All-Nigerian Voice Cast Unveiled for IYANU Animated Series

“Iyanu” is slated for release in the US on Cartoon Network and Max in 2025 and has a 26 episode, two season order.

By: May. 20, 2024
All-Nigerian Voice Cast Unveiled for IYANU Animated Series
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Cartoon Network and Max have announced the all-Nigerian cast for “Iyanu,” the epic superhero animated-series steeped in Nigerian culture and mythology. A Lion Forge Entertainment production, “Iyanu” is an adaptation of Dark Horse Comics/YouNeek Studios’ popular graphic novel series Iyanu: Child of Wonder by award-winning Nigerian creator and producer Roye Okupe.
 
Leading THE VOICE cast is Serah Johnson as Iyanu, a teenage heroine who must uncover the mystery behind her newfound powers to save her people from an ancient curse threatening to destroy humanity. Johnson, known for her extensive voiceover work within the animation industry and audiobooks, 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, “Iyanu” is made up of promising new talent along with experienced and esteemed actors including TV personality and City People Award winner for Fast Rising Male Actor Okey Jude (“Hotel Labamba,” “The Governor’s Daughter”) who joins the cast as Biyi, Iyanu’s carefree adventurer friend. Recognized as the official IVR (Interactive Voice Response) on Nigeria’s largest telecommunications network MTN between 2013 and 2015, Jude also earned an Africa Choice Awards nomination for “The Most Promising Male Movie Star of 2022.” Samuel Kugbiyi, a multifaceted artist with a career spanning from childhood, comes on board as Iyanu’s bookworm friend Toye. Noteworthy among Kugbiyi’s creative endeavors is the acclaimed musical drama "Tafiya Lafiya: The Journey," where he was both a writer and performer.
 
African Movie Academy Awards winner and Nollywood actress Adesua Etomi-Wellington (“King of Boys,” “Gangs of Lagos”) will voice Olori, who Vogue named as one of their 14 global superstars in 2019 alongside Scarlett Johansson, Deepika Padukone and Vanessa Kirby; set to play Toye’s father Kanfo is one of Nollywood’s foremost leading men Blossom Chukwujekwu (“Falling,” “Stolen Lives”) who is celebrated with multiple wins and nominations across Nigeria’s award shows like the Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice Awards, Best Of Nollywood Awards, Golden Movies Awards, among others; Nigerian- born entertainer and author of “Màmá, It's A Girl” Stella Damasus (“Gone”) is set to play Sewa; Shaffy Bello (“The Score,” “Battleground”), a Best of Nollywood Awards nominee, has signed on to voice Emi – THE ONE Mother; and esteemed actor Ike Ononye (“Doc Martin,” “The Lovers”) is Elder Alapani.
 
“Iyanu” is a superhero tale set in the magical kingdom of Yorubaland, which draws from Nigerian culture, music and mythology. Drawing deeply from the rich tapestry of Yoruba people, the animated series follows a teenage orphan girl, Iyanu, who spends her days studying history and ancient arts but yearns for a normal life. One day, responding to danger, she unknowingly triggers her divine powers, the likes of which have not been seen since the Age of Wonders. With newly discovered superpowers, Iyanu joins forces with two other teenagers, Biyi and Toye, as they embark on a remarkable journey to discover the truth about the evil lurking in her homeland. Throughout her adventure, she’ll uncover the truth about her past, her parents, and her ultimate destiny to save the world.
 
“Iyanu” is slated for release in the US on Cartoon Network and Max in 2025 and has a 26 episode, two season order.
 
Brandon Easton (Transformers: War for Cybertron: Seige, Marvel’s Agent Carter) headed the writers' room, with Roye Okupe serving as the executive producer, writer, and director on multiple episodes. The show’s 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.



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