The much anticipated movie of the year, Black Panther, premiered Friday to enthusiastic viewers who have been craving for a movie that centres itself in the wonderful heritage, beauty and creativity of Africa. The movie, which continues to reach critical acclaim mostly for its ‘black positivity’ narrative, is currently verging towards a historic $200+ million weekend opening at the Box Office.
In Gaborone, the New Capitol Cinemas were sold out and viewers thronged in regal wear to watch the groundbreaking Marvel movie. At Masa Centre, a themed opening was set up and prolific local photographer Raymond Geoffrey captured the colourful, rooted and stunning outfits that graced the opening night.
The premier was partly curated by DStv as a treat for their loyal subscribers.
“The hero of the tale is, of course, T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman), the king of Wakanda and, as the Black Panther, protector of his people. Having drunk the nectar of a mystical flower, he has the strength of many men; in a suit woven of bullet-proof vibranium, he is virtually indestructible. (That’s the Marvel part.) Indeed, Wakanda itself is built on the bounty of a meteorite bearing vibranium – the strongest metal on earth – that struck Africa millennia ago. Technologically advanced beyond the dreams of any other nation, Wakanda cloaks itself from the world behind an illusory rainforest. As far as the rest of the world knows, it is a ‘third-world country – textiles, shepherds, cool outfits,” states film critic Christopher Orr.
“I could sit here and unpack #BlackPanther the whole day, from the shift from a single story about Africa, to a depiction of women and positive strong narratives of the feminine, to costume designs that borrow from 15 different tribes and nationalities, to the use of Isixhosa to Afrofuturism. But I will just say for now, as black people we have just realised we are a market force to be reckoned with. Let’s use our buying power to control the narratives that tell all of our stories,” enthused local radio personality, Setho Mongatane.