Since the creation of comics in the 30’s, not much about it has changed especially in the area of character development. We have the uber sleek hero, the villain, the damsel in distress, and not so much distress and other characters. We’ve gotten so used to it we don’t expect much else and it’s not everyday that you come across a comic that’s different from the rest. I know all comics are not the same and that there is variation in the characters from one comic to another, but you’ll have to agree with me that the female characters in most comics are pretty much the same. They have the porn star/super model look that’s not so common or easy to relate to and are mostly sexualised in the comics. Suggestive clothing and posture that makes you want to master yoga, and gives you a mental picture of the writers opinion of women, which in my opinion isn’t very good.
When you see similar images over a period of time no matter how interesting the story line is, a feeling of ennui begins to set in. So, it’s refreshing to see a comic that doesn’t tow the line of others, and that’s what I felt when I read Etubi’s MUMU JUJU. The female characters are very different and dynamic and are totally relatable which makes it fun and easy to read.
This is why I love the characters:
A little dynamite in her own right that rules the roost. She’s also the leader of the Red Witches and is the voice that whispers into the ears of the very muscular / powerful Kenga, although most times she lets him think he’s in charge all his moves are by her voice. You can never really tell her age because she is petite and possesses the secret to what we all crave ‘eternal youthfulness’ and you never expect so much can come from one so small.
Now, Tomi reminds me of the girl next door well until she’s provoked and turns into the good sister from Oz the great and powerful when she finally went rogue and is just as emotional. She’s more volatile than an active volcano, so much that the elders of the White Witches (which she’s a member of) had to give her a garment that reflects her moods and makes it easy for them to keep track of her. Her weapon of choice when in a battle, is a Sceptre.
Her sister Tobi? Now that’s another interesting character. The only thing they have in common is their desire to get their revenge on Ee for the death of their mother who was the former Queen of the Red Witches. Tobi is a major badass, cool, calm and mature but with an insatiable need for revenge. She favors the Axe when going to battle.
My all-time favorite is Aunty Ejule, the oldest woman and the wisest person in Mumu Juju. Although no one has ever dared to challenge the veracity of her words. It’s one of two things, either she’s truly wise or they fear the wicked way she wields the knife. If you believe the rumors that she’s a witch, you wouldn’t be surprised that her weapon of choice is ‘Culinary Wizardy’. If you are an amazing cook like her, it’s only apt that that’s your secret weapon. She’s also a mother figure to one of the main characters Pestle.
Amariya, 2nd to no one, protector of the desert orb, she who cannot be wooed, although Mortar has grown and undying love for this powerful purple thunder, Amariya is emotional but is not over powered by it she is level headed and is an attractive goddess who is not vainly pursed in her looks, she is more concerned with her duty and purpose.
Last but not the least; we have Iyawo, the sensational no nonsense ex-wife of Pestle. She’s a Red Witch and her allegiance lies with Ee, but even Ee knows not to mess with her cause she is as powerful as she is unpredictable. I love that her weapon/power is the ‘Juju of Nature’.
Mumu Juju is an eclectic mix of very real characters that are wholesome and easy to relate to. But for me the female characters brought it home.
Written By Nebechi Erika Okoye (Editor In Chief – Vortex Comics)