Slice of Life Comics from Africa

Slice of Life African comics on the zebra comics blog

Comics like every other artform are classified into categories. Each of these categories or genres have peculiar traits which differentiate them from others. Fantasy comics have magic, witches, wizards and ‘fantastical’ elements, science fiction is heavy on fictional rendering or imaginations around science and technology and romance deals with love and emotional relationships. Amongst the plethora of these genres, therefore, is Slice of Life. Slice of life is a genre in comics that focuses on the daily lives of its characters. The main focus is their relationships with other characters and their environment, rather than any sort of overarching plot. It is a depiction of mundane experiences in art and entertainment. In theatre, slice of life refers to naturalism, while in literary parlance it is a narrative technique in which a seemingly arbitrary sequence of events in a character’s life is presented, often lacking plot development, conflict, and exposition, as well as often having an open ending. The appeal of slice of life is that it allows you to take in a lot of different things without having to form an opinion about them. You can just let stuff happen without worrying about how it means anything or what it means for your character’s story arc. In some ways, slice of life can be more relaxing than other genres because it doesn’t require you to think about what you’re reading or try to analyse it at all.

Slice of life comics are particularly interesting because they provide readers with clearer perspectives on life. They are particularly great for readers who want to escape with content that provides them with peace of mind.

Globally, slice of life comics do not have the same market presence as other genres like superhero, science fiction, fantasy, thrillers and romance. Nevertheless, there are quite a good number of them on the market. The slice of life genre has even seen more proliferation in territories like North America, Europe and Asia. Notably, Japanese manga and Korean webtoons figure the highest number of slice of life titles on the market today. Some great examples include The Way of the Husband, Yotsuba&!, Wash Day DiariesOne Of Those Days, Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up With Me, Adulthood Is A Myth, The Collected Essex County, Days of Sugar and Spice, Glorious Summers: Southbound!, My Giant Nerd Boyfriend, The Little Trashmaid, Spirit Fingers, Yumi’s cells, Snailogy, A Budgie’s Life and Murrz.

As far as African comics are concerned, slice of life is a genre which is not as popular as others. This is surprising because the continent presents an uncountable number of situations and experiences which can be great inspiration for slice of life stories. This does not mean that there aren’t any slice of life comics from the continent. This just means that the number of slice of life African comics titles are by far fewer than every other African comics genre out there. With this, it is very important for African comics creators to focus on creating these stories which are not only inspiring, but also present great entertainment value. As a source of inspiration for African Comics creators, and great reads for any comic book lover, below is a list of some African slice of life comics which are worth checking out.


La-Vie-d-Ebene-Duta African comics on the Zebra Comics blog

La Vie d’Ebène Duta chronicles the daily life of a young black girl far from her homeland. The story, scripted and drawn by Elyon’s, is delicious on several levels. There’s no talk of a fantasised Africa, no umpteenth (re)visit to clichés about immigration or all the misperceptions attached to black identity. With her friends Lulu, Camille and Claire, her sultry cousin, take a breath of fresh air in a society that really needs it. This is a piece of what it means to be a black and female immigrant in white dominated country. As far as slice of life comics from Africa go, this is no doubt the top of the list.

Jungle-urbaine-african comics on the zebra comics blog

Set in Kinshasa, Congo, Bwana, a former top sportsman turned mechanic, who has become a mechanic, is in love with a rich girl called Lola. However, the two characters come from very different backgrounds, and a number of nefarious persons are deeply disturbed by this budding romance. Beyond the sentimental intrigue, this work shows an Africa seen from the inside by a local author whose graphic skills are far superior to those of many French-speaking authors. Jungle Urbaine was created by Thembo Kash and published by Harmattan BD.

LES TRIBULATIONS D’ALPHONE MADIBA DIT DAUDET African comics on the zebra comics blog

After being expelled from France, where he was living as a pseudo-student, Alphonse Madiba returned to his country of origin. All he could think about now was returning to France, the home of Alphonse Daudet. But while he lacks the financial resources, Madiba can rely on his ideas, his contacts and… an internet connection! The tribulations of Alphonse Madiba dit Daudet paint a humorous portrait of a generation of Africans who prefer to emigrate rather than build a future for themselves on the ground. Authored by Alain Mata Mamengi (artist) and Christophe Ngalle Edimo (writer), this graphic novel was published by Harmattan BD.

MOTO-TAXIS (Zémidjans) African comics on the zebra comics blog

Hodall Béo, full of humour, invites readers to stick firmly to his “moto-taxis” and follow his many adventures and misfortunes… Under his pencil, he transforms himself into many roaring gags !

In Benin, motorbike taxis are known locally as “zémidjans” and are an indispensable part of the country’s economy. They get around, through traffic jams and demonstrations, and take customers to every corner of Cotonou or Portonovo, including luggage and various road conditions. This beautiful book was published by Harmattan BD.


In Hawker we experience the life of Koulou, a meatball hawker who works for a woman who produces the commodity on a daily basis. Koulou is a proud guy who is not happy with what he does for a living, but also makes ends meet with it. His adventures are hilarious, especially as he usually finds himself in a deep mess despite the fact that his predicaments always stem from his desire to offer help, genuinely. Hawker was created by Franklin Agogho and illustrated by Yvan Ziem, with colours from Couertys Minko. It is published by Zebra Comics PLC.

THE INITIATION African comics on the Zebra Comics Blog

In The Initiation, Mogorosi Motshumi reflects on his childhood days, building up to his years as a Black Consciousness activist in the aftermath of the Soweto uprising and his move to Johannesburg where he had his heyday as the author of the popular Sloppy comic strip during the 1980’s. The novel takes us through divorce, addiction, family tragedy, and HIV/AIDS. Motshumi’s novel – permeated by the shadow of the Apartheid regime as seen through the eyes of a child, and then an increasingly politically aware teenager – is a classic South African story. It is also a rich and personal account of universal childhood joys and challenges, from hunting lizards, fording rivers and negotiating new schoolmates. It is the first part of the trilogy to be published with two volumes to follow.

THE APARTMENT IN BAB EL LOUK African comics on the Zebra Comics Blog

Described as a noir poem, The Apartment in Bab El Louk is written by Donia Maher and illustrated by Ganzeer and Ahmed Nady. The award-winning graphic novel is a formless telling of the events of the Tahrir square protests. Ganzeer has described it as “the reflections of an old recluse in the busy downtown Cairo neighbourhood of Bab El-Louk.”

This revolutionary work takes readers into the emotions and reflections of the Tahrir protests inspired by those who watched the uprising unfold. It renders a relevant portrayal of Downtown Cairo that captures its ennui and vibrancy, and delivers it in an evocative work.

The Apartment in Bab El Louk doesn’t have a linear trajectory and doesn’t abide by the traditional storytelling formats, but it doesn’t need to. It is more like a scene from a story we know all too well and therein lies its brilliance.

On-est-ensemble_African comics on the zebra comics blog

We’re together!!! A very popular expression in Cameroon, the country of origin of the author of this comic strip, which is in itself more of a graphic novel than a comic strip, the expression is intended to answer questions such as: What’s it like? It can also be used when shaking hands to say goodbye. As if to say that even far away, brotherhood remains. The novel features some wonderful chronicles of young people’s daily quest for the holy grail of success.

Tepson is a little crazy, but as crazy as his dreams allow. Tepson wants to become the next Bob Marley, Tepson wants to break through* thanks to reggae music, and his idol-like looks are no contradiction. This piece was created by Yannick Deuboue and published by Waanda Comics.

Tumbu African comics on the zebra comics blog

Tumbu chronicles the adventures of Tumbu, a young boy who lives in Koni Quarter, an imaginary neighbourhood in Cameroon. Through his eyes, we see how the lives of different characters intertwine in a hilarious and soothing way. Tumbu is a commentary on the lives of the ordinary man and what it means to live communal life in Cameroon. It is created by Ejob Nathanael and published by Zebra Comics PLC.

OUPS! African comics on the zebra comics blog

Set in a “mini cité” in Yaoundé, the capital of Cameroon, this comic strip by Cameroonian artist Georges Pondy focuses on the daily lives of attractive, funny and oblivious teenagers. Oups is a demonstration of the talent of artist George Pondy, published by AKOMA MBA in 2012. The author of this series reveals the daily lives of young tenants in a student hostel full of surprises and adventures. The characters have their own particularities. Sam, one of the tenants of the hostel, is a woman with generous and harmonious curves… a bombshell. Because of her beauty, she is so coveted by men, often mistaken for an easy lay. Despite the sexual harassment she suffers, Sam continues to hone her weapons for new conquests. Woe betide the next beast. The artist’s distinctive graphic style is always realistic, and her actions are consistent with the storyline. The author also shows us that appearances are often deceptive. This is an African comic with strong graphics by Georges Pondy.

Slice of life comics come in different shades and colours. As the above clearly demonstrates, even though there aren’t many so slice of life African comics, compared to other genres, there are still a decent amount of well crafted slice of life titles that will entertain readers like any other genre.

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