- Title: Cosplayers recreate fiction characters at Nairobi's Comic-con
- Date: 26th August 2019
- Summary: NAIROBI, KENYA (AUGUST 25, 2019) (REUTERS) ***WARNING: CONTAINS FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY*** VARIOUS OF KENYAN COSPLAYERS ON STAGE VARIOUS OF COSPLAYER DRESSED AS 'LOKI' LORD OF MISCHIEF' PRESENTING TO CROWD AND JUDGES VARIOUS OF COSPLAYER DRESSED AS 'VENOM ' SHOWCASING COSTUME TO JUDGES AND CROWD VARIOUS OF JUDGES ANNOUNCING COSPLAY WINNER, JESSICA OLAGO DRESSED AS 'THUNDERBALL' (SOUNDBITE) (English) NAICCON 2019 COSPLAY WINNER, JESSICA OLAGO, SAYING: "It feels good to win, that's all I can say, it obviously feels good to win and it feels great to just be here among all these people who appreciate the work that I put into my costume."
- Embargoed: 9th September 2019 15:12
- Keywords: NAICCON comic characters cosplay costumes video games film characters
- Location: NAIROBI, KENYA
- City: NAIROBI, KENYA
- Country: Kenya
- Topics: Arts / Culture / Entertainment
- Reuters ID: LVA001ATUUWYF
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Visitors to this year's Nairobi Comic Conference (COMICCON) were treated to a colourful costume play competition over the weekend by Kenyans dressed as their favourite characters from movies and comic books.
Cosplay, a crowd favourite during the conference, is when fans of comics and superhero movies dress up as characters and attend events.
Inspired by similar international competitions, dozens of competitors showcased their outfits to cheering crowds and impressed a panel of judges who judged the craftsmanship of their elaborate handmade costumes.
"It feels good to win, that's all I can say. It obviously feels good to win and it feels great to just be here among all these people who appreciate the work that I put into my costume," said Jessica Olago who won first place.
Although cosplay, is a popular recreation globally - with enthusiasts estimated to spend $17.8 billion on costumes world-wide in 2017, NAICCON's founder says the hobby still suffers some negative perception in Sub-Saharan Africa where comics and video games are often not taken seriously.
"In Africa, even in Kenya especially so where we are from, you'll be told if you want to be an animator are you serious? You want to be a comic book artist, are you crazy? A cosplayer- are you crazy? So yes, we are crazy, so we brought all these crazies into one place like an asylum. So that's still the challenge but I'd say now a couple of brands are starting to look at it because these kids consumer content in the number of hours so that's where you can go not just to target your brand but also to support them in building their talent and creating job opportunities for themselves but also for others," said NAICCON founder, Thomas Imboywa.
The two-day event attracted thousands of video game, animation and comic book enthusiasts who relished the chance to be in a community of like minded people.
Industry veterans say the surge in popularity in the sector is a sign that the culture is steadily gaining traction in the region.
"It actually reminds me a lot of what was going on in the united states twenty or twenty five years ago when comics were beginning to come of age in the United States so I see a lot of similarities here to where we were twenty five years ago where comics were seen not just as kids stuff anymore they are seen as a vehicle that you can tell any story you want to tell," said American comic writer, Ron Marz.
(Edwin Waita, John Ndiso)
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