The fictional nation of Wakanda

wakanda_0003I recently went and saw the latest installment of Marvel’s film series, “Captain America: Civil War” and was reminded of Black Panther, Marvel’s other African hero (X-Men’s Storm would be the other). Black Panther is a prince of Wakanda, a fictional African country, which just so happens to be located near Lake Turkana, close to the Sundanese and Kenyan borders. Apparently, I could go and visit Wakanda if I wanted.

Wakanda is a special, though reclusive place. Wakanda is the world’s only source of Vibranium, the metal from which Captain America’s shield was created. Wakandans, though historically hunter gatherers, profited from the sale of Vibranium, and became one of the richest countries on earth. The prince of Wakanda, in contrast to many of his peers, reinvested the money in technological development ventures, and allowed his people to flourish. Wakanda’s tech is like nowhere else on Earth, designed specifically by Wakandans for Wakandans. In short, Wakanda is what Kagame wishes Rwanda could be.

I had no idea that Black Panther was slated to appear in “Civil War” and was happy they chose to film in Lagos rather than in some stereotypical African landscape of lions and elephants. People on this side of the world are excited about the prospect of a Black Panther stand alone film, due in 2018. Africa needs heroes, particularly ones who can stand on equal footing with heroes from everywhere else.

A fan made trailer, but…

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About Pete Larson

Assistant Professor of Epidemiology at the Nagasaki University Institute for Tropical Medicine

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