Earlier this week, Marvel Studios held the world premiere for Black Panther in Hollywood, California. Faces that need no introduction as a result of the movie’s anticipation showed face, such as Chadwick Boseman, Danai Gurira, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyongo, Angela Bassett, and Forest Whitaker.
Marvel Studios lifted the embargo at 10 PM PT for reactions to the film to hit social media, and for the most part they fueled the public’s anticipation for the movie even more, however another thing happened, the stars set an unspoken tone for the kind of African royalty regalia that is to be worn at the premier of the movie globally, as they came out in outfits powerful enough to have our ancestors beat the drums in their graves.
Black Panther is a 2018 American superhero film based on the Marvel comics character of the same name. In the movie we see, T’Challa returns home as king of Wakanda but finds his sovereignty challenged by a long-time adversary in a conflict that has global consequences.
South African Actors John Kani, Atandwa Kani and Connie Chiume flew the South African flag high at the American premiere of the highly-anticipated superhero film in Los Angeles on Monday night.
In the movie, John plays the role of King T’Chaka, Atandwa is cast as a younger version of him and Connie Chiume plays the role of Mining Tribe Elder.
Speaking to Variety magazine on the red carpet, John Kani, the celebrated veteran actor explained how this movie portrayed Africans in a different light, a less white-washed light.
He said that it was rare to find Africans as comic book heroes and that Black Panther played a significant role in portraying Africans as “good people who want to see a better life and world for all”.
The veteran actor added that it was important for him when he was offered the role to play King T’Chaka that this narrative was carried through.
“I knew we would introduce a different African, an African that is a global figure, an African that cares and an African that gives, the African that contributes to world peace. We’ve watched too many movies of Tarzan in Africa, and we’ve never found this legend among us. When our grandfathers tell us stories there was nothing of a white man talking with apes. So when I was talking to my son on the set of Captain America, I asked the director, “Why am I speaking English? We’re in Wakanda”. And that’s how I introduced isiXhosa.
The line was simple, I was missing my son, I haven’t seen him in a long time, in my language: “Unqabile nyana, ndikugqibele kudala. Asikaxoxi kakuhle iindaba zexhego”. And Africa celebrated this [use of isiXhosa]. Absolutely from Cape to Cairo, people thought it was wonderful. And now they’re expecting this blockbuster which is yet another African input into Hollywood.
This movie is going to deal with the myth that if the white colonialist did not land in Africa, that we’d still be walking in skins with spears chasing each other. We’ll prove we built the pyramids in Egypt. It proves that the libraries in Timbuktu, with the history of mankind, is in Africa. We’ll prove that the Zimbabwe ruins were built by us. We’ll prove that the cradle of humankind is in southern Africa. So this is one time where African people are shown at their fullest potential – where they’re able to travel to space and back with incredible technology. So for us, there’s a bit of a seriousness about this movie for many of us.”
Earlier this month it was confirmed by US film booking and ticket monitoring service Fandango that Black Panther’s first day of pre-ticket sales was the largest it had ever seen for a Marvel movie.
We have a release date of Friday the16 of February for South Africa. Cinemas all across South Africa will be showing this highly-anticipated film. If you have not bought a ticket yet, we suggest you try and pre-book wherever available. Everyone on the continent will be queuing to see this! However, we do have an alternative option for those who wont be able to attend, but this unfortunately excludes you being able to see the actual movie, but we would like to think that you will be getting more.
The Biz Niz Blog has been invited to attend the By-Invitation-Only premier of the movie where four of the international cast members will be in attendance, hosted at the prestigious Movies@ Monte Casino cinema on the 14th of February. We will be live streaming the event on our Instagram and Facebook platforms, so join us and rub shoulders with the cast of the century.
Article curated and edited by Kagiso Senaudi Masemola.