A chat with Muthiga on the Making of the Faiba Animation Adverts

“This is Faiba”

That is the catch phrase for an advert by Jamii Telekom (JTL) that has received alot of interest both offline and online. The advert created in 3D animation is set at a cybercafe where two men are trying to download a video. This is the 2nd animation in the same series by FatBoy Animations for the Faiba service.

I spoke to Muthiga whose company, FBA are the makers of the Faiba animation adverts.

Tell us about yourself
My name is Michael Muthiga….I like going with muthiga. Animation has always been a passion and I started experimenting with it back in high school. I think I was in form 2. It is a hobby for me and a career, when people ask me where I work I say I don’t have a job..I just go to have fun everyday.

What does Fatboy Animations deal with?
Fatboy animations deals with advertising mainly. With the petition on facebook to turn faiba into a series, we just might go into featrure and series production

You are the face behind the Faiba Adverts
Yes I am.

Tell us about the conceptualisation of the adverts?
I had the idea for this kind of animation, mainly the first advert episode a couple of years ago. they were all stuck in my head and all this time I was just practicing and trying to get my animation skills working right. Thank God at the right time I came across the chairman of Jamii Telkom, a very innovative guy and he asked me to make something in 3d animation for him. So I went back to these ideas that i’d had all along and created them. Best client we have ever had due to the freedom of creativity that he allowed us.

FatBoy_Logo_Option_2What challenges did you encounter when coming up with the animations?
Well, the main challenge is to come up with a good idea of a story as this has to be better than the previous one. At least we try. and well in the production theres always something new popping up that I dont know how to do..Like hair or clothes or wet hair,and I have to dig up some reasearch and come up with a solution quickly and meet the deadlines still. Then of course theres the kenya power blackouts which I think is a challenge for everyone else as well. Its like they know when the deadline is, thats when there’s a power cut.

How long have you been doing animations?
Its been 7 years now

Do you specialize in advert animations or have you worked on other projects? if so tell us about it.
We specialize in adverts, coz we like the challenge. If I see something good on tv, commercial i.e ill try and beat it. I was also junior animator for a while and lead animator for the rest of my contract onTinga Tinga Tales Series

How has the reception been?
Since faiba its been great

There is a petition on FB for you to make a cartoon with the Kamba character,what are your thoughts on it?
Thank you fans for the support. There’s a good chance we will do it

The Kenyan animation industry is still quite unexplored and is yet to achieve the success we have seen with Lion King, Madagascar and Kirikou, why do you think this is the case?
I think it can well be done with proper management and of course investors and funding to reach there. It is quite expensive to do animations but possible. The returns are good

What plans do you have as an animator?
I was thinking of doing a feature film, and I will; the likes of Madagascar and so on.

Last words to fans of your work?
Thank you fans for your support and lets take over the film industry with animation. I’m 100 % sure we can even beat South Africa. They are good and ofcourse other competitors too. Keep supporting this way and we will

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