Musings from Black Panther

…For the Love of Black Panther…For the Love of Wakanda

Photo Credit: Mascotedda. …For the Love of Black Panther…

The much talked about and revved up Black Panther is everything it was said it would be and has every reason to remain in the Spotlight for much longer.

The film which has a predominantly black cast is still being celebrated all over the world for its plot, direction, performances, action, costume design and many more.

The film Black Panther could be said to be a combination of “Art for Art’s Sake” and “Art for Aesthetics’ sake” as it combines the values and lessons it teaches balanced with a touch of humour.

Like every work of art, the film has seized to be the producer’s work and is now open to different interpretations and has spurred other Artistic inclinations.

Notable amongst the Artistic Inclinations of Black Panther are some of the artistic works of Mascoteda where she features different warriors tagged “For the love of Black Panther…Wakanda forever.”

Seeing the beautiful works from her you will be spurred into watching the movie to see the characters she portrayed in action. So this week I made out time to see the movie.

Photo Credit: Mascoteda. Inspired by Okoye in Black Panther
Photo Credit: Mascoteda. Inspired by Okoye in Black Panther

First artwork from her was a picture of a female warrior holding Chakras in both hands set for battle. I was wondering what the Chakras stood for and couldn’t wait to see Nakia (played by Lupita Nyong’o) put them to use as the scenes unfolded.

Again before seeing the movie, I saw another piece of Art from Mascoteda that had a true female warrior with a spear,  and I was wondering but this is not like the former character I saw but then upon seeing the film I saw the female warriors and realized she represents a female warrior from Wakanda. Progressing in the film, I realised that was Okoye (Danai Gurira) (referred to as General) the head of the Dorija Milage – an all-female special force who serves as King T’Challa’s (Chadwick Boseman) bodyguards.

Seeing these women take on great challenges and exploits I began to understand why the film spurred so much artistic inclinations.

Feminist Aesthetics

The film portrays a more collaborative and inclusive environment that involves women.  Women are not relegated to the background. They fight just as the men. They are warriors and they fight fearlessly in the face of battle.

Photo Credit: Mascoteda. Inspired by Nakia in Black Panther
Photo Credit: Mascoteda. Inspired by Nakia in Black Panther

The women in Black Panther are warriors and not laid back. They fought for what they believed in. They fought for the love of Wakanda – their country. They are not only trained and powerful; they are decisive and rise up to every occasion. They, therefore, operate from a position of strength as against operating from a position of weakness that most African films portray.

The women are relevant to themselves and to society as well. This is reflected in their dedication to duty and loyalty to Wakanda.

Okoye  was ready to kill W’kabi (Daniel Kaluuya) her lover for the love of Wakanda. Challenged by Okoye, he surrenders with his army.

When N’jadaka/Erik Stevens (Michael B. Jordan) ascended the throne, Nakia (T’Challa’s ex), Princess Shuri (T’Challa’s sister), Ramonda (The Queen Mother) Angela Bassett) and Ross ( (the CIA agent) Martin Freeman) fled to Jabari tribe for aid from M’baku (Winston Duke), a powerful, ruthless warrior who is the leader of Wakanda’s mountain tribe, the Jabari. These three women took action and risked it all to save Wakanda – they did not leave things to chance.

Nakia also risked her life to collect the herb that was used to save T’Chala’s life.

The film thus portrays women in a positive light and as species that are capable of contributing meaningfully to the development of society.

Africanism

The film is seriously Africanised with a predominantly black cast and set in Africa.

Photo Credit: Mascoteda. Inspired by Black Panther
Photo Credit: Mascoteda. Inspired by The Black Panther

One interesting scene for Nigerians was seeing the heir apparent T’Challa about to be crowned king of Wakanda come for Nakia his ex-girlfriend in Sambisa forest where Nakia was on a mission to rescue girls held by insurgents. He had come to invite her for his coronation.

As Africans, Wakandans have so much to offer the world. They lived in isolation until that was changed by the influence of Nakia.

Nakia believed in a bigger picture, she believed the resources of Wakanda should be used to help people in need all over the world. She succeeded in influencing the king in using the resources of Wakanda to help the world.

Lessons Learnt

Emphasis is placed on the greater good of all. The film wraps up with Wakanda using its vibranium and technology to help make the world a better place.

Wakandans well aware of the potency of their vibranium are determined to retrieve it when it falls into the hands of those who would use it for evil for the safety of the world.

The film thus does a great service in trying to unite the world by using cultural festivals, storytelling traditions, rituals, dances and songs to emphasize our common aspirations goals; above all, our common humanity by extolling our values and condemning the negative ones that seek to divide us.

Enakeno Victoria Oju

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