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Iyanu Reveals All-Nigerian Voice Cast

Africa is growing as a force in the creative arts. Animation and comics are particularly booming. Some Western media companies have recognised this, and have partnered with African creators. Recently we have seen Iwaju and Kizazi Moto: Generation Fire on Disney+, and coming in 2025 is Cartoon Network and Max's Iyanu.

Produced by Lion Forge Entertainment, and based on the comic published by Dark Horse Comics/YouNeek Studios, the series is created by Nigerian creator and producer Roye Okupe. Cartoon Network and Max have announced the series will feature an all-Nigerian voice cast.

Leading the cast will be Serah Johnson as the titular Iyanu, a teenage heroine who must uncover the mystery behind her newfound power to save her people from an ancient curse. Johnson is known in Nigerian for her extensive work in animation voice over and audiobooks and is the first Nigerian and African to win the Society of Voice Arts Award (SOVAS) for Outstanding Animation Character - Film or TV - Best African VoiceOver for her work on Moji.

In addition to Johnson, the cast is made up of a combination of promising new talent and established voices. TV personality and City People Award winner for Fast Rising Male Actor Okey Jude will appear as Biyi, Iyanu's carefree adventurer friend. Samuel Kugbiyi will voice Iyanu's bookworm friend Toye.

African Movie Academy Awards winner and Nollywood actress Adesua Etomi-Wellington- who Vogue named among their 14 global superstars- will play Olori. Set to voice Toye's father Kanfu is Nollywood star Blossom Chukwujekwu. Stella Damasus will play Sewa; Shaffy Bello is voicing Emi "the One Mother" and veteran actor Ike Ononye will appear as Elder Alapani.

Iyanu is described as a superhero tale, set in the magical land of Yorubaland. The series will draw from Nigeria's rich history of culture, mythology and music, and particularly from the Yoruba people. It follows teenage orphan Iyanu who spends her days studying ancient culture and arts, and longs for a normal life. One day, when responding to danger Iyanu unknowingly triggers her latent superpowers- the likes of which have not been seen since The Age Of Wonder. Along with newly discovered superpowers, Iyanu teams up with two other teens Toye and Biyi as they set off on an adventure to uncover the evil forces hiding in their homeland. On the way, she'll find out about her past, her parents and her ultimate destiny.

Iyanu is set to debut of Cartoon Network and Max in the United States in 2025. The series had a two season, 26-episode order (so each season will run for 13 episodes).

Brandon Easton headed up the writer's room, and creator Roye Okupe served as executive producer, writer and director on multiple episodes. Executive producers are David Steward II and Matt Heath from Lion Forge Entertainment, Erica Dupuis of Impact X Capital, Ryan Haidarian of Forefront Media Group and Doug Schwalbe.