Láolú Senbanjo’s singular pattern work animated for anti-Malaria campaign

The Beyonce collaborator’s distinctive “Afromysteric” drawings have been brought to life in 2D and 3D animation for Draw the Line Against Malaria.

22 April 2021
Reading Time
2 minutes


Nigerian, Brooklyn-based visual artist Láolú Senbanjo has brought his distinctive pattern work to a global campaign for NGO Malaria No More. The Draw the Line Against Malaria campaign by Dentsu International includes a film created by animation studio Lobo, wherein Senbanjo’s drawings are brought to life in 2D animated and 3D mapped sequences. The campaign aims to raise mass awareness of the Zero Malaria Starts with Me movement in malaria-affected countries and beyond, which hopes to end malaria within a generation.

Senbanjo is known for his artworks drawing inspiration from African tradition, Yoruba patterns and Nigerian symbols, which he has brought to everything from Nike and Apple collabs to magazine covers, installations at Art Basel Miami, and music videos, including Beyonce’s Sorry on her visual album, Lemonade. He has coined his art as “Afromysterics,” meaning mystery of the African thought pattern.

The artist’s pattern work comes to life in the film, created by a team of 2D and 3D artists and animators. In some sequences, Senbanjo’s patchworks are applied as textures to 3D models; in others they are “drawn” before viewers’ eyes, filling the screen with pattern and shape, and emphasising the campaign messages. The film is narrated by fellow Beyonce collaborator Yemi Alade, the Grammy Award-winning Nigerian Afropop musician and activist, and stars several other African megastars. As such, Dentsu says it intends to “reflect the huge talent, energy and cultural influence emanating from the African continent”.

Senbanjo’s artworks are also used across the campaign as graphics and in photography, where the cast of the film have been painted with, or wear clothing adorned with, his patterns.

An extension to the campaign asks people to visit zeromalaria.org and add a line to a crowdsourced artwork, which will act as a visual call to action to world leaders. The artwork will be shared with leaders at the Kigali Summit on Malaria and Neglected Tropical Diseases, being held on the eve of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Rwanda on 24 June.

The campaign launched in Africa in February with another film directed by Meji Alabi. This latest film is being released globally this week ahead of World Malaria Day on Sunday 25 April.

GalleryDentsu International: Draw the Line Against Malaria (Copyright © Malaria No More, 2021)

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Dentsu International: Draw the Line Against Malaria (Copyright © Malaria No More, 2021)

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About the Author

Jenny Brewer

Jenny joined the editorial team as It’s Nice That’s first news editor in April 2016. Having studied 3D Design, she has spent over a decade working in design journalism. Contact her with news stories relating to the creative industries on jb@itsnicethat.com.

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