Black Panther, currently the most talked about film in the world, is breaking box office records.
Since its release weeks ago, the film has surpassed US$500 million at the global box office and is the top-grossing film in history by a black director, whose cast is largely black.
Set in the fictionalized African kingdom of Wakanda, the film brings to light the future of Africa that the African Union hopes to achieve by 2036.
The vision is called Afrofuturism–which talks about the development or re-imagining of Africa’s future through a black lens with the use of arts, science, and technology.
This is exactly what the film does as the people of Wakanda use their only resource, ‘vibranium’, a superpower metal to build a country filled with arts, science, and technology.
And this is what AU hopes to achieve by 2063. The AU 2063 vision calls for African countries to use their own resources, culture, and arts to develop and advance science and technology and not to be totally dependent on the West.
The AU vision also calls for an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, driven by its own citizens, strong cultural identity, common heritage, values and ethics, which are clearly seen in Black Panther.
In addition, the use of one of the official languages of South Africa and the native tongue of the late Nelson Mandela—Xhosa, is a clear manifestation of AU’s goal to have African language developed to an internationally acceptable standard that will be used in schools (from primaries to universities).
Furthermore, Black Panther highlights the past struggle among many African leaders right after independence, although from a different angle.
The rift that exists between T’Challa and his first cousin Killmonger, whose father was killed by T’Challa’s father over a dispute that Wakanda should not engage with the world, like sharing its discovery and knowledge—results into a serious crisis that threatens Wakanda and puts its fate and the world at risk.
This situation is similar to the rift that has long existed between the Kenyatta and Odinga families that have over the years kept turning new chapters, with the latest instance being Raila Odinga’s inauguration of himself as president.
Mzee Jomo Kenyatta and his first Vice-President Jaramogi Oginga Odinga were political allies, but broke out due to ideology or policy differences. Both men is said to have become bitter adversaries.