What ‘Black Panther’ movie means to Nigerians

Kimberly Jev, Journalist, Canada

I grew up in a Nigeria where for a long time graphic designers or comic book artists were not quite recognised. For me, Black Panther is a representation of a new dawn for Black people all around the world and not just North America. Through its cast and the diverse team that made it, Black Panther, is a revolutionary example that shows children in Nigeria and in the diaspora that they can succeed at professions that may not be generally accepted in our culture and societies. As a woman of colour who has struggled with being confident enough to present myself with my natural hair in environments where I am the minority, the decision for all the women in Black Panther to wear natural hair styles is also a game changer. For so long we have had to invest in alternative hairstyles that take us away from our true selves and force us into hiding. Seeing all the natural hairstyles and seeing black women standing with confidence in this film really changed some things for the better for me. #WakandaForever – Kimberley Jev

Dewumi Roye Okupe, Creative Specialist, USA

To me honestly, Black Panther means opportunity. As much as I love the movie (and I have seen it three times now), what I love more is the discussions it’s provoking (both good and bad) as well as the awareness it’s raising. It is also proving that superhero characters that are of African descent can be lucrative. Which is what people like me have been preaching for years. Black Panther has officially become a proof of concept for creators like me around the world who have characters that are based on or inspired by African culture, history or mythology. The floodgates are about to be open (I hope). I pray African investors can take this as a sign that you can actually make decent returns if you back quality African comics, animation and video games.

Felix Abraham Obi, Public Health Specialist, Abuja

I’m not really into movie premieres but ‘Black Panther’ has changed my position considerably. Last Saturday I queued up to watch it. My interest was piqued when I noticed some of viewers dressed up specially for it in flashy native attires. It was riveting all through. I loved the idea of a Black superhero that kids of African origin in homeland and the Diaspora can identify with. I particularly liked the idea of how the movie showed the possibility of Africa retaining its glorious past while being a strong player in the world of science and technology. Depicting African women as brave yet loyal warriors devoted to the protection of our society and preservation our core values hit a good note and their outstanding achievements in STEM, which will inspire our young girls to pursue seemingly unreachable dreams. I’m not surprised it has grossed millions of dollars at the box office so far. Like most fans of Black Panther, I intend to see the movie a second, maybe a third time.

Princess Emezue, Photographer, Nasarawa

Black Panther represents is story depicting the wealth of African culture. It’s an Afroscientric movie in a way the actors are kitted in their costumes. What the movie is trying to portray is what we started before the process was interrupted by colonial interference. People shouldn’t see us as slaves there’s more to us than meets the eye. 

George Agbana, Business Developer, USA
Going in to watch Black Panther I was looking for holes, bad acting and horrible story telling which is a myth about movies dominated by black actors. From the beginning the artifacts were very accurate. I could relate to the vibrant images and comprehend the dialogue positively.
The colours were perfectly in tune with Ghanaian ‘kente’ attires. The language from Africa made it more attractive. Usually when you see African scenes in American movies they are usually very inaccurate.
The portrayal of BP is one of a very powerful man who respects the elders, the culture and honors our traditions. A very powerful, wealthy and influential man who truly was for his people. Gender was never an issue. This movie is how we can include our women, it shows us that our women if empowered can be powerful allies to African men. I can truly say Africans young, old rich and poor can learn so much from the movie most importantly our leaders in Africa can get a glimpse of how advancing our countries will look like. Wakanda is Africa without colonialism and with great leadership whilst dealing with past mistakes. 
Nur Habib, Civil Servant, Kano

First off, I absolutely love this movie! I’ve already seen it more than once and will definitely go see it a couple of more times in the future. It is that good! This isn’t surprising because I am an avid fan of superhero movies and comic books. I became one as a kid growing up in Kaduna in the 80’s and 90’s. However, ‘Black Panther’ is unlike any other superhero movie I have ever seen made by Marvel Studios or any other studio for that matter and I’ll tell you why.
For the first time in movie history, we have a superhero whose accent, culture and even dress code and dress sense are very similar to my own – African! This movie does an excellent job of portraying the most positive aspects of common African morals and ways of life down to our colourful attire. It even showcased our love for leather sandals, a must have for every fashion conscious, modern-day African man. 
Wakanda represents an Africa that would have boldly stood tall and shoulder to shoulder with all the other successful countries in the world as it offers them not just its earthly resources and wealth, but also its beautiful and rich culture. 
My advice is that for those who haven’t seen it yet to go watch for themselves. That’s the best way to understand and feel what this masterful work of art truly is. 
And that’s exactly what this movie is, a great work of art but with the distinguishing feature of depicting Africa and Africans in the most positive light in recent times.

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