Through cartoons or animations one is able to relay powerful messages on all topics and in the main also ensure that topics which may ordinarily be seen as boring or difficult more understandable thus encouraging people to participate. For the self-taught animator Rekere Moila it all started with a pen and paper since his primary school days especially after watching episodes of the biggest animation series in South Africa titled The Adventures of Noko Mashaba created by Jonas Lekganyane, who is also a self-taught animator and the first South African animator to win a South African Film and Television Award (SAFTA).
Accordingly; there are five (5) types of animations namely; traditional animation, motion graphics, 2D animation, 3D animation and stop motion animation. For Rekere and company, whose aim is to make people laugh while teaching them that there is no relationship that is perfect, they do this through their hit couple animation series Crazy Couple based on Rekere and Dipuo. The series is based on couples living together and how; despite challenges they come across, somehow they overcome them. This series is created and produced through his comic studio called Mashtoon Studio.
When asked what was his proudest moment since he started he said “my proudest moment was when one episode reached 100 000 views on YouTube for the first time” it was during this moment he realized just how much his work was appreciated and getting the recognition it deserves.
Rekere’s content is inspired by a lot of factors including relationships, unemployment in the country as well as his poor family background. His Crazy Couple series is motivated from the MduComics’ Unhappy Husband series – which as the name suggest – is based on an unhappy husband who normally acts out rather than talk things out. He felt that the male character in that series was overpowering the female characters, therefore he felt that he needed to create something which promoted gender balance in a relationship thus couples learning to appreciate one another. “If you really want a great relationship, choose partners like Rekere and Dipuo” commented one subscriber on one video titled Crazy Couple 6 – Lobola Negotiations, although released in August 2021, the video has over 342 000 views on YouTube already.
Asked how he and Dipuo met, he said that he once posted on his Facebook page that he was looking for a female voice-over artist, amongst all the respondents, she was the one he chose. “We are not close, we just have a professional relationship and only meet when we are recording for Crazy Couple episodes“ remarked Moila. The biggest challenged he has faced so far in this journey according to him; is coming up with new content / script writing and customers wanting to negotiate his rates for advertising on the series.
With so much content available online, the creative industry has certainly grown especially in the past few years due to the coronavirus pandemic. Animators have definitely stepped up doing some amazing work, it was not surprising to hear Rekere say that he is open to the idea of collaborating with other animators, with so many to choose from, that shows positive thinking on its own.
The self-taught animator uses Photoshop and Adobe Flash to create his content. Indeed it is true that African problems require African solutions, based on the comments The Village Mag has seen on Facebook and YouTube channels, Mashtoon Studio will soon be a force to be reckoned with. And based on the number of views alone, it is not farfetched to think that Rekere and his company are going places and may very well soon grow their studio and realize their long term vision of creating 2D animated movies for the world to see and indulge. With animation being the cheapest median to market products it is not surprising that companies opt for this as opposed to using actors especially when advertising on social media, we certainly hope to see content produced by Mashtoon Studios in the future for big conglomerates.