South Africa-based international SVOD platform Showmax is ready to score with its first original animated series, Jay Jay: The Chosen One. A super heroic reimagining of the childhood of Nigerian football legend Augustine “Jay Jay” Okocha, the 13-episode series premieres April 6.
Okocha played for the Nigerian national team between 1993 and 2006 and led the country to Olympic victory at the 1996 Atlanta games. He also played in three FIFA World Cups and has become a celebrated football commentator. The new series is designed to be a representational boost for Nigerian children, full of positivity, humor and educational content that will motivate young viewers through fantasy adventures and the power of sport.
Jay Jay: The Chosen One follows the adventures of Augustine, an 11-year-old boy who dreams of representing his school at a prestigious football tournament with a team made up of his rag-tag group of friends. The series charts Jay Jay’s passion for football, as well as his love for the animal kingdom, who in return for his fight against illegal poaching, bestow superpowers upon him.
“I’m honored to have an animated series that reimagines my childhood. Jay Jay: The Chosen One is going to bring back good childhood memories as well as inspire young children who have dreams to be football players,” said Okocha. “I’m excited about the show and grateful to Showmax and the production team who worked hard to bring it to life.”
The series is voiced by a talented Nigerian cast, including award-winning teen actor Prince Unigwe (Glamour Girls, Samson in 2nd February), who voices young Jay Jay; veteran actor Chinedu Ikedieze (Aki of Aki and PawPaw, Efe on The Johnsons); Samuel Ajibola (Spiff on The Johnsons); pro-footballer turned actor Eric Obinna; Tinsel actress Mena Sodje; upcoming actor Lexan Peters; and child actor Pamilerin Ayodeji (Daniella in The Father).
“We are so excited to bring this first-of-its-kind series to our streaming audience,” said Yolisa Phahle, CEO of Showmax and Connected Video at MultiChoice. “Not only is Jay Jay: The Chosen One another locally inspired Showmax Original, it marks the beginning of our adventures in animation. This is a show we believe will find audiences globally and shines the spotlight on yet another world-class African achiever that we hope will be enjoyed by kids and the entire family.”
The series soundtrack features music from popular Nigerian singer and vocalist, Waje.
Jay Jay: The Chosen One is animated by Pune-based Nihilent Limited in partnership with the production studio 5th Dimension as well as animation studio iRealities, both based in Mumbai.
“I always knew that creating a sports-based animation series for kids would be challenging and rewarding at the same time,” noted LC Singh, Director & Executive Vice Chairman of Nihilent Limited. “The amount of work that goes into every single frame is immense, but seeing the final product come to life makes it all worth it. I’m grateful for the opportunity to bring this vision to the world and to collaborate with such talented Nigerian voice artists, animators, and Showmax.”
New episodes of Jay Jay: The Chosen will roll out exclusively on Showmax.com every Thursday following the April 6 premiere.