Kizazi Moto: Generation Fire - "Surf Sangoma"


Chocolate Tribe is thrilled to have been part of this ambitious Disney project produced by Triggerfish under the helm of Peter Ramsey.  The sci-fi anthology presents 10 futuristic storylines centered around Afrofuturism. From the onset what this anthology showcases above all, is the immense treasure of African talent and untapped stories.

As part of the Disney anthology, Chocolate Tribe worked on the “Surf Sangoma” short film from the beginning of pre-production to the early stages of production. The project for Chocolate Tribe was an 8-month labour of love with a carefully hand-picked Chocolate Tribe crew of 45 local and international team members. 

The film, directed by Nthato Mokgata and Catherine Green, is set in a post-apocalyptic Durban, where the entire city is under continuous threat by monster waves that only seasoned surfers can conquer. Two friends, Njabulo and Mnqobi, while yearning to surf in the ocean, have resorted to surfing the artificial wave pool called Wavy World. This story is about friendship, family, guilt, and Njabulo’s admiration for his late grandmother who was a surfing legend. 

Creatively, Chocolate Tribe’s involvement commenced from pre-production – taking the directors’ vision from a draft script to fully blocked-out 3D camera, character blocking and water animation. We went on an amazing journey developing the look and feel of the film, concept art, world building, story development, detailed storyboards, 2D animatics, full cast character designs, 3D modeling, texturing & shading, character rigging and lighting & rendering. We meticulously blocked out all surfing and fight action scenes and lovingly crafted the emotional scenes.

In relation to the technical aspects of the production, Chocolate Tribe developed an extensive USD (Universal Scene Description) pipeline to facilitate the use of Unreal Engine workflow together with Maya, which the studio uses as their main DCC for the modeling, animation, and layout. 

More than 400 assets were created by our team including characters, props, and vehicles that were modeled. Custom character rigs were built to support the animation team animating the octopus tentacles. 

The ocean played a massive role in the film, and animating the stylised 3D water required a lengthy RnD to capture the water motion in an “artist-controllable” way. The water rig in essence allowed the animators to treat the waves like a character in the film.

World building in Surf Sangoma was a massive undertaking, as the story explored 5 major areas. The ocean surface, the underwater world, the dam megastructure, a swimming paradise called Wavy World, and the futuristic streets. Eduardo Pena, the art director and lead concept artist brought that “je ne sais quoi” magic to the world of Surf Sangoma. 

Momentous projects, such as this Disney anthology, require strong teams. From a production side, Chocolate Tribe, from early on, sought out both local and international talent to cultivate collaboration and cross-pollination of skills. The Chocolate Tribe team included storyboarders, character design artists, 3D artists, technical and character animators and technical directors, art directors, concept artists, modeling and texturing artists, lookdev artists, CG and Creative Supervisors as well as a robust production team, and key support staff such as IT, HR, legal, and accounting. 

Congratulations to all the studios involved in Surf Sangoma (Motif, Windmill Lane), as well as this hugely impactful animation short film anthology. It is a huge win for the African narrative and creatives who worked on this trailblazing project. We look forward to more of these projects that encourage genuine collaboration and authentic African storytelling.

Disney African Anthology Kizazi Moto – Generation Fire is now available on the Disney+ streaming platform.

We are very proud of the team. Please see the full Chocolate Tribe credit list below.


Executive Producer / Legal: Nosipho Maketo van den Bragt
 Head Of Production: Rob van den Bragt
Head of 3D: Tiaan Franken

Line Producer: Khomotso Kekana
Producer: Nomvuselelo Dlamini
Production Coordinator: Nomonde Mathenjjwa
Production Accountant: Mari-Louise Stoltz


Creative Supervisor: Rob van den Bragt
CG Supervisor: Tiaan Franken
Production Designer: Eduardo Pena

Character Design: Venus Bambisa, Alexis Rives
Concept Artist: Michael Howard, Julio Dionzio, Tshepo Sefadi
Storyboard Artists: Mark Risk, Kay Carmicheal
Editor: Evyathar Katz


3D Artists:
Gavin Wynford, Tanaka Musewe
Roberto Ferraro, Mpho Vukea
Bianca Fourie, Samantha Visser
Tyron Da Gama, Roche Staats
Taryn Jordan, Kyle Sibanda
Marcello Adams, Ranga Nyabeze
Hugo Meyer, Samson Madematse, Rishi Raj   


Animation Supervisor: Rob van den Bragt
Team Leads: Glenn Lionel Ewan, Casey Chelchinsky

3D Artists:
Lloyd Bisschoff, Taija Hartwig
Raymond Carlow, Yulia Butyleva
Tegan Theron, Nipun Chordiya
Pooja Krishnan, Muhammad Awwad
Ahmed Kholy, Amira Ghazy
Tarek El Naghya, Daniel Clark    

2D Animator: Conor Goliath
Compositors: Johan Wentzel, Alistair Johnson


Team Lead: Tiaan Franken
TD: Roberto Ferraro , Tegan Theron, Gerhard van der Merve    


Head of Legal & Human Resources: Nosipho Maketo van den Bragt
Human Resources: Subashini Emmanuel
Production Support: Nivasha Doorsamy
IT Support: Jandre van Heerden