- Title: Comic book features ordinary South Africans as superheroes.
- Date: 17th November 2016
- Summary: MAGAZINE PICTURE OF MONDE AND FRIEND ON MOUNTAIN
- Embargoed: 2nd December 2016 16:18
- Keywords: Comic Superheroes African Comic Caricatures Africa Heroes
- Location: CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA
- City: CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA
- Country: South Africa
- Topics: Arts/Culture/Entertainment
- Reuters ID: LVA00258U1DG7
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: South African artist, Nicole Leonards is working on a sketch for a comic book called 'Modern Superheroes' at a studio in Cape Town. The book features superheroes inspired by real life characters and locations across Africa.
Nicole is part of a group of creatives using caricatures to inspire the youth by introducing them to superheroes they can identify with.
Many comic book enthusiasts admire characters like Superman and Batman that are a world away.
Modern Superheroes' characters come from familiar places and face challenges that many young South Africans know well.
"These are people I can relate to because I see how they live and I have experienced how they live as well, I hear their stories so for me to come up with something and to just like draw inspiration from it, for me it's much easier but I guess you can draw inspiration from anything really but since I can relate to this it is much easier yes," said Nicole.
The pilot issue, 'Khazimla's Adventures' is partly based on the life of adventurer and mountain climber Monde Sitole.
Monde lives in Khayelitsha - Cape Town's largest black township of 750,000 people and has climbed various mountains including Africa's highest mountain - Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Denali in Alaska, North America's tallest.
He also runs an adventure club where he organizes expeditions for young people and talks to them about their challenges and aspirations.
Monde has been working closely with the illustrators of Modern Superheroes in so that his story can inspire even more people.
"A lot of our young people especially in the townships, they are like fishes swimming in a pond not knowing that there is a greater sea out there. So when you expose them to reality, in this instant, the comic book there is something intrinsic in them that gets switched on. So I was very excited and found it very relevant because already we had something called the faces of change walk where we were walking the whole of Khayelitsha and mounting a billboard which had faces of people who were actually doing change within the immediate community so there was a combination and a relation already there," says Monde.
"We are focusing on people that are placed in the margins and we started with a black guy from the township which is Monde, we want to see a woman you know an African woman become a superhero, we want to see people that are people like for instance our grandmothers, some of them were not educated most of them ,so in this modern world we think that people who are not educated are dumb, they have so many things to teach, so much knowledge, so much wisdom, those are the people that we want to see inspiring the comic book," said Ziphozakhe Hlobo, co-founder of the comic book.
Modern Superheroes is currently only available at one bookshop in Cape Town for 4 US dollars as its producers test the stories' appeal among young people. Their plan is to distribute the comic book countrywide, targeting mostly schools and libraries.
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