The new Disney+ Series, Iwájú takes place in the futuristic city of Lagos. There are technological advancements like flying cars and bionic lizards, but it’s also rooted in a strong sense of Nigerian identity. The story centers around a young girl named Tola (voiced by Simisola Gbadamosi). She is turning 10 and lives in the prosperous island suburb. She yearns to establish a deeper connection with her father, who is a thriving tech entrepreneur.

As the story goes along we get to meet her best friend Kole (Siji Soetan), the villain team, as well as watch the backstory of some characters that’s supposed to explain why we’re here. However, I wish the backstory was differentiated more. At times I didn’t realize that’s what I was watching until it became incredibly clear by using someone’s name.


Iwájú is stunning. From Animation to the technological world, all the high-tech gadgets I wish were real, as well as Tola who is adorable! I truly fell in love with the world and characters of Lagos. That said, I found the actual premise to be quite unsettling. The very short 6 episode series comes across as a kidnapping for kids.

Let’s talk about the Big Bad and the gist of the storyline. During a backstory, we see the big bad’s hatred and jealousy of rich people blind him. So much so, that he causes his mother to lose her cleaning job for a rich family’s home. He blames the family instead of his poor actions. So, we meet him again as an adult. He still hates wealthy people so much that his solution to making his world better is wild. He kidnaps the rich children for money. Then, he and his team treat them kindly. Then, returns them for large sums of money. No harm no foul.

While this type of story isn’t new I find it odd for a children’s show. I understand telling a story about the treatment of individuals from varying economic backgrounds within society. That said, are we trying to scare kids or make them more aware? I’m confused. Bionic bodyguard lizards aren’t real. Children, as well as adults, face this danger every day. I’m still trying to figure out what the lesson for young viewers is supposed to be.

I also think Iwájú would have been better as a movie. Where the episode’s end feels jarring and unnatural. The episodes are already 20 minutes or less. Just make it a movie. All of this to say, while I wasn’t in love with this introduction to the world I want to go back and explore Lagos more with Tola!

 Iwájú is on Disney+ now. Watch it and let me know your thoughts.