By Abdulafeez Olaitan, UNILAG
Afrofuturism is the celebration of the uniqueness of black culture in the ideal sense of a futuristic world. It combines elements of science fiction, historical fiction, fantasy, Afrocentricity, and magic realism to cement and secure the black African legacy in arts and literature.
Afrofuturism involves looking through a future spectrum of arts, science and technology with black African lens and black African lens only. The movement seeks to connect blacks, at home and in diaspora, with their literary and cultural heritage.
It is amazing that many literary works of speculative fictions are joining the tradition of being rooted in African culture.
Different writers have worked African traditions into their prize- and award-winning science fiction and fantasy. One of which is the Marvel superhero fantasy, Black Panther.
Black Panther is a fictional superhero created by writer-editor Stan Lee and writer-artist Jack Kirby. It started off as a comic series but didn’t really catch as much as deserved attention until it came to the screens when viewers got to witness a mindboggling representation of Afrofuturism.
Black Panther’s real name is T’Challa and was portrayed on screen by the late black actor, Chadwick Boseman. T’Challa is depicted as the king and protector of Wakanda.
Wakanda, a fictional African nation, is a highly developed country. It is presented to be the most technologically advanced nation on the planet.
T’Challa relies on his proficiency in science and hand-to-hand combat skills. Likewise, his access to wealth and advanced Wakandan technology. He also possesses enhanced abilities achieved through ancient Wakandan rituals of drinking essence.
Casting black actors in prominent roles is also be a good omen for the movement of Afrofuturism.
Chadwick Boseman passed on on the 29th day of August, 2020, but King T’Challa’s statement spoken through Chadwick, will continue to resonate:
“As you can see, I am not dead…”
Abdulafeez Olaitan is the Campus Ambassador for Unilag. He is a writer who served as a delegate of Austria in ECOSOC committee at the 2020 IBMUN conference. Olaitan enjoys collecting quotations and astrophotos.