Popular singer Toya Delazy has been cast as the voice of the fourth Powerpuff Girl, to star in the next series of the much-loved Cartoon Network show.
The new season of The Powerpuff Girls, set to air in the US at the end of September 2017, will feature a new black Powerpuff team member, as yet unnamed, voiced by the South African singer. The new character will join Blossom, Bubbles and Buttercup in their continuing fight against “evil knuckleheads”, while balancing schoolwork and being millennial feminist icons.
The show, created by artist Craig McCracken in 1998, has been critically acclaimed for its mix of high art and pop culture visual references, combined with humourous, youth-oriented social commentary about fighting injustice, the importance of friendship and embodying strong feminist ideals.
Over the course of the forthcoming five-episode arc, titled the Power of Four, Delazy’s character will be introduced with great fanfare and lots of action. Producers hope that the new character will prove popular enough with global audiences to extend her stay with the team.
This is not Delazy’s first collaboration with the show – in 2016, she recorded a catchy South African version of its theme song, which featured in broadcasts of the series in Africa.
Earlier this year, The Powerpuff Girls was the inspiration for an art exhibit in Cape Town, featuring visual interpretations of the characters by 10 South African artists. The exhibition was a collaboration between Cartoon Network and Rock Girl South Africa, a local NGO that advocates for the rights of girls and women. It included works by Tandiwe Tsabala, Tyla Mason, Ndumiso Nyoni and Anja Venter.
“And we’re not afraid of anything as long as we have each other”🔥🔥🔥 it was the biggest honour to participate in the #PPGartfactory for @cartoonnetworkafrica @cartoonnetworkofficial and @rockgirlsa – localizing the iconic #powerpuffgirls on limited edition silkscreen prints by @blackriverstudio ❤ go check out the exhibition which is running until the 5th of may at @91loop in Cape Town ❤ #girlpower #silkscreen #thatswhatgirlsaremadeof #mojojojo #powerpuff #cartoon #cartoonnetwork #art #artist #sisterhood
In addition to being one of Cartoon Network’s most popular shows globally, it has a keen young female audience across Africa.
“The show and Cartoon Network are [huge] across Africa… reaching an audience of more than 4.9 million viewers [in 2016/17] in South Africa alone,” Colman Murray, business development director of Turner Broadcasting Africa, Cartoon Network’s parent company, told News24 at the exhibition.
The addition of Delazy’s new black character will hopefully help build on that popularity.
“Toya is… a perfect fit for The Powerpuff Girls brand,” Turner Broadcasting European and African vice-president Jaime Ondarza told News24 at the announcement of Delazy’s casting. “She is confident, bubbly and quirky – all the values that we are familiar with, love and appreciate [about the Girls and our audience].”
While most of the new character’s details are under wraps, including what she looks like, her name and where she fits in the Powerpuff canon, Ondarza promises that the new addition will have a significant role to play in the new season. “We have a lot of surprises up our sleeves [for her story].”
Delazy herself is ecstatic about the new role, fulfilment of a lifelong dream. Posting some Instagram images of her recording for the show, she wrote: “History was made… and just like that I became a Powerpuff Girl.”
South African fans of the show voiced their delight with the new African addition to the team across social media.
— mygirlsquad (@mygirlsquad) September 13, 2017
The new season featuring Delazy’s character will premiere in South Africa and the rest of Africa on Cartoon Network (DStv channel 301) shortly after its US broadcast.
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