RMD, Jacobs, Toke Ibru, Adefarasin, others grace Black Panther premiere

Kenyan actress, Lupita Nyong’o (left); South African film director, John Kani; U.S. actress, Danai Gurira and South African actress, Connie Chiume pose upon their arrival for the premiere of Black Panther… in Johannesburg, South Africa

The wait is finally over. The day many movie and comic lovers had been waiting for arrived last Friday, as the much-anticipated, blockbuster, Afro-superhero film, Black Panther, premiered in Lagos, Nigeria. Black Panther’s premiere also enjoyed the support of notable Nigerians and U.S. Consul-General at Film House, Lekki, Lagos.

Black Panther follows T’Challa, who after the death of his father, the King of Wakanda, returns home to the isolated, technologically advanced African nation located somewhere in East Africa to take his rightful place as king. But he is faced with stiff opposition from his cousin, who as a CIA agent, is planted to exploit the country’s technology.

The economy of Wakanda is built on Vibranium, a fictional, meteoric, metallic ore from which all the nation’s advanced technology is developed just like the Nigerian economy is built on crude oil.

The difference between Vibranium and Nigeria’s crude oil is that nobody tries to keep it from being exploited. Instead, Nigeria opened her doors to foreign exploiters and no one protects the big money earned the way the new king protects his country’s resources and defends it with his life and fights off all intruders with the help of his loyalists and other citizens. Vibranium is being used to develop every area of Wakandan economy – from warfare, medicine, education, and telecommunications to sophisticated transportation system.

Five Nigerians – David Opegbemi, Sope Aluko, Tari Omoro Jr., Amechi Okocha, Tunde Laleye, star in the movie. South African movie legends, John Kani and Connie Chiume and America-based Kenyan actress, Lupita Nyong’o and Danai Gurira are also part of the movie’s cast.

Black Panther has already smashed the box office record in the U.K. for a movie released early this month. It is poised to surpass 2017’s superhero hit, Deadpool. Superhero fans also appear to fall in love with the film’s visual qualities, the reproduction of costumes from the original comic and the characters’ accents and confessed that the movie deserves the hype about it.

While speaking with The Guardian at the premiere, U.S. Consul-General, Mr. John Bray, said, “Black Panther is an interesting movie. A movie very well done; it’s a cool thing to do for the black history month. It’s a wonderful thing that we are having the premiere in Lagos. We have so many Nigerians featured in the movie.”

Also, General Overseer of House on the Rock, Pastor Paul Adefarasin, who spoke on the strength of the Nigeria film industry, said, “The Nigeria film industry is recognised in the global economy as the third largest movie industry in the world. But it’s very important that we seek more technical support, more integration with movie industries in America, Europe and in India. I think we can continue to improve our acting skill and make the movie industry grow and continue to hit the silver screen, not just at home but also abroad, and continue to boost the export growth and the GDP of our nation.

“We need more film houses in the country, infrastructure, national planning. This is a big market; the Nigeria population will be over 400 million in the next 20-25 years, and that is the market place all the film houses and cinemas will be interested in. so, I’m excited for it. And the cultural space is also an important space, which drives our value and is a space I am interested in. we want to see the cultural space beginning to drive the value of freedom, justice, righteousness and industrialization.

“I’m scared about our growth. It’s going to take a lot of planning on the part of the government and increase in the GDP and ensure a stronger economy to facilitate the amenities to handle such a large population. It’s actually an emergency. So, we need to plan for the future.”

Other notable persons present at the premiere included Mr. Olu Jacobs and his wife Joke Silver, Mr. Richard Mofe-Damijo (RMD), Executive Director of The Guardian, Mr. Toke Ibru, 2Face Idibia and his wife Annie, among others.

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