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[MEDIA CHAT: BRAND MEET-UPS] EBELE OKOYE SPEAKS ON ANIMATION IN AFRICA.

    

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A swift glance at her face will tell you Elebe Rebew Eyoko is a focused female that knows how to be a “boss-lady” in a male dominated turf of Animation.
  Spewing with so much passion and skills Elebe decided to take the bulls by the horn by venturing beyond the shores of Africa to pursue her childhood dream in Germany.
I was lucky to bump into her online while she was trying to tidy up composites and rendering of another animated clip for a client.

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EXCERPTS:
thebrandradio.blog: Hi Elebe. So tell us about TACA (The Animation Club Africa).

Elebe Eyoko: hi jimmy.. we have not launched yet. I am still building stuff in the background.

thebrandradio.blog: if you don’t call it a launch i call that a great launch online.

Elebe Eyoko: oh ! thanks…but I dont think those at  facebook.com/TACA are interested in that any way..

thebrandradio.blog: Your logo on the website is cool. How do you mean no one is interested in that anyways…?

Elebe Eyoko:  oh thanks..i made that logo in 2010.. but as I never got to build the community.. I stowed it away.. a luck to still find it.

Elebe Eyoko: Lol…Africa is big you know?

thebrandradio.blog: I think your website is the most user friendly CG forum interface i’ve seen yet and trust me if i say your logo sits just take that from me as a compliment…less is more that was what we where thought in Brand School.

Elebe Eyoko: Oh yes definitely less is more thanks.. that was my INITIAL idea but i had to start at facebook ‘cos before facebook.com/TACA, i had no contact to Nigerians so i set up TACA to refresh and reconnect myself.

thebrandradioblog:…this is a laudable project you’ve started here. You know, about 30yrs ago when Bill Gates said by 2010 the world would be a global village, people felt Bill Gates was stupid but I tell you now even gorilla agencies are giving the big players a run for their money.  I was with the Vice president of one of the Big commercial banks in Nigeria few days ago and we were discussing CG and Animation in the Nigeria movie industry over coffee. I asked him; why aren’t banks interested in investing in the Nigerian/African movies and CG industry?-he talked about the fear of piracy and lack of proper copyright structures,he then said, truth is if these structures aren’t in place no bank will invest in these industries. But tell me Elebe how can TACA help the future generation aspiring to be animators in Africa and make a sensible living behind the wacom tablet?

Elebe Eyoko: Well as of now I don’t have plans in that direction with TACA and even if I do am not a noise maker. I like to do stuff and not talk about them and do nothing. So when TACA is standing and our reputation grows i can put the big ones in, you know the rules that says when you are looking for something from someone that is bigger than you offer them three things and ask for one?

thebrandradio.blog: Yes i do-“thats the first law of meeting influential people. Now tell me does this mean we should keep our fingers crossed?

Elebe Eyoko: Oh as for me I don’t think at this moment i have something concrete to offer the big gurus but working on it, nobody likes beggars, believe me anybody who begs in d professional field will not be respected. He will always be seen as a beggar. Well,  i have something but it’s not yet enough for me to let people in. I was talking to Luxology (now Foundry) ‘cos I want to bring The Foundry guys to us..

thebrandradio.blog: Tell us about Shrinkfish.

Elebe Eyoko: Shrink fish is actually resting now you know. Sometimes you start a brand 1st of all test to it in the waters. We have a new brand but am keeping it secret because I don’t want anyone to know am behind it but shrink fish is still my clothing line here in Germany. It was my brother who registered it in Nigeria to bring me home.

thebrandradio.blog: …so shrinkfish has nothing to do with animation or was it an umbrella company for TACA?

Elebe Eyoko: Sure shrinkfish produces, it has alot to do but its not welcome in Nigeria.I have people from wales, italy and portugal on staff here (…actually working in a feature now but absolutely am not revealing anything).

thebrandradio.blog: So how are you juggling marital life with 3D modeling, concept arts and animated time frames?

Elebe Eyoko: “Giggles”… ha! its not easy; not at all. You know when they say a woman marries she belongs to the village of her husband-i still have my table at the market o!! but luckily my husband (an architect by profession) is also a NERD too. I could remember i was telling a girl from Nigeria that wanted to be an animator to do what she has to do because she might not be as lucky as i am.

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thebrandradio.blog: So how did you discover animation and how has the journey been so far-the world wants to know Elebe.

Elebe Eyoko: I was 7 when I knew that I wanted to be an animators and swore never to marry till I have done that.Growing up in the south eastern part of Nigeria, story-telling was part of my communal life. These stories were mostly handed down orally. As a child whose biggest companions were the “Charlie Brown” comics crew, I
developed a very strong urge to extend this companionship to involve the heroes in my orally-handed-down stories told mostly by moonlight or
around a crackling fire. I yearned for a medium through which I could share these heroes with “the rest of the
world”. These yearnings solidified my dreams of going into animation film-making.However, due to the absence of film schools in Nigeria at that time, this dream could not materialize. I had a scholarship at age 16 to study arts in bristol school of arts.I studied Graphic design/Illustration after which I started looking for ways and places to gain knowledge in animation film-making. Finally in the year 2000, I was able to migrate to Germany where I undertook a further training in 2D Cartoon Animation at the International
Film School Cologne. Since my graduation in 2003, I have worked as a studio animator, an independent director/producer of own shorts and a Producer in a German-Bulgarian co-
production, (Anna Blume) winner of the 2007 Robert Bosch Foundation Promotional Prize for Animation.
Along the way, I have also been able to develop some of my childhood-inspired ideas, in pursuance of my dreams. One reality though is hard to overlook: living in Germany, it has not been possible so far to come across platforms which showed much interest or believed in animated stories with African backgrounds and setting.
  Having felt a strong need to put my motivation,experiences and goals in one basket, I contacted Shrinkfish Ltd, an animation production studio in Nigeria
requesting that they get involved as producers and the idea of “The Legacy of Rubies” was born. The main goal
is to create a cultural exchange between Europe and Africa through Animation exploring the possibilities of
creative stories inspired by our backgrounds social environments. It is also my intention to delve into
stories inspired by African folklores: to create awareness of these through cinematographic interpretations which lie within the realms of the current
globalized social lifestyles “The Legacy of Rubies”, is the very first of the numerous planned productions of this
nature between the two countries.
Finally, looking at the structure of most film festivals in places like Europe, Asia and North America, it is clear to
see that animation films which are based on such African stories or are playing in the African environment
are either underrepresented or totally missing. Hence “The Legacy of Rubies”, is targeting such festivals with
a special focus on the likes of the Berlinale, Sundance, Cannes, Rotterdam International Film festival, Filmfest
Dresden, DOK Leipzig etc . Through such means, a new awareness of the possibilities of cultural exchange
through Animation especially between the so-called underdeveloped countries and Europe will be created. Every support from any angle in whatever form towards realizing this dream is very much appreciated.

thebrandradio.blog: You’ve really done alot for yourself. Thank you for your time.

Elebe Eyoko: You are welcome-“gutes schaffen” in german meaning good work.

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Additional notes: Legacy of rubies a 28minutes animated short was nominated for BEST ANIMATION i the 2015 AFRICAN MOVIE AWARD.

Follow the link: (unofficial trailer) m.youtube.com/watch?v=6lma-xU89D0

Read more about Ebele Eyoko here: ebeleokoye.com/about

Compiled, edited & posted by: @djshyluckjimmy.
facebook/instagram: jimmyadesanya

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