So we have heard that the Marvel movie The Black Panther has a predominantly black cast with Africa's finest like Lupita Nyong'o, Danai Gurira and Connie Chiume. We have also heard that it is based on a fictional nation in Africa, Wakanda. Emphasis is on "fictional" since British Airways has already embarrassed itself by claiming Lupita Nyong'o, a Kenyan, is from Wakanda. For the sake of Donald Trump who also believes some country called "Nambia" exists in this beautiful continent, we hereby make it clear that: Wakanda is not a real African country.
However fictional Wakanda may be, the plot of the Marvel film is as real as they come. While we may have to wait for the movie to know everything, it is clear at this point that the main protagonist of the film is an African king whose father was killed for refusing to give up Wakanda's very valuable mineral, vibranium. (Vibranium is also fictional, please tell them not to scramble into Africa for this in-existent metal.) At this point, it becomes all too clear that behind the superhero film is a story about neo-colonialism, exploitation and resistance. Breathing life into this story are the lives of African heroes like Thomas Sankara and Patrice Lumumba who were killed for refusing to be used by the West. In fact, the movie's T'Chaka (the king killed for his nation's resources) could as well be called Thomas or Patrice and we would not complain at all.
That a movie about uncomfortable colonial truths is breaking sales records is somewhat shocking but a victory for us nonetheless. 2018 will go down as the year African heroes (and heroines) went mainstream.