Boki the Lion cub is the inner spirit of all Bokobokids. Boki has no fear and enjoys channeling inner joy to create and imagine a world of endless possibilities for self-expression and living happily. Boki is cheerful and fearless and like all little children, Boki is a master storyteller too.
Boki was created by Vera Hoffman, a student of the United World College in Japan. Vera’s African heritage inspired her to recreate Boki based on many memories of an early childhood spent camping in the African bush.
“I wanted Boki to look as innocent as a real lion cub but to also bring out the fierceness in a lion’s energy,” she says.
To create Boki from scratch, it took Vera more than 2 hours to draw each tiny movement. She used ProCreate on her iPad to digitally draw the images and then animated them to create the natural bounce of the playful lion cub.
“I was inspired by Tinga Tinga tales animations and wanted Boki’s mini video to look just as professional, and to be appealing to a young audience,” Vera said.
As a budding artist, it was important to get the colours right and she paid close attention to the design of Boki’s growing mane while careful to create a realistic version of a lion cub. The purple flowers are symbolic too, as they represent the bokoboko plant that is native to West Africa. This plant grows wildly and is considered a type of spinach known as a Efo Gbure in Yoruba of waterleaf in English.
Vera’s visualization of Boki the playful lion running through a field of purple bokoboko flowers really captures the bright and cheerful character of Bokobokids.
Vera’s message to the world is:
I hope all kids can be inspired to create their own versions of Boki and the flowers, and I hope Boki gives them the kind of playful and friendly vibe of Bokobokids.