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Please don’t steal Kaluuya’s lunch

Daniel Kaluuya as Wkabi

Daniel Kaluuya as Wkabi in Black Panther.
Photo by Marvel Studios

Since Black Panther premièred, it has some how become a matter of pride among many people of the black race.

Not that it presents all the solutions people with melanin need, but it is a feel good project, one where Africa is referenced and later exhibited but without words like dictatorial leader, war ravaged or even hot bed of terror being used.

In fact, even before one does a review of the project, the first thing that comes to mind is that if you didn’t like it, people may call you racist.

The film debuted last week at different cinemas across the country, in Kampala, many made an effort to dress in their African attires as an effort to celebrate the première.

This good deed was though later criticised by those that wondered why it took a Marvel film to remind Africans that they are indeed African.

As you may know, the film is a total sell out in Kampala, for instance by Monday at 3pm, getting a decent seat at the Acacia Mall based Century Cinemax was a myth and by 5pm, they were selling tickets for Tuesday screenings… yeah…

So why should a Ugandan pay at least Shs15,000 to watch Black Panther?

Because Kaluuya is on that film, Florence Kasumba too is on that film.

The two actors that bring to life roles of warriors W’Kabi and Ayo are Ugandan that you watching a pirated copy is stealing their lunch money….. literally.

With good brilliant visuals, cinematography, art direction and acting by the cast, Black Panther may easily become a cultural icon thanks to the empowerment themes that go beyond the people of colour to a continent and later women.

Focusing on Kaluuya, his role in the film is solid and actually becomes the difference when we needed an action sequence between armies.

Of course his fake accent can be forgiven since it remained consistent compared to that of Forest Whitaker that changed at will.

But refocusing on the entire film, it is easy to watch, it’s one that doesn’t require one to have watched the past seventeen Marvel films to get into this, in fact, even without watching Captain America: Civil War where Black Panther was introduced, you still get the plot.

Wakanda, is an African rich country playing a role of a third world, because of the vibranium that crashed on the land ages ago, they manage to develop rapidly both economically and technologically, they go on to use the vibranium to even seal their land off.

That’s how they were never colonised.


A scene from the movie. COURTESY PHOTOS

However, with the plot that involves T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) taking the throne and later defending and losing it to long lost cousin Erik Killmonger (Michael B Jordan)- the ideologies change.

T’Challa was dedicated to continue the norm of hiding Wakanda resources and watching world events in the shadows, while Killmonger, after being raised in the United Scenes and experiencing police brutality and racism while hell-bent to using these resources to help the black race be empowered.

But Black Panther is not the first hero of colour, in 1998, Wesley Snipes donned the famous black leather suit to play Blade, a Marvel comic character from books with the same name.

Later Halle Berry would become Storm in X-Men and the likes of Mike Colter as Luke Cage too became super heroes of colour, though what makes Black Panther a sure deal is that this even has a narrative, side kicks and a language of a black man.

It is an exciting film that once again proves that Hollywood and the rest of the world could be way over the common narratives and want something different for a change.

With a Ugandan community slowly going back into the culture of frequenting cinema, seeing a film like Black Panther is not only saving Kaluuya’s lunch money but an African story that has in the past not been a favoured especially as far as well funded projects are concerned.

It’s a belief that the success of Black Panther may pave way for a rise of more super heroes of colour and African narratives – who knows, with the flow, as we save Kaluuya’s lunch money, a Ugandan film maker like Matt Bish may benefit.

Did you see the trailer of Bella just minutes before we ushered in T’Challa and his squad?

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