Thursday, June 20, 2024

I Hate Sequels: Black Panther-Wakanda Forever

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By Mwizenge S. Tembo, Ph. D. Emeritus Professor of Sociology

I have never been a movie person in my sixty something years of life. I am not about to become one. Don’t get me wrong. I have loved some movies in my short life on this earth. My introduction to the then cinema was in the most unlikely place as a seven-year-old; ten thousand miles away from the United States in the remotest part of Africa. This was in 1960 at Chasela Primary School where my father was a teacher. This was deep in the Luangwa Valley with wild animals roaming all over night and day; elephants, Cape Buffaloes, lions, leopards, impalas, monkeys. This was in the Southern African British Colony of Northern Rhodesia now independent Zambia. That is a long story of zig zagging through life until I was surprised to be thrilled with anticipation leading to the global release of the Black Panther on January 29, 2018.

There was so much hype about the Black Panther that I was surprised to be swept up in it. I donned my bright African garb and went to see the movie the very first day in Harrisonburg Virginia. This is ten thousand miles away from the remote Luangwa Valley in Eastern Zambia. I must have seen the Black Panther ten to fifteen times at movie theaters. I lost count of how many times I saw it by myself, with family members and in 3D. Even my wife does not know about this. I knew I did not want to see the Black Panther later when it was released on DVDs for TV screens, lap tops and cell phones. I just had a craving for the big screen experience. Was I addicted or what? Timing is everything. I thank God today that we did not have the Corvid 19 lock downs pandemic when the Black Panther was released in 2018. Watching it on a TV screen, lap top or the cell at home would not have been the same.

The last time I saw the Black Panther in a movie theater was on the West Coast of the United Sates in Portland Oregon at a large sprawling metropolitan shopping mall which had more than twenty movie theaters. The Black Panther was still showing in April 2018 months after it had been pulled from movie theaters. My thirty-three-year-old son and I went and saw it.

I was never going to see the Black Panther any other way. I was never going to see a Black Panther sequel because sequels seem to ruin the original movies for me. For example, it was a thrill to see the comedy “The Gods Must be Crazy” in 1980 and my kids’ movie; “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” in 1990. Both sequels ruined my original great experiences.

When the leading actor of the Black Panther Chadwick Bosman died of cancer in August 2020, I was very sad. I lamented that great people often die young. I was even least thrilled about seeing a sequel.

But then I heard about what they would do with the sequel in the wake of Bosman’s death. I was hooked. I had been very depressed on the night of November 8 about the early mid-election results. Before I went to bed that night, I learned that we are still the greatest nation on earth. Because we had voted and saved our American democracy for the citizens, but also for Zambia, and for every country in the world which is struggling to establish democracy. I went to bed with a grin on my face. I donned my African garb and went to see the sequel: “The Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.”

During the movie, I had tears moaning Chadwick Bosman. What a way of my celebrating saving the triumph of our American 245-year-old precious democracy. To my utter enjoyment and delight the sequel showed most of the original actors, but the most significant new event in the sequel is including a Maya kingdom of the Native Americans.

3 COMMENTS

  1. This elder need to grow up. i thought he left our America, yes we watched the movie last Saturday, but nothing really Zambian about it.
    This Mizinge, whatde fvck were you crying about, you are not relative of Chadrick.
    By-the-way, that Zambian was not in this new movie, did he die too?

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