Fana Mokoena on Black Panther: They've exploited black film and we've fallen for it
Veteran actor and politician Fana Mokoena has slammed the creators of Hollywood blockbuster Black Panther claiming they were duping black Africans and distorting the black liberation movement.
While thousands of South Africans continue to flock to cinemas to watch the Marvel film, Fana took to social media to share his thoughts on the harm the film would do to the African fight for emancipation.
He started off a lengthy essay on the film by claiming the movie may offer hope to "the hopeless African majority in the world", and congratulated its creators for doing so, but said he was not celebrating.
"I’m proud indeed, but am I celebrating? The answer is an emphatic no and my reasons are a few. I’m not celebrating because once more, Hollywood has played its hand in exploiting black film for its own end and black people have once more fallen for the carrot."
He said that if Hollywood really wanted to include the African child, they would have offered producership to its director Ryan Coogler.
Fana said he was disappointed in the way Hollywood used the Black Panther name, often associated with the American black liberation movement, to make money and dilute the movement's legacy.
"A white company in Hollywood suddenly develops a conscience about the lack of a black superhero in the Hollywood estate and fights the good fight for all Africans and the diaspora? Reality check. Once more, Hollywood has colonized the history of our struggle. This time they did it in the most callous way. They have destroyed the narrative of a struggle movement and through the power of money and media, replaced it with a frivolous fantastical film that has no bearing whatsoever on what happens in the daily lives of Africans who they claim to represent."
He said Marvel "preyed on the black mass’ insatiable appetite to assimilate white lives" by creating a hero similar to those created by white communities.
"There was a time in our history when a flurry of nationalist black academia was trying to convince us Jesus Christ and Moses were black. The evidence was paper thin, but in our overzealous ambition to capture white history and make it our own, we fell for it. Today, Marvel Studios’ Superhero is our modern day Jesus who saves the day. We must have our own, you know why? Because white people have been having it."
Read his full comments below.