Black Panther: Tapestry of African culture

24 Feb, 2018 - 00:02 0 Views
Black Panther: Tapestry of African culture Danai Gurira dressed like the Masai Warriors of Kenya. — Marvel Studios

The Chronicle

Danai Gurira dressed like the Masai Warriors of Kenya. — Marvel Studios

Danai Gurira dressed like the Masai Warriors of Kenya. — Marvel Studios

Showbiz Correspondent
The advent of Black Panther has not only seen it rake in millions at the box office but has now brought together Africans to collaborate in future films with the latest being between the movie star Lupita Nyong’o and comedian Trevor Noah.

Lupita Nyong’o who will play Trevor Noah’s mother — a Xhosa woman in Born A Crime, a film adaptation of Noah’s book, was recently quoted saying Xhosa is one of the most difficult languages. Noah’s book based on his life was released in 2016.

Nyong’o revealed the news on her Twitter account on Thursday. She tweeted about her excitement regarding the new project.

Nyong’o stars in the latest Marvel Studio blockbuster movie, Black Panther which premiered in Zimbabwe last week.

“When I read @Trevor Noah’s “Born A Crime,” I could not put the book down. I am excited to announce that I will be starring in and producing its feature film adaptation! #BornACrime.

Noah expressed his enthusiasm at the prospect that the award winning actress would be part of the film.

“My mom is a powerful woman who could easily be one of the beautiful soldiers in Wakanda. So it’s beyond a perfect fit that she would be portrayed on the big screen by the radiant and regal Lupita Nyong’o. I’m beyond excited,” posted Noah on his Instagram account.

This latest collaboration shows that there is a growing need for people to tell the African story in a positive way.

The movie is an opportunity for black movie producers to come up with stories about Africans that revere their culture and also what they believe.

With a lot of research there are many folk stories that can be turned into blockbuster movies that can be watched by many people on the continent.

Take for instance the boom that was experienced in Nigeria birthing Nollywood; this was because there was an unquenched thirst for such content by the Africans.

This has birthed stars such as Genevieve Nnaji, Patience Ozokwor, Ini Odo and Ramsey Nouhar.

The low budget films were watched in most Zimbabwean homes as they had gripping tales although shot with low budget equipment.

People like Trevor Noah, Danai Gurira and Lupita Nyong’o have the opportunity to take the African stories to Hollywood and make money for themselves.

With Nyong’o’s imminent role as Noah’s mother, everyone who follows the comedian’s life in and out of television will want to know how such a star was brought up.

Noah glowingly speaks about his Xhosa upbringing during his sets and it will be interesting to see that on the silver screen. What will be more interesting is to find out whether or not the movie will be as gripping as the book has been touted to be.

This is in line with Black Panther as the predominant language is isiXhosa, a dialect that is found in South Africa and on the southern parts of Zimbabwe especially in the Mbembesi area of Matabeleland North province.

As one watched the movie, the wardrobe clad by the characters was colourful and represented the diverse African cultures on the continent. Below are some of the regalia that are found in the movie.

Mining tribe elder Connie Chiume. — Marvel Studios

Mining tribe elder Connie Chiume. — Marvel Studios

Isicholo: If Ramonda (Angela Bassett) took your breath away in her opening scene, it was probably because of her isicholo. The hat worn by Zulu women of South Africa is traditionally for married women and created through basket weaving technique.

Ramonda (Angela Bassett) wearing Isicholo— Marvel Studios

Ramonda (Angela Bassett) wearing Isicholo— Marvel Studios

Kente: This traditional cloth is sacred to the Akan of central Ghana. Only worn on special occasions — such as weddings and graduations — it’s one of the most distinct items of the Kingdom of Ashanti. Literally every colour of stitching has a meaning and some kente have traditional family symbols. In the scene with T’Chaka and T’Challa in the afterlife, the deceased King is appropriately wearing kente.

Dashiki: In the city scenes with T’Challa and Nakia, we see people wearing dashikis. “Dashiki are unisex garments from West Africa — Cameroon, Nigeria, Togo, Benin, Ghana, and more — that cover the top half of the body for the most part,

Kanzu: Worn in the film and by actor Daniel Kaluuya on the red carpet, this lightweight jumpsuit and jacket is from Uganda.

Waris wearing a baSotho blanket

Waris wearing a baSotho blanket

Basotho Blankets: W’Kabi and his army of men use basotho blankets for fighting in the film. These gorgeous wool blankets are from the Kingdom of Lesotho and have historical ties to the colonisers of Southern Africa.

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