Ridwan Moshood 

Garbage Boy

The third and final winner is non-other than Ridwaan Moshood who created Garbage Boy, modeled from his own experience.

  1. Tell us more about yourself?

I was born and raised in Lagos Nigeria, where I attended school up to senior high school level. I developed a keen interest in animation but couldn’t follow my dream due to lack of fees. I wasn’t able to pay for online classes, and, we don’t have a school for animation in Lagos. I decided to teach myself by watching YouTube tutorials.

I started doing animation using Adobe Animate, but it was difficult as I had no laptop to practice on, so I just wrote down whatever I learned. Soon I was able to get a paid job as an illustrator. With the money I made I helped my family and was able to raise funds to buy a laptop. It wasn’t the best, but it got the job done, and that is how I started my career in animation. I’ve been learning and developing my skills ever since.

As of now, I work remotely as a freelance animator, while also writing and creating original contents which I plan to unveil soon.

  1. How did you get into animation?

Ever since I was a kid, I always wondered how cartoons were made. While most of my friends were outdoors playing, I spent most of my time indoors watching my favorite cartoons and drawing the characters, my favorite of being Dexter’s Lab.

Fast forward to my junior secondary school years where I watched a show where they explained how 2D animation was made. I was so amazed to see how fluid the animations were, and the amount of work put into making them. I knew then exactly what I wanted to do when I grew up!

  1. What schools can one look into?

There are a lot of amazing animation schools out there like Animation Mentor, DAVE School, and Udemy just to name a few. If you can’t afford any of these schools, you don’t have to give up on your dreams of becoming an animator. YouTube has almost everything you need to learn animation. It is the biggest online free school you can ever get! I learned 90 percent of what I know today on YouTube. You can do it too, don’t let anything or anyone stop you. 

  1. How did you draw inspiration for this project?

The idea for the show came to me way before I even thought I could ever enter Cartoon Network Africa’s Creative Lab. It was way back when I was in a junior secondary school in about  2006.

I grew up watching shows like The Powerpuff Girls and Johnny Bravo, but my favorite of them being Dexter’s Lab created by Genndy Tartakovsky (what I will do just to see him in real life). His work has inspired me throughout my childhood.

But what really inspired the idea for the show is an event from my junior secondary school, an event I don’t really like sharing, because it’s very embarrassing.

I attended a government junior secondary school. Out there it’s like the wild old west. So, one faithful day on an environmental sanitation day, I was asked to take out the trash from the class. Arriving at the dump, I met some older students there. I could tell from their faces that they weren’t nice and meeting them there was bad news! I tried to dump the trash as fast as I could and get out of there, but one of them came closer to me and asked me to go buy him a drink with my own money. I resisted and then he grabbed my uniform and called his two friends. They came closer and they had a debate on what to do with me. One guy came up with the genius idea of ‘dumping the trash on my head’, so they collected the basket of trash from me (with force) and dumped it on me. The three bullies, including onlookers, started laughing and pointing at me. They called me all sorts of names, and one of those names was Trash Boy.

That day was one of the saddest days of my school years. When things like this happen to me, I tend to heal myself through creativity – I grab some paper and draw, and as time goes on, I heal. But this time it was different, I couldn’t shake it off, the name Trash Boy kept popping up. Kids who witnessed the event wouldn’t stop calling me that name. It wouldn’t leave my mind either, so one day in class, while drawing at the back of my math notebook, I created a character, and the name Trash Boy kept ringing in my mind. I decided to name the character Garbage Boy instead to cope with the event of the day I was bullied and to embrace who I am. I am Ridwan Moshood. I am who I want to be, not what some bullies tried to pin on me. Ever since I kept on developing the character into a show. I designed a second character, Trashcan, making him Garbage Boy’s sidekick. And as time went on, I created more characters.

Fun Fact: Garbage Boy has my personality, so you can say we are one and the same … LOL!

  1. Africa is starting to gain momentum with both content in games and animation, where do you see us in the next decade?

 Winning the Cartoon Network Africa Creative Lab competition is a huge deal to me. As a young African creator, who is barely known in the animation industry, I believe this put me on the radar of young creators to look out for in the future.

I can see myself creating more content that will go big worldwide, like those of the creators that inspire me like Genndy Tartakovsky, Craig McCracken (The Powerpuff Girls), and Butch Hartman (Fairly Odd Parents and Danny Phantom), and many others I didn’t mention here. In the next 1O years, I see myself influencing new animators and creators all over Africa. 

  1. Do current trends influence your scripts?

Of course, they do, but not all of my work is influenced by trends. Times are changing and different kinds of interesting trends pop up every day, so I think following the trends is one of the things one should put into consideration when creating a show in today’s setting. 

  1. Any last words to young animators?

To all young animators and creators out there, and to those who are still contemplating whether to get into animation or not, my advice for you is to start practicing today and never ever stop. Don’t let anything or anyone tell you can’t do it. Sure there will be challenges that will make you want to give up on this journey, but you’ve got to stand tall and keep aspiring to be greater than those animators and creators you look up to … if they can do it, you can too!