WAKANDA FOREVER: AFRICA LIVES ON By Bidemi Alfred

Brand Monitor

It’s as if the year 2020 continues to take unabatedly. Right from the beginning of the global pandemic till date, it has being one sad news after another. As at early March into April, the world was forced to shut down completely in order to contain the spread of the virus. In the past six months, we have witnessed the collapse of several businesses with major industries taking a direct hit from the scourge of the pandemic.

Businesses and industries are not the only ones feeling the impact of the pandemic as we speak even human lives are being claimed on a daily basis. For instance, in the US alone a total of 182,611(One Hundred and Eighty Two Thousand, Six Hundred and Eleven) lives has been lost so far and the numbers keep rising. In fact, on a global scale, as at today, a total of 842,522(Eight Hundred and Forty Two Thousand, Five Hundred and Twenty-Two) deaths have been recorded. I remember someone tweeting a couple of day ago that the year 2020 should be dried up in rice because the year has been full of wetness so far.

Speaking of wetness, news broke a few days ago as movie enthusiasts received the shocking news of the death of Chadwick Boseman. For those who know little or nothing about this individual, does the movie title: Black Panther ring a bell? It was the year 2018, that was exactly two years ago, the whole world was agog with excitement especially in black communities as the movie showcased a fictional Africa with advanced technology that the whole world can’t wait to seek out for solutions. 

As fictional as the movie was, it meant everything to even the remotest of Africans both home and abroad. The hero of the said movie is this gentleman Chadwick who brought to life the rich cultural tradition of Africa. The movie was a perfect blend of nuances, intonations, ethos and cultural references from different nations across the continent. In fact, the movie borrowed from the Igbo culture with the character of Mbaku. However, King T’challa, played by Chadwick was an embodiment of poise, elegance, aspiration and finesse that an average African epitomize.

The character grew a life of its own as everyone who watched the movie especially African youths looked up to Chadwick as an embodiment of their aspiration and dreams. To every young Nigerian, he was the Africa of their dreams. One thing you can’t take away from Nigerians and indeed African youths is their aspiration and dream to stand tall and ensue affluence and power. And true to it, Chadwick played that role effortlessly and by so doing won the hearts of the African continent and indeed black people globally. However unknown to most African youths, their hero was dying silently under the slow hands of colon cancer.

Chadwick was diagnosed with stage 111 colon cancer in 2016, and since have been battling with it for the last four years until it progressed to stage 1V. It was even while undergoing treatment and chemotherapy that he had to shoot the movie Black Panther. Prior to Black Panther, no one knew much about this charming young man. From there on, Chadwick went on to partake in major movie roles that everyone has come to love and can’t easily shake off the face of their hero.

Chadwick, just like in the movie Black Panther was a true fighter who preserved through the slow and cold hands of colon cancer. In fact, many of the films we have come to love so much like Marshall to Da 5 Bloods, August Wilson’s, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom and several others were filmed during and between countless surgeries and chemotherapy. Chadwick’s death though untimely and painful left a huge hole in the walls of our aspirations. But as we all know dreams live forever and so will the aspirations and hopes Chadwick embodies will continue to live in our hearts forever!

To Chadwick Boseman, we say: WakandaForever!!!

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