OPINION | Y'all are mad that Mzansi spent over R100-million on Black Panther? Wow!
I love Black Panther. Not just the film, but what it has come to represent to us and to me - a young black woman. That's why all the people who are pissed that we've shipped over R100-million to the US for Wakanda need to chill.
I'll explain why. I watched it once, properly at a cinema, and I don't regret it one bit!
Because what kind of black person would I be if I didn't watch a film that ticked all the right boxes and also happened to be pro-black and instills so much pride in us?
I should also point out that the fact that I went to the cinema is a big deal because I had a chance to watch it for R10. The DVD was only R10 in the Joburg CBD, just hours after it was released.
Anyway, I also know people who have gone to the cinema a couple of times to watch it.
Side note: This is excluding the serial cheaters, who only watched it a couple of times because all the girlfriends/boyfriends wanted a #BlackPanther date. Lol!
The Marvel film, which was a huge investment into telling a story of a black superhero and looking at an uninterrupted and futuristic Africa, has been our pride and joy.
When it was finally available for us to go watch, we (most black people) went in our numbers. So much so, it was reported that just after nine weeks on circuit Black Panther crossed the R100-million mark at the local box office.
This makes it the first film in South Africa to achieve this milestone.
But as always, some South Africans aren't happy about the achievement.
I was shocked to see that people are actually angry that my fellow siblings of #Wakanda spent THEIR money on the film.
Why? Apparently because we are a country in junk status and our spending habits "suck".
Okay, in November last year, South Africa was downgraded to junk status. It sounds complicated if you use the economic jargon but what it meant was that we (normal folk) would have to fork out way more for the essentials.
I believe the assumption of people who are pissed that we've spent over R100-million on a film are angry because they think that R70 could have done something better like buy bread or some essential. Well, it can but that's not my point.
"Why can't South Africans keep the money at home? Grow our economy? Support local?The USA doesn't even need our sh**hole money anyway," they said on Twitter.
A friend of mine (who is part of the other camp of people that are more on the 'wise' spending habit side) gave me an analogy while he was explaining.
He said, "It's like that watching your neighbor busy buying some slay queens, expensive alcohol and playing chauffeur in his GTI, when you know his baby sisters are starving at his iron shack home."
Not a great picture.
But since we talking pictures...
It would have been amazing if Vaya or Five Fingers for Marseilles raked in the cash but it is not. So, why should I be made to feel guilty about sending more money to the States?
It was never about that anyway.
People have to understand that Black Panther for most of us is about black excellence. It's about black pride, black heroes, black women, black men and above all black unity.
It's just a little reminder that when black people unite and decide to do something they do it! They do it bigger! They do it better! And they look damn good while doing it!
*I will not at any moment this year or in the next join the "woke" conversation of how it is white owned or whatever else y'all have found to dim the films' light*
For me, it's a moment that has been a LIFETIME in the making. If it fulfils its full potential, it will change a few things that may change bigger things in the long run.
Black kids will see themselves as superheroes. Black people will create more pro-black movies. Perhaps the narrative (slowly but surely) will change to one where blacks aren't portrayed as murderers, villains, slaves and uncivilised people.
What I am saying is not new. As an African, I will ship my R70 to the States with pride. I don't care that Wakanda is fiction, I care that I finally see myself on the big stage. My younger sister doesn't think she has to be Super Woman to win in life, she knows she can still win as Okoye or Nakia.
Junk status is temporary.
However, a chance to emancipate the black mind doesn't always come wrapped up as a fictional and excellent movie for us black folk, so I'll take it.