Xhosa culture shines bright on the 'Black Panther' red carpet

02 February 2018 - 00:00 By Paula Andropoulos
Actors John Kani (L) and Atandwa Kani wore MaXhosa by Laduma shawls to the world premiere of 'Black Panther'.
Actors John Kani (L) and Atandwa Kani wore MaXhosa by Laduma shawls to the world premiere of 'Black Panther'.
Image: Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Disney

The internet has been abuzz following the Hollywood premiere of the wildly-anticipated Black Panther movie earlier this week.

The already historic cast wore variations on an ‘African royalty’ theme to mixed reviews and South Africa was represented in full by father-and-son duo John and Atandwa Kani, whose regal roles in the film were beautifully articulated by their MaXhosa by Laduma shawls.

“Dressing the Kanis for the premiere was a great honour,” commented the designer Laduma Ngxokolo, whose contemporary knitwear designs inspired by traditional Xhosa beadwork, have become iconic. 

“I know the family from Port Elizabeth – I’m also from P.E. – and they have been some of my biggest supporters so far. And John Kani is very proud of his Xhosa heritage, from the language to the food.”

As for the general aesthetic on the red carpet, Ngxokolo, for one, approves: “The way the cast members dressed represented what the movie is about very well – that African, Utopian feel.”

So, if you belong to the legions of would-be fans who are planning to dress up for the movie’s release here, he recommends “dress for a fresh Renaissance of Africa. And that look doesn’t have to reflect one single culture – it can be a mix of different African cultures and influences.”

Here's what some of the other Black Panther cast members wore on the red carpet:

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