Writer in Residence

Roye Okupe

Presented in partnership with 

The co-founder of YouNeek Studios, Roye Okupe brings superheroes to life and brings diverse viewpoints to the table. Okupe is changing the face of the genre and collecting critical acclaim along the way.


Born in Lagos, Nigeria, Roye Okupe is a creative specialist who holds both a Bachelor’s and Master’s in computer science from The George Washington University. His passion for animation led him to found YouNeek Studios in 2012, an avenue that would allow him pursue his dream of creating a diverse library of superheroes. Under that umbrella, Roye wrote, produced and directed several animated productions including, but not limited to, 2D/3D animated short films, TV commercials, show openers, music videos and much more. These productions have allowed Roye to attain much prestigious recognitions such as being #5 on Ventures Africa’s list of 40 African innovators to watch (2016) as well as being part of New African Magazine’s 100 most influential Africans of 2016.

With the superhero genre currently at the height of popularity, Roye has made it a goal to create a connected universe of heroes, with origins from locations that are currently neglected and/or ignored. In August 2015, Roye released his debut graphic novel titled: E.X.O. The Legend of Wale Williams Part One, a superhero story set in a futuristic Nigeria. E.X.O. was received with critical acclaim and has since been featured on CNN, Forbes, The New York Times, NBC, The Guardian, ABC7, BBC, The Huffington Post, Mashable and more.

Okupe is a featured participant in the inaugural 2017 Festival Writer Residency program, a collaboration between the Virginia Festival of the Book and the Tom Tom Founders Festival.



Perspectives from Africa: Ndibe, Okupe, and Omotoso

Friday, March 24 – 2:00PM





Book Signing with Roye Okupe

Friday, March 24 – 4:00PM





Steps to Achieving the Impossible

Wednesday, April 5 – 2:00pm



Founders Summit Luncheon – Design and Branding

Friday, April 15 – 12:00pm




Writer-in-Residence Talk: Roye Okupe

Saturday, April 15 – 4:00pm;