The final trailer of one of the most anticipated movies of this year, Black Panther, just dropped. Without sounding too excited, I really think its too dope. So dope I am going to be in that cinema queue pushing eager kids out of the way just to secure a seat. Do we sound mean? No lol!
As excited as we are, the vibe is not catching onto the majority of Zimbabweans despite the fact that one of the lead characters is a Zimbabwean. Call it ignorance or lack of exposure to the comic book world but Zimbabweans generally do not understand the gist of comic book adaptations except for the fact that they get their fix of an action-packed movie. However, the case with Black Panther is quite complex.
This is a comic book story which tries to delve into the African culture, borrowing words ( and sometimes creating them lol) and creating an image of what an African superhero would look like in a technologically advanced African state. Nevermind the bad accents that the trailers offered, my main focus is the Afrocentric view of a superhero. the values of being a guardian, an African King. Most of us can pick a lot of relatable things in the story and that’s not to say any of us are actual Kings!
The Zimbabwe Comic book community has been trying but struggling badly to introduce the concept of local heroes and its not entirely a Zimbabwean problem. This issue encompasses the whole of Africa save for a few instances where comic book characters have captured the interest of a wide audience. An example is the Supa Strikas which originated from South Africa and through the support of Spurs Steak Ranch and Total Petroleum its influence grew and some of us even owned a few copies of it. That’s just one though and it’s definitely not Zimbabwean.
However, imagine this. Danai Gurira with the current pull she has as a cast member of Black Panther hosts a Marvel backed activation in Zimbabwe and also gives a platform to the hardworking illustrators of local comic books to exhibit their projects. That could have the double the impact of all Comexposed events that have been held in the past. That’s huge for comic book creators and a huge step for Danai in really affirming to us that she is our voice in the global film indusrty.
It’s just a wish though. A wish I would like Danai to fulfill even if we are more than 300 days away from Christmas Day. Please, sis, do this before you fly out of this country!