Yohance, before anything else, is an African Space Opera -the first of its kind. With that comes the responsibility of designing a truly unique aesthetic. It requires worldbuilding on the massive scale of Star Wars or Star Trek but in an entirely different way. The trick with Yohance (and all subsequent IPs) was to create futuristic worlds exclusively using Pre-colonial African influences. This was a tremendous feat of design that took about seven years to perfect. The end result is an authentically African look that can stand on par with the most sophisticated Western Space Operas.
A Missed Opportunity
Because Afro Fantasy and Sci Fi are relatively new genres in mainstream, it’s understandable that Afrofuturist design is still elusive to most creators. Even multi-million dollar blockbusters such as Marvel’s Black Panther seem to have missed the mark. Blending random Post-colonial African Elements from across the continent with Western perceptions of technology. The result was the equivalent of a Buddhist Monk wearing the King of England’s Crown. This can even be offensive when a sacred piece of regalia is used as a fashion statement. A stylist wouldn’t necessarily think of this but a designer would.
African Design Done Right