Powerful Lessons From The Land of Wakanda

Have you watched Black Panther the movie, yet? Just like other captious movie-goers, I took my sweet time before booking a seat to watch it. I mean, we have waited with anticipation for numerous movies and series, based on the attention-grabbing trailers or teasers, only for the real thing to disappoint. As could be expected; most cinemas were booked out in the first week of release.

And due to my bad timing, I had the opportunity to watch it in 2D as there was a limited number of seats. But like many others, I resorted to waiting a few more days so I could watch it in 3D. It wouldn’t hurt to wait a little bit longer to join in the hype and flare that engulfed those who had seen it already. Finally, the D-day came, and the long wait abated.

The plot revolves around a hidden gem in Africa, Wakanda. A nation that was never colonized and whose true potential was unknown to the world. It is rich in vibranium, a rare ore that is found in Wakanda, almost exclusively. The Black Panther superhero Prince T’Challa, Chadwick Boseman faces the dilemma of keeping the traditions of the land or adopting a different approach. I am a stickler for discovery and don’t like Spoilers, so, I will give you the same respect.

But it is worth noting that the Black Panther gang and its storyline is not like any other movie.

“Just because something works doesn’t mean it can’t be improved.”  

Shuri (Letitia Wright) who brings lot’s of humor to the movies, says to her brother, T’Challa. As she explains the technological advancements, they have made.

Themes Explored In The Film

  • Colonialism

Being African and having lived in Africa, I have learned too well about the issue of Colonialism. Both the good and the bad. How our ancestors had to let go of their “barbaric” culture and adopt the “civilized” one brought by ships. Well, I don’t deny that some practices were benighted, but I can’t help but wonder how the African Nations would have turned out, had we not gone through colonialization. And sorry to say, but we are still battling with cases of neocolonialism, i.e., ukoloni mamboleo.

Why, so you can just lock me up? No. Just bury me in the ocean with my ancestors that jumped from the ships, because they knew death was better than bondage.

Erick Killmonger

  • Embracing Who We Are

Growing up, I always assumed that persons with dreadlocks, were defiant, in nature, and rebellious to the norms of the society. People who could be associated with drug abuse and almost every vice in the community. But now, my perspective is changing. I realize that we have been conditioned to despise how God made us. With our curly or kinky fro’s, and protective styles, e.g., locked hair. If your hair isn’t straight, then the society deems you as not beautiful enough, or even unprofessional.

You need to change your color, if you are black and become lighter. That’s colorism which is still and all, a sore in our culture. The evidence is in the number of women still going for skin lightening procedures or treatments, to make them, less “black.” One of the casts in the Black Panther party that I love is Danai Gurira, as Okoye.  You won’t fail to fall in love with her, and her combat skills, especially if you have been watching The Walking Dead.

She wore a weave on the trip to South Korea as they pursed Ulysses Klaue, but it just wasn’t comfortable for her, and she let it go. She was comfortable in her skin and “hair,” despite being the “different” one in the place. All the casts are also donning their natural hair, if not a protective style, including our own Lupita Nyo’ng’o, as Nakia.

  • Leadership

A deep-seated hatred pities T’Cahala against Erik Killmonger, Micheal B. Jordan. What leads to the dispute is an event that none of them had a hand on, but as fate would have it, they found themselves on opposing sides. In Kenya, mainly, we have the familiar phrase that “your name betrays you.” In that people judge you and your perspective on any matter, by your second name that reveals the tribe you belong.

Both T’Challa and Erik believed in their causes and were ready to fight for it. Unlike most movies, the battle doesn’t end with the indisputable defeat of the enemy. Black Panther the movie culminates in a scene that causes us to reflect on why we vehemently fight against each other, mainly due to political differences. And it emphasizes on the need of finding common ground for us to move forward, and together.

 

At the end of it all, it wasn’t just about Black Panther superhero and villains. It is a movie to celebrate the milestones we are making as a black community. Which applies to us all because, most theories of the origin of man, point out to the fact that we all came from the same place, if not man. Other external factors affected our appearance, tongues, etc. It addresses the different challenges we face, country to country and the approaches we take to handle them.

If you didn’t watch it at the movies, you wouldn’t miss much by watching it on DVD. And, I would say, at the end of the film, I was still expecting more. So, maybe the subsequent sequel will cater for that. You can read an in-depth and intriguing review of the same, here.

I sign off with a taste of some of my favorite Black Panther quotes:

“In times of crisis, the wise build bridges, while the foolish build barriers. We must find a way to look after one another as if we were one single tribe.” T’Challa

Applicable mainly on the Syrian Crisis #WeStandWithSyria

 

“No man is perfect, not even your father.  You can’t let your father’s mistakes define who you are.” Eric

 

#Wakanda lessons do you derive from Black Panther?

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