Mmegi Online :: Black Panther: Black-Americans reimagine Africa
Banners
Banners
Banners
Banners
Last Updated
Friday 21 September 2018, 15:09 pm.
Banners
Black Panther: Black-Americans reimagine Africa

From Henry Morton Stanley’s ‘Dark continent’ to Donald Trump’s ‘Shit-hole’, Black-Americans, or Africans in the Diaspora, have been fed the coloniser’s one-sided narrative of Africa. This narrative, often bordering on racism, has been triumphantly challenged in the movie Black Panther, observes Staff Writer, THALEFANG CHARLES
By Thalefang Charles Fri 23 Feb 2018, 16:45 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: Black Panther: Black-Americans reimagine Africa








When most Black-Americans, especially the conscious clenched-fist-in-the-air types, talk about Africa they say it with such deep and affectionate conviction that it is almost religious. 

They call it ‘The Motherland’.  To most of them, Africa is their source, their cradle where they could trace their entire ancestry.

Some of these Africans in the diaspora have even attempted to trace their genealogy back to The Motherland.

In 2006 queen of TV talk shows, Oprah Winfery declared that she was a Zulu from South Africa after participating in a television programme called African American Lives to trace her genealogy.

Other African-American luminaries, that participated in the search of their African roots were actress Whoopi Goldberg who found her roots in Guinea-Bissau, comedian Chris Tucker - found his roots are Cameroon, Bishop T.D. Jakes discovered his roots in Nigeria and physician cum politician Ben Carson found his in Kenya.

Albeit awkward, these rather feeble attempts to find their direct connection to their place of origin demonstrated their devotion to Africa as their Motherland.

But throughout the years, these Black-Americans have been fed the coloniser’s narrative of Africa. From Henry Morton Stanley’s ‘Dark continent’ to Donald Trump’s ‘Shit-hole’, this is the African tale they have been presented with.

The West, with their global media productions, has led a sickening monologue of their imagination of Africa.

This ‘Motherland’ of Black-Americans has been depicted as a jungle with lots of roaming wild animals; full of primitive people; starving children with kwashiorkor potbellies; flies swarming their little dirty faces with big protruding eyes; warmongering dictators with rebel soldiers brandishing old AK47 rifles; and images of AIDS together with all the deadly diseases rummaging poor people.

So instead of complaining and presenting intellectual debates about how bad the West’s African narrative was (which usually ends up being generalised into a racist connotation referencing black people in general), young Black-American filmmakers have produced a blockbuster of a film about their imagination of Africa titled Black Panther.

Produced by Marvel Studios and directed by a 31-year-old Ryan Coogler, who co-wrote it with Joe Robert Cole, Black Panther is an inspiring breath of fresh air, a presentation of a new kind of imagination that is almost revolutionary by Black-Americans on what it means to be an African. It is a superhero film based on the Marvel Comics character of Black Panther.

The film has many firsts. It is unapologetically black and proud (white people – ‘don’t be scared colonisers’ - the film has instructions on how to be the best allies of black people, so it is important for you to watch it too).

It is the first superhero movie with a predominantly black cast, black director, black writers, black costume designers, production designers, and a black executive producer.

Starring in the film is Chadwick Boseman as T’Challa / the Black Panther, alongside Michael B. Jordan as N’Jadaka / Erik ‘Killmonger’ Stevens, Lupita Nyong’o as Nakia, Danai Gurira as Okoye, Martin Freeman as Everett K. Ross, Daniel Kaluuya as W’Kabi, Letitia Wright as Shuri, Winston Duke as M’Baku, Angela Bassett as Ramonda, Forest Whitaker

Banners

as Zuri, and Andy Serkis as Ulysses Klaue.

“We were making a film about what it means to be African,” film director, Coogler was quoted by The Rolling Stone magazine.

The young director said, “It was a spirit that we all brought to it, regardless of heritage. The codename for the project was Motherland, and that’s what it was. We all went to school on Africa.”

They imagined an Afrofuturistic nation of Wakanda hidden somewhere in central Africa in the Rwenzori Mountains and Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in Uganda.

Wakanda nation is the richest and technologically advanced thanks to its rare vibranium (fictional metal) but poses as a Third World African country. 

A prince named T’Challa (Black Panther) returns home after the death of his father to take his rightful place as king. But suddenly his mettle as king is challenged in a conflict that threatens the fate of Wakanda.

The movie captures both the science fiction and spirituality (what the coloniser calls ‘black magic’) in a triumphant duet that would impress the anti-black medicine colonisers like David Livingstone.

As Coogler said that they went to “school of Africa”, the producers did a sterling job in imagining Africa.

They chose the distinctive languages of the Xhosa from South Africa with its melodious clicks and the predominately Nigerian accent with its extended rhythmic “Oos” at the end of the sentences.

Although the movie was mainly shot in the US and South Korea, the producers used the aerial shots of the dramatic mountains of the Drakensberg or Maluti dotted with Lesotho roundavels.

Orbi Gorge in South Africa apparently inspired the rocks of Warrior Falls in the movie. Another South African landscape referenced in the movie is the Blyde River Canyon.

There are also scenes showing the Rwenzori Mountains and the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in central Africa.

Costume designers went to town with the famous designs from about 10 African tribes.

Ruth E. Carter, movie Costume Designer said they referenced the Maasai and Tarkana from Kenya, Himba - Namibia, Dogon - Mali, Basotho - Lesotho, Tuareg – Sahara Desert, Xhosa and Zulu – South Africa, Suri – Ethiopia, and Dinka from South Sudan.

So the nation of Wakanda has a kaleidoscopic of costumes including the Sotho blankets, Agbada robes, kente scarfs, Mursi and Surma lip plates, tribal body tattoos as famously worn by N’Jadaka/Killmonger, Himba hairstyles with their red ochre make-up, Igbo masks, and Ndebele neck rings.

The film also touched on the subject of black history, highlighting the fact that most of priceless centuries’ old black artifacts have been stolen and are now housed in western museums.

Having premiered during the Black History month in the US, Black Panther is an inspiring film, especially for Black-American children who have been brainwashed by the world media into believing in white superheroes and condemning Africa as a ‘dark continent’ or ‘Shit-hole’.

 

*Thalefang Charles, donning his black beret, a t-shirt with striking decoration of embroidery of colourful African beads and ankara pants, watched the premiere of Black Panther at New Capital Cinemas at the invitation of Multichoice Botswana.

Subscribe to our Newsletter
Banners
Banners
Banners


Lifestyle
Banners
Banners
Exchange Rates
FOREIGN EXCHANGE: Wednesday, 17 Jan 2018
FOREIGN / PULA
PULA / FOREIGN
1 USD = Pula   9.7656
1 GBP = Pula   13.4590
1 EUR = Pula   11.9617
1 YEN = Pula   0.0882
1 ZAR = Pula   0.7938
1 Pula = USD   0.1024
1 Pula = GBP   0.0743
1 Pula = EUR   0.0836
1 Pula = YEN   11.34
1 Pula = ZAR   1.2597
Subscribe to our Newsletter
have a story? Send us a Tip
Banners
  • Previous
    Next
    Masa Centre
    ::: Saturday 22 Sep - Saturday 22 Sep :::
  • Previous
    Next
    Riverwalk
    ::: Saturday 22 Sep - Saturday 22 Sep :::
  • Previous
    The Meg
    Next
    Gamecity
    ::: Friday 10 Aug - Sunday 07 Aug :::
    The Meg
Selefu
Maruping go a boelwa.
Banners
Banners
istanbul escort