From Iron Man, Spider Man, Thor, Doctor Strange, Ant Man, Black Widow, Captain America and more, it is beyond doubt that the Marvel Cinematic Universe has kept us entertained and glued to our screens all through its twenty eight years of existence.
Suffice it to say that, with its array of success, Marvel Studios’ creation of the Black Panther movie, changed the narrative of the modern-day super hero, leaving an indelible mark on pop culture. A succinct example of this is the “Wakanda Forever” salutation style, which has become a trend in some people’s daily lives, as a medium to express and uphold their “Africaness”.
Black Panther propagates the concept of Afrofuturism, the cultural movement that integrates the progression of technology with the evolving African diaspora. The entire film harbors depictions of Afrofuturism aesthetics, and most interestingly how women navigate them with ease.
Winning three Oscars – for Best Costume Design, Best Original Score, and Best Production Design, it is quite plausible to believe that Black Panther’s sequel, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, which premiered in Nigeria yesterday, November 6, will amass a good number of awards as well.
The movie is expected to be released on November 11, but the question that has been on every lip is why African American director, Ryan Coogler and his crew decided to kick off the continent-wide celebrations ahead of the film’s release in Nigeria. Reacting to this, Coogler mentioned that, Africa at large has a broad, rich history and cultural significance for film makers, and Lagos offered just the best for that.
Talking about his genealogy, Coogler further revealed that he is partly Cameroonian, and mainly Yoruba, and added that, “It was something that I held on to and always wanted to know, to travel to Nigeria for that reason.” This greatly sustains the reason he chose Nigeria, adding that different parts of the African continent inspired and influenced the film, but the Nigerian culture exudes a specific energy that is hard to ignore.
Musically (lyrically and rhythmically), as evident in the Black Panther: Wakanda Forever project, Africa has the right cultural ingredient needed to evoke the emotions Coogler intends to arouse in this movie. In addition to the already-released Rihanna single “Lift Me”, co-written by Tems, the soundtrack features other Nigerian artists like Burna Boy, Tems, Fireboy DML, Ckay, Rema, Tobe Nwigwe and Fat Nwigwe, amongst other African acts. The media asked the team why they featured several Nigerian and African artistes on the soundtrack album, and the director responded by saying his team wanted a representation of various genres and music spaces on the album.
Photos from the Black Panther: Wakanda Forever Movie Premiere
Africa is the breathing ground for inspiration. Our culture, history and stories untold, have overtime drawn the world closer to us, not to exploit, but as seen recently, to explore and show the world more of what we have, and who we are, as a people.
Clearly, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, one of the most anticipated films this year. It features Queen Ramonda (Angela Bassett), Shuri (Letitia Wright), M’Baku (Winston Duke), Okoye (Danai Gurira) and the Dora Milaje (including Florence Kasumba), Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o) and Everett Ross (Martin Freeman), alongside other new actors.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever will be in theatres on the 11th of November, 2022.