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CGAfrica Competition: Legend Of Shango: The Third Emperor (3D Character Design) Sponsored by Framestore Challenge

Months after the successful announcement of the winner of Legend of Sango: The Third Emperor- 2D Competition, CGAfrica once again call on all talented and aspiring CG artists to join in this competition. 


The theme of the first CGAfrica Competition is Legend of Shango - The Third Emperor


This challenge aims not only to bring the mighty Emperor Shango to reality but most of all to challenge the creativity, ingenuity, imagination and modelling skills of the budding African artists. It is a chance of a lifetime to showcase your talents to Africa’s renowned artists and judges for a possible critique of your works.

As a sequel to the 2D design challenge, this contest will focus on the 3D modelling of Emperor Shango as depicted by the winner of the previous competition.

 Entries must be based on the reference provided here


Let this mythical ruler bring out your best modelling skill, Be brave….




Shango (Ṣàngó) was a royal ancestor of the Yoruba people in West Africa. (Now largely based in western Nigeria). He was the third king to rule the Oyo empire.   
Shango was one of the most powerful rulers of the Yoruba People and is popular for his powerful axe, red robes and beads. His reign was marked by ongoing campaigns and many battles. He is considered to have brought prosperity to the Oyo Empire. Shango is described in some oral tradition as one with a voice like thunder and a mouth that spewed fire when he spoke.   
Shango’s rule was marked by whimsical use of power! One account asserts that Shango has the ability to spit fire when angry and that he inadvertently caused a thunderstorm and lightning that struck his palace; hence he’s mythically referred to as one who controls lightning.   
We are challenging artists to imagine what Shango looked like as an emperor. We are looking for your ability to breathe life into the iconic character of Shango as a man.

The Oyo Empire was a powerful Yoruba empire of west Africa, made up of parts of present-day Eastern Benin and western Nigeria. It grew to become the largest Yoruba-speaking state.

The first Alaafin of Oyo, Ọ̀rànmíyàn, was a courageous and warlike king. He left behind him two renowned sons, Ajaka and Sango, both of whom succeeded him in turns and both of whom became famous in history for having run a deified after death. 

Sango was the third king of the Oyo kingdom. He was enthroned as a young man. Influential statemen sought to take advantage of his youth; one of the statemen demanded tribute from Sango but flatly. This later developed into a standoff where his capital city was besieged and a battle ensured between his supporters and the opposing faction. Equipped with his weapon of choice- a double-headed axe, Sango displayed bravery as well as tricks on the battlefield- He could erupt smoke from his mouth and nostrils- terrifying the enemy army to the point of panic. 

The enemy forces subsequently fled the city. Pushed on to the advantage, he became firmly established on the throne with victories in battle after battle. Following his strong grip on power, he subsequently became elated and tyrannical. 

With a fiery temper, Sango was skilled in sleight-of-hand tricks. He had a habit of emitting fire and smoke out of his mouth, which greatly increased the dread his subjects had of him.

One of Sango’s 3 wives -Oya had the power to summon rain.  Together with Sango's fire-spitting ability, they were a powerful force they had terrific and swift victories in battles. When it was time to ravage their enemies, Oya, who had the power to summon wind, would blow off roofs, fall trees, and breathe life into the fire set by Sango.

Sango wore his hair plaited as a tribute to his beloved wife Oya. 

 On one occasion when an enslaved person failed to carry out his assignment, Sango ordered 122 razor cuts slashed all over the slave’s body as punishment. The scars left by these wounds strangely took the fancy of the King's wife, who thought that they added comeliness to the man. Sango subsequently subjected himself to the Olùwàlàs (the markers) to get similar scars to please his wife.

His restlessness marked Sango's reign. He fought many battles. It was claimed that he knew some preparation by which he could attract lightning. 

The palace at Oyo was built at the foot of a hill. One day, the king, garbed in his signature red robes ascended this hill accompanied by his courtiers and some of his slaves, cousins but none of his children. He wanted to try one of his preparation which got out of control. Lightning struck the palace before they came down the hill, and the buildings were razed to the ground. Many of his children and properties perished in the fire. 

Realizing he was the architect of his misfortune and consumed by guilt, he abdicated the throne and subsequently hung himself in a shea butter tree to preserve his honour.