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5 connections and influences Black Panther shares with Nigeria

Black Panther 2
  • Business Insider presents its list of 5 connections the Black Panther franchise shares with Nigeria.
  • The list is primarily focused on the second installment of the movie. 
  • The list does not represent all the Nigerian references in the movie, just five we found most interesting. 

Marvel’s Black Panther franchise has become one big homage to African culture.

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Since the theatrical release of Black Panther Wakanda Forever, conversations surrounding the movie have been copious.

From discussions about the themes and tropes of the movie to its overarching connection to the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Phase 5, to the homages it pays to African cultures, the film has been nothing short of a conversation driver.

For any African, it is a sight for sore eyes to go to the cinemas and see a creative visually appealing representation of the African culture, as opposed to the savagery that has been depicted on the silver screen as Africa’s heritage.

Hollywood for quite some time has forcefully spoon-fed the global audience stories about western history, and when it tries to touch on other cultures, said projects are mired with misrepresentation, exaggerated depravity, or understated decency.

Black Panther is one of the few exceptions depicting creatively and sensitively the other side of Africa that has been sorely misrepresented in the media.

The fictional kingdom of Wakanda depicted in the movie is an ensemble of numerous African tribes and their unique identities. Everything from music to costume, to set design to language, have very heavy African influences.

Below are five connections and influences Black Panther shares with Nigeria

Mbaku’s accent: In an interview, the actor who plays M’Baku, the leader of the Jabari tribe, Winston Duke, admitted to drawing accent influence from the Igbo tribe in Nigeria. He also noted that the Jabaris were strongly influenced by the Igbo tribe.

Kokou: This Yoruba deity is one of the African gods that are referenced in the movie. Kokou is a feared warrior deity from the Yoruba faith in West Africa's Benin. This deity is one of the few non-Egyptian deities mentioned in the movie.

General Okoye: Although the African characters in the movie are indigenous to Wakanda, they still bear names resembling actual African names. General Okoye is one such name, it is an Igbo name that can be translated as; born on Oye market day. Oye or Orie in some Igbo dialects is one of the four market days that make up the Igbo calendar, alongside Eke, Afor, and Nkwo.

Nsibidi inscriptions: Just like costumes and names, the set design in Black Panther is drawn from real African cultures. A particular Wakanda text that appears in the movie specifically in the throne room has inscriptions from Nigeria's Southeast region. The Nsibidi inscriptions have their origins in Cross-River state.

Playlist: The first installment of Black Panther featured a playlist done exclusively by American rapper Kendrick Lamar. However, the playlist for Black Panther 2 was far more diverse, featuring songs from numerous Nigerian artists, including, Tems, Rema, Tobe Nwigwe and Fat Nwigwe, Ckay, Burnaboy, and Fireboy.

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