Yaaaay! I’m back again to troll you guys and give some nuggets. Wise nuggets and not those sorry excuse for chicken pieces rolled in flour that you get scammed with. Real African food. Food for your feeble minds.
I have not jumped on this bandwagon that has swept my particular neighbourhood. Everyone has been talking about Black Panther week in week out for a while now. My movies discs guy has already assured me that he will secure it once it goes 100%. Most of you are now judging me because of this piracy notion I just raised. Welcome to Zimbabwe folks, we watch all your blockbusters at just 50c a piece!
Some people have tried to invite me to watch the movie at the Eastgate cinema on Tuesdays because of the half price deal they offer there. The only person who has gone through to accept the invitation and actually went to watch it is my wife. I am a stickler for discounts but something about this particular movie is a bit off for me. Sorry Danai, let me explain.
I am not really learned but I am happy to report that my grandmother rooted African beliefs in me. The pride I have to call myself an African and a Zimbabwean secondly, commands all the decisions I make as an adult (not all of them, unfortunately). When I heard of an African superhero movie coming, I really got excited. I rushed to Twitter because a friend from work made me open an account there and I have just realised that its the one stop shop for news on the go. A Marvel Comics banner is the first thing I was met with when I searched for Black Panther.
Ladies and Gentleman plus mafesi emsombodhiya, I really do not care who owns what at Marvel but there is definitely no Black person with any controlling stake. That, therefore, means that Black Panther is not a black owned movie. Some of you are already pissed off right now because you are revelling in the mantra of ‘Black Excellence’. What is black excellence? Appearing in the highest grossing film with bastardised African garbs or actually owning the concept and the whole movie?
I have watched Thor, a movie based on Norse mythology which is a form of spirituality some people still practice up to now. That is a story with a REAL background. Black Panther is based on an idea which was conceptualised in the United States for the consumption of the American people. We caught onto the train and Marvel saw an opportunity to make a killing with the whole pan-Africanist agenda going on. That is the cold truth people. All other REAL cultural have precedence over the beautiful stories we have of African warriors who accomplished inhumane tasks. That’s not a mistake or oversight, it’s Hollywood.
As you celebrate these comic characters, I have to ask you very integral questions. Who is going to tell real African superhero stories? The stories of Chaminuka, Jaja of Opobo, Shango of the Oyo and so forth. Will African Film Makers ever benefit from stories supposedly based on this continent? Are we going to celebrate the fact that Black Panther is the highest grossing film even if that gives Marvel more resources to continue exploiting us? To the hypocrites who went for the premiere and then came slamming the movie, put your money where your mouth is.
PS Wakanda is loosely translated to ‘you threw’ in Shona. You are allowed to say, “Wakanda shade!”
Yours in The Higher Culture