My Better World, a 55-episode TV series, produced by South Africa’s Fundi Films in collaboration with Johannesburg-based MAAN Creative for Impact(Ed) International (formerly Discovery Learning Alliance) won an International Emmy Award for the Kids: Factual & Entertainment category at the prestigious award ceremony in New York on 21 November.
Speaking to The Citizen on Tuesday, Chris Morgan, South African series producer at Fundi Films said the award recognises the great African storytelling and talent from their team of writers, animators and documentary filmmakers.
“The award is a great recognition for a very big team. 100 creatives from seven African countries with 35 South African animators,” he added.
About My Better World
The series follows the adventures of six African teens as they navigate the complex challenges of school, family and friendship. Morgan explains that each episode revolves around the six friends facing a particular challenge in their lives and also includes a two-minute documentary showcasing inspiring role models from across Africa.
“We wanted to tell the stories that matter most and leave the audience empowered to improve their lives and the lives of those around them,” said Morgan.
SA film and entertainment industry making big international strides
My Better World is not the first local production to shine on the international stage. While the series didn’t walk away with a win at this year’s International Emmy Awards, M-Net’s Reyka was the first African drama series to be nominated for an International Emmy in more than a decade – and only the third ever.
Kim Engelbrecht who portrays the role of Reyka is just the fifth African actress to be nominated for the International Emmy, after Egyptian Menna Shalabi (Every Week On A Friday) in 2021, Thuso Mbedu (Is’thunzi) in 2017 and 2018, and Lerato Mvelase in 2010 and Brenda Ngxoli in 2007 for Home Affairs. Mbedu has gone on to star in The Underground Railroad and The Woman King to international acclaim.
Morgan said the South African film and animation industry is at a really exciting stage and that more local productions should be encouraged.
Where to watch My Better World
My Better World has already been broadcast across 5 African countries with a reach of 140 million, with more broadcasters and countries to follow soon. With an average of 1.4 million viewers weekly, it was one of Kenya’s most popular shows and the number one kids’ show in Kenya. Morgan said the series should hopefully start showing in South Africa soon.
However, if you just can’t wait to watch this award-winning series, you can watch the first 6 episodes on the Aspire Africa YouTube channel.