Film Forward

Meet Three Female Superheroes Who Are Fighting For The Rights Of Girls In Ethiopia

The Tibeb Girls to the rescue!

It's a bird. It's a plane. No, it's the Tibeb Girls — three badass female superheroes fighting for African girls' rights in a fun-yet-smart way.

Tibeb Girls is a revolutionary cartoon in Ethiopia that features a group of three young women who tackle some of the biggest issues plaguing the country's girls, such as illiteracy, HIV, child marriage, female genital mutilation, and education — just to name a few.

The three superheroes are Power Girl (whose power include superhuman strength and speed), Whiz Kid Girl (whose power is to see into the future), and Empathy Girl (whose power is feeling the feelings of others). The Tibeb Girls have been described as having the "whimsy of the Powerpuff Girls" and the "educational rigor of ... 60 Minutes," per Global Citizen

Tibeb Girls was created by Whiz Kids Workshop, the same people behind Tsehai Loves Learning, and a company founded by a woman and that is almost exclusively made up of women.

"Most of the issues we're raising aren't discussed in the community, schools, or in the house," Bruktawit Tigabu — Whiz Kids Workshop's CEO, founder, and creative director — told TV2Africa, per Mashable. "That's another inspiration — to really break the taboo, and to give [girls] a very entertaining and engaging way to talk about serious subjects."

Most children's shows in Africa are brought over from the West and don't necessarily speak to the issues facing children there. But, with shows such as Tibeb Girls, that could change.

"For me, it was very important to have girls who look like me and who look like my child to be on the screen playing very good role models," Tigabu said in the same interview with TV2Africa.

While we can't see Tibeb Girls for ourselves — as it's only available through school screenings and events around Ethiopia — it has completed a first season, has plans for a second, and could potentially get broadcast to a wider audience in the future.

Plus, they're published as a comic book and radio series, too. More Tibeb Girls, please!

The ways we watch TV and movies have evolved, and it's time for the talent in front of and behind the camera to do the same. Film Forward speaks on the initiatives to diversify the film industry and the stories it tells. New articles premiere every second Thursday of — and throughout — the month.

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