KISUMU, Kenya — Fans all over Kenya had been waiting a long time to visit Wakanda, the wondrous Afrofuturistic homeland of Black Panther and on the eve of Valentine’s Day, Kisumu, the third largest city in Kenya, and home to Lupita Nyong’o who features in the movie, pulled out all the stops for the highly anticipated premiere.
What’s Good film crew and their One Vibe Africa partners live streamed a Red Carpet Arrivals and wrap out show hosted by the ever gorgeous Remmy Majala and Events Kahuna- Vincent Libosso. Liquid Telkom provided the dedicated internet to enable live streaming, which was amplified by Kwese across their online channels. You can catch the whole thing right here.
Anga IMAX Theatre cinemas at the Mega City plaza was a place of unrestrained joy. Despite the intense heat, the red carpet was a riot of colour to rival any gardener’s paradise, with African print being the order for the night.
The A-list event that featured county officials, government workers, civilians and international press offered a new light to the city.
The hope that this premiere would spark a new revolution among the youth was echoed by Kisumu County Minister of Tourism, Sports, Arts, and Culture Achie Ojany Alai.
The Deputy Governor Mathews Owili expressed hope and inspiration from the premiere.
“This is a historic moment for our county and for the young people of Kisumu, affirming that their dreams are valid!”
Despite the hoped for attendance by Lupita, did not in any way deter the spirits of those who attended. Set in Wakanda, a fictional African country, Black Panther transports audiences to a world where black people are at the center of their own narrative.
“This is what Africa would have been if we had no colonialists,” What’s Good Studios red carpet host, Remmy Majala reckons.
The film that has earned a lot of respect from critics, is not only groundbreaking in how it portrays Africa, but it’s pioneering in its casting of mostly dark-skinned female actors. In addition to Lupita, African descent stars like the South African actors John Kani, Athandwa Kani, and Connie Chiume, and the Zimbabwean American actress Danai Gurira are among the cast.
From a fashion runway show organised by Sirjay Suits, to the air which wafted so heavenly with the chefs alongside the parade, every delicious thing ready to be shared with friends, the two screenings—a private viewing for county government officials, local artists, and media personalities and an after-party that went well into the night—the public still assembled in high spirits, hope and pride that this pop culture history will only be a beacon of light for African art and culture.