Jonas Lekganyane

Founder, Rams Comics

Jonas Lekganyane is solidifying his mark on the animation scene in South Africa. The 24-year-old 2D animator is the creative director of his own animation company, Rams Comics. With a love for cartoons, he found that not many related to him as a child growing up in Limpopo.

The idea to create his own show that could relate to a broader South African audience propelled him to take his craft more seriously. “I took time and began sharpening my drawing and animating skills, and eventually, Noko Mashaba was born.” He now uses the show to poke fun at current affairs and relate to common story themes in other languages. Inspiration for the story lines of his work arose from challenges he faced both personally and professionally. He used these setbacks to motivate and push past self-imposed limitations.

“Noko Mashaba gets a lot of views on YouTube, and with each video, the feedback I receive is amazing, and it inspires me to remain consistent and always work on bettering my craft.” Support from his parents continues to guide him in the right direction and remain grounded. He is also motivated by his business partner Khashane Motlousi. In 2016, Rams Comics won the Sub-Saharan Africa YouTube Award for Best Comic and Animation.

With close to 100000 YouTube subscribers, he now works with both the government and private sector. A large part of his day consists of attending meetings, writing scripts, recording voice-overs and developing graphics and animation. The journey of building his company and ensuring its sustainability ensures he is constantly learning. He is working on a public safety campaign about electricity as well as a content acquisitions deal with two major mobile operators. Lekganyane’s dream of bringing the adventures of Noko Mashaba to mainstream television will realised very soon. He is a firm believer in teamwork and empowering others along his journey. He uses his online store Rabaki as a means to train upand- coming animators. With his sights set on expansion, the young man aims to grow his audience and contribute to the animation and storytelling scene in South Africa.

— Leigh Wils