Black Panther: Exposing the failures of African political leaders

March 1, 2018 Africa , Opinion , OPINION/NEWS


Awesu Olaniyi Williams



Everyone knows Wakanda is not just a fictitious and imaginary place far from the reality of what Africa is or has been within the last half century of its post colonial history.


If anything, Wakanda represents not just the creative genius of Marvel studio and Ryan Coogler (Black Panther director), it triggers heedfully — a sad reminder of the possibility of what we could call the continent of first human civilization, Africa.


A brutal reminder that whilst the MENA states (Middle East and North Africa) were still grappling with the concept of socio-political, governance and religious identity, we had a well structured government under Mansa Musa III (whom has been described severally as one of the richest men that has ever lived), and whose ground breaking contribution to trade, commerce and education within the Songhai empire is a consistent delight to historians and anthropologist alike.


Sadly enough, corrupt leaders in post colonial Africa, that had the array of Mobutu of Zaire and Idi Amin of Uganda might not capture the brilliant representation of T’challa the king of the imaginary Wakanda Kingdom.


So as bad as Africa had it with poor leadership, the Mo Ibrahim Foundation hasn’t found a worthy leader to award a leadership prize in what has been described as a Nobel Prize version for African leadership.


Whilst we recognise these shortcomings and the alternate argument given by those who consider the media hype and buzz serenading BP as part of black complex and identity crisis, I guess it’s high time some of our people take a chill while at the same time drawing a deep breath.


Representation is key to identity politics, no doubt. And when it comes to representation the media play such a significant role in shaping public opinion, sympathy and national feeling. Take for instance; American imperialism, garnish with a resounding concoction of manifest destiny, daily propagated by the media, specifically Hollywood. Movies such as “Olympus has fallen, White House down” are a portent tool for neuro linguistic programming, helping in no small way to push the narrative of a better, secure America whose citizens possess a place of pride in the grand scheme of National and global security.


Back to Wakanda


If there ought to be a region typically exhibiting a modern reflection of this Marvel studio creation, Ethiopia or Congo should stand a chance while the former shares a striking similarity with Wakanda regarding it not experiencing the draining evil of colonial exploitation. The latter (Congo) strikes the cord of a possible Wakanda with its enormous natural resources, almost a third of the global gold deposit. Corruption and stricken poverty propelled by visionless blood thirsty political leadership accounts chiefly for its retrogression.


In the end it is safe to say the god’s gift of vibrarium opens Wakanda to the greed of external forces. Africa’s rich mineral resources have consistently constituted a nightmarish situation of colonial invasion, post colonial exploitation and a cohort of brutish, nasty and sit tight maniac leadership.


Whilst Black Panther remains a chart topping movie the reality facing Africa and most of the comity of nations therein is of poor economic index, communal crisis, environmental degradation and women’s rights issues. There is a rising hope amongst the youthful population of the need to help spark the necessary change in the IT sector with tech incubation centres popping up across the continent from Nigeria to Rwanda. To education, where young Nigerian man Itodo Samuel Anthony, ‘man’ it to the top 50 Varkey Global Teachers Prize (an award worth the Grand Prize of one million dollars), to the triggering of the youth with some kind of fireball and to more grandstand giving to their contrivances like the gardeners of fiditi settling sites determinedly for their masterpiece.


May the Orisha of our land keep sparking the spirit of change in the black community.


Viva Africa


Viva Wakanda





Awesu Olaniyi Williams

Awesu Olaniyi is a 24 year old, second best graduating student of Political science education from Lagos State University where he won various regional and national awards for public speaking and environmental advocacy. He is currently a freelance writer, LGBT discussant and aspiring student of political science. He can be reached via [email protected].

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