Real Name: Unknown (see comments)
Group Membership: None
Enemies: Child killers and traffickers
Known Relatives: None
Aliases: Kaptain Afrika
Base of Operations: Nigeria
First Appearance: Captain Africa Magazine #1 (African Comics Ltd., 1987)
Powers/Abilities: Skilled fighter. Wears a solar-powered cape that allows high speed flight.
History: Based out of Nigeria, Captain Africa's mission was to fight "all evil and dark forces that threaten Africa and the whole world.'' He was a successful businessman in this secret identity.
Comments: Created by Andy Akman.
The Ghaniain Akman published Captain Africa in Nigeria from 1987, producing at least fifteen issues, but had ceased publication by the mid-1990s. Canadian comic book designer Scott Dutton republished issue 15 in a fanzine, the Global Gazette, after being sent a copy by a Nigerian penpal, and trying, unsuccessfully, to contact Akman for permission.
Apparently Akman created the character in part as a reaction against "white saviour" stories like Tarzan and the Phantom, with the name being chosen to reclaim it from the white Captain Africa featured in a 1950s movie serial. As a New York Times article from 1988 noted "For years, Africans complained that the serialized stories of Tarzan and the Phantom revolved largely around the exploits of whites in Africa, with black Africans relegated to supporting roles," adding "Captain Africa battles superstition and ignorance in dramatic situations familiar to modern African readers" and "Created as a role model for urban Africans, Captain Africa lives in an airbrushed Africa, a continent of comfortable villas, clean hospitals and vacations on imaginary tropical islands."
Interviewed for that article, Akman explained Gone are the days of Africans wearing raffia skirts. We are living in modern houses. He must be a Superman, not a Tarzan. In the same interview, African Comics Ltd. president Mbadiwe Emelumba explained We have our own culture, our own heritage. Its important to defend against cultural colonialism.
The NYT article also published an image from the comic that showed his unmasked face and true identity - unfortunately, in the only version I can find online the text showing his name is unreadable - "Rokko Iwellu?." If anyone has a better version, or knows the character's name, please let me know. In Scott Dutton's reprint he included his own short story, and presumably lacking the secret identity information as it wasn't given in the only issue he had, he identified the character as Andrew Odupute.
Akman later published a slight variation of the character, Kaptain Afrika, in Nigeria's Vanguard paper (see below left).
His costume, since you can't tell from the black and white images, was green.
CLARIFICATIONS: Not to be confused with
Captain Africa, hero of Egyptica
Captain Africa, hero of Columbia's serial The Adventures of Captain Africa
Any Additions/Corrections? Please let me know.
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