7-Year-Old Social Entrepreneur Who’s SA’s Freshest Comic Book Creator
Prince Mashawana (7) has created a compelling new superhero – SuperMash – whose adventures will help our young kids face some of life’s biggest challenges through his original comic book series.
Social entrepreneurship and content creation have become the buzzwords of late. The idea of the socially orientated entrepreneur often grabs the headlines. Traditionally, a social entrepreneur is expected to be an adult, but in South Africa, this seven-year-old has changed the game.
Prince Mashawana has developed a compelling Superhero called SuperMash, which he launched as a compelling comic book, supported by merchandise including T-shirts, caps, lunch boxes and bags. To evoke social responsibility and self-awareness, SuperMash responds in very specific ways when faced with challenges.
SuperMash is a special character – who is posed with common life challenges and draws inspiration in how those challenges can be overcome. The storyline excavates many of the most emotionally challenging issues facing young South Africans today, such as adapting to new living environments, learning how to read and write as well as self-confidence issues.
“I wanted to see a superhero with stories that are more like real life,” says Prince. “Young people in Mzansi have a lot of challenges. I thought it would be fun to have stories and a hero about that. So that’s what the business is all about.”
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SuperMash is the country’s first black child fictional superhero, who encourages kids to see themselves as heroes. His character is centered around the idea that he is that friend that can share his superpowers which are unleashed by wearing the SuperMash wristband. Not only will children become better equipped to meet and overcome challenges, but they will also learn the true depth of the power within themselves as they assume personal responsibility, grow emotionally and boost self-awareness.
In collaboration with his parents, actress Lerato Zah and his father, prominent businessman Collen Mashawana Mashawana, Prince has established a business model where he co-produces animated bedtime short stories, movies and books. He also sells stationery, school bags, lunch boxes and a clothing range, all featuring SuperMash as the hero.
“It’s been fascinating to watch someone so young develop something like this,” says Collen Mashawana. “The desire to use creativity to help young South Africans deal with life challenges in a positive way has been incredible to see. Even more amazing to see was the hard work and dedication that Prince has put in while working on this project with Omphile and Phemelo Dibodu at Rainbow Nation Comics. It’s been an inspiring and motivating journey for all of us, and one we’ve really enjoyed and are extremely proud of”.
Rainbow Nation Comics, a South African comic book publisher that creates original, authentic and proudly South African Superhero Stories has partnered with Prince to take his concept to a fully professional level that will see readers entertained with the added benefit of having options to own the merchandising.