Is Madagascar the envisioned Wakandan City in the film titled “Black Panther”? – Fwang’an Jerry Bako
Wakanda is a fictional city created by Marvel in “Black Panther” as one of the Avengers film series.
Black Panther is directed by Ryan Coogler, featuring Chadwick Bossman as Tchala, who is the Black Panther, a super hero and the king of the Wakandans.
This is the first super hero film that characterises and celebrates the Black Man as a hero; unlike what was obtained in the early days of film making (A period when Africans had not ventured into the art of film making) where Africans were misrepresented in majority of the films produced.
The Films produced in that era were done basically to project the West as superior and the negation of the African culture. For example, films like “Tarzan” series portray the white man as a hero while the Black Man was seen as primitive and needed to be led. Another film that misrepresented Africans was King Solomon’s mines; which portray Africans as barbarians who think of nothing but their stomach as they tried to cook Allan Quartermain, the White man that was caught with his girlfriend on their quest to discover the King Solomon’s treasure.
This narrative can be viewed through the lense of colonialism, as the white man appears to be superior over the Black Man.The aforementioned negative portrayal led to so many struggles which freed Africans from the clutches of colonialism and imperialism.
Years after colonialism, Africans and their leaders kept running back to these oppressors for every solution, like medical tourism, education etc.This has made the White man to have a feeling of superiority over the Black Man, because we have little or no confidence in ourselves.
As a post-colonial film ,the director of “Black Panther” redefines the image of Africa, a wholistic picture devoid of negativity. In the film “Black panther”the land of Wakanda is the only place that grows vibrenion, the strongest metal on Earth, they posses a technology that is far advanced from any country in the world. In this film, the Black colour is seen as a thing of pride and the Black culture celebrated, a complete shift from the likes of Tarzan and King Solomon’s mines, especially when the CIA agent, Everett.K.Ross(Martin Freeman)was shot, his wound was so deep that could lead to his death, but his miracle came when he was taken to Wakanda, he received his healings not in an American hospital, but from a brilliant scientist Shuri, Tchala’s sister.
As the world is currently ravaged by this pandemic known as Covid-19, so many African countries are waiting for a cure from the West, instead of looking inwards, but surprisingly, Madagascar has provided a cure, using the Artemisia plant (a semblance of the plant vibrenion,in Black panther). Instead of the World to celebrate this massive breakthrough , what Madagascar is faced with is stiff resistance from the west, through the umbrella of World Health Organisation.Sadly, some African leaders are in league with their white Masters.
The miracle and cure for this deadly disease Covid-19 that was imported from the west, will be cured from within using local solution, no need for medical tourism by any politician because the West is in a state of confusion. Instead, the West will come to Africa for a cure like the CIA agent who was taken to Wakanda for treatment when he sustained a gun shot injury.
Looking inwards is the only solution to the perpetual problems faced by Africans.We are blessed with so many mineral and other natural resources that can make us compete with the developed countries.
However, a major cause for concern is, will there be any objection if this same cure that is found in Madagascar came from America, France or Britain? if Africans do not celebrate one of theirs or look inwards for solution, slavery and colonialism is far from over.
Africa can survive without depending on the West for virtually everything, the dream of Africa being a Mega City as projected in the fictional city of Black Panther (Wakanda) can become a reality, if we start looking within.
Hence, with the herbal medical breakthrough in Madagascar, can we say “Madagascar is the Wakanda city envisioned in Black Panther”?
Fwang’an Jerry Bako.
Plateau state University,
Department of Theatre Art’s
Jos Plateau state.