the series and the creators and watch episodes on their websites and social media channels.
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The Bino and Fino Show is about a brother and sister who live in Nigeria.In each episode Bino and Fino, with the help…
I absolutely love what Adamu Waziri has done with creating this series and am hooked on the music and dance video “Come On Let’s Dance Dance Dance!”, which was designed to get kids to move and dance.
Shake your body to the beat here:
Here is the new “Happy Birthday” video from Bino & Fino for the little birthday kids.
Pictures: Courtesy of Bino & Fino