We hooked up with the young man behind the 'Riddlemation' of Gh's rising animation industry. Meet Delanyo Sabblah, an artist, animator and filmmaker. He works under the pen name, Riddle. He is a trained Animator from the National Film and Television Institute - Ghana (Nafti) and the creative lead at Riddlemations Studios.
What's the riddle in the 'mation' for you? Riddle is a nickname I got from senior high school because of my creative skills in art, basketball and dancing. The statement went like this “the things you are able to do can never be predicted by just looking at you.... it’s like a riddle, it is not too obvious, we will call you Riddle ”. With funny nick names flying around at school, I thought it smart to embrace Riddle to prevent something worse. I decided to build my brand effectively around the name and I’ve not regretted yet.
You seem to major in 2D. Yes. I’m specialized in 2D character animation. By the above specialization, I’m able to provide services in storyboarding, character design, and illustrations in general as a byproduct. The core mandate of the studio is to tell stories that will entertain, educate and represent the rich culture of Ghana. As part of the studio’s contribution to the animation ecosystem in Ghana, we create opportunities for young artists and animation enthusiasts to study and partake in animation production. Riddlemations studios is a growing storytelling hub that seeks to project African values through storytelling and art.
" Projecting African values". Really love that. Yes, We find ourselves in a global village that has softened boundaries that resist influences from different cultures into the Ghanaian space. If media content from all over the world are influencing adults to lose their cultural values, how much more young ones who may be relatively weak willed. This era is the right time for content producers to consciously project Ghanaian values through storytelling to preserve our history, transfer our values to our young generation and sell our culture to other nations. Representation matters very much in such cases; it’s better we tell our stories ourselves or become victims of stereotypic narratives by foreign authors.
What's your most popular work? Most animation enthusiasts know Riddle for the short film, 'Okpo Hunter'. This animated short was produced in 2014 and has been exhibited at quite a number of film festivals. My team and I have worked on few commercial projects for institutions like Vanguard Assurance, Marie Stopes, First platinum Ltd, Korle-Bu teaching hospital and many others. We have also ventured out into the live action film space by providing 2D animation services.
Gh is hungry for home made contents. What are we to expect from the Riddle team?
We definitely have enough visual riddles to share for years. Lol! We are working on a short animated film, ‘Rule of Thumb’ . We hope to share it with our audience soon. In the meantime we will continue to produce short funny illustrations and videos to share via our social media platforms.
Thumbs up in advance for the makers of the 'Rule of Thumb'. Continue to push the boundaries!