Imagine a world where Africa never experienced a day of colonisation, imagine a world where Africans were not forcefully moved out of their homes and land or shipped off to a land far away to work as slaves under the most dehumanising regimes and imagine a world where Africans dictated their own environment and economy. What a marvellous world indeed it would be !
That is the story of the Marvel’s first all black super hero cast movie ‘Black Panther’ and for some people, it will always be the first movie they ever watched on the Big Screen.
On Saturday morning about 250 kids made their way from all corners of Windhoek. Their goal was simple – to be treated to an experience of a lifetime. With a number corporates, individuals getting together to make dreams happen, Ster Kinekor at Grove Mall experienced what can only be described as The Great Invasion.
The Patriot newspaper and Oxygen Communications hosted 21 kids from the Community Hope School which is located in the Damara location of Katutura and another 22 children from Bet-el Primary School. Koi Foundation hosted in 250 learners from other schools.
Koi International Pastor, Mikey Amey shared his dream with The Lounge stating how excited he was for the kids because some of them have never been to the movies nor have some of them seen the Grove Mall before. It was all new to many of them.
Amey further explained his focus to make it possible for the kids to have this amazing day designed around the kids. He specifically wanted them to experience a day free from worry, neglect and to know that life can be truly amazing.
“We want the kids to know that they can do more; experience more by becoming whomever they dream of becoming. They must be encouraged to believe that nothing is off limits to them.
We also want them to see through this movie that they can be the heroes and the sheroes of our world by becoming the doctors needed to heal the injured as well as be inventors and create amazing innovations with technology.”
Before the movie showed, excitement among the youngsters reached almost fever pitched.
Some who met each other for the first time sat across each other and giggled as they talked about their favourite super heroes.
“I love Wonder Woman because she carries herself well and has a lot of girl power” shouted 14 years old, Charmaine Nanus.
In the midst of her delight of being in the theatre with her classmates, Nanus highlighted that she heard about Black Panther from a friend who told her to make time to go see it. However Nanus could not as finances were not readily available.
“My friend told me that the movie was interesting, but because I did not have money I could not watch it. This was until my class teacher walked into class one morning and told us that we were gifted the chance to watch the movie. Thank you,” she said giggling.
Nanus who is also a great singer while the children waiting for the movie to start stood up and sang a beautiful melody called ‘Good to be home’. She received a standing ovation for it with encouragement coming from all corners of the theatre. “Jy het hom, my kind ( you’ve got it )” shouted another kid from the crowd who praised Nanus for her amazing voice and talent.
Then the lights dimmed and the kids settled down, comfortable with their bucket of popcorn and drinks on the side.
Countless moments of laughter and squeals of delight echoed throughout the duration of the movie as they watched the movie. Without doubt, a huge moment of pride was experienced when King T’Challa’s aunt ( “Hey Auntie”) appeared in her Himba adorned style hairdo on screen. The kids had their own proudly Namibian moment with Himba style clothing clearly identifiable in the movie.
The two hour long movie left children happy and an applause was heard throughout the theatre as they clapped as they debated fiercely choosing which character they were after the movie was done.
‘I am King T’Challa the Black Panther’ exclaimed 13 year old Gerhard Sefanya as he ran down the stairs of the movie theatre.
Anna Gawagas a teacher from the Community Hope S chool commended all the parties who made the day possible for the children as she believed the kids have certainly learned a lot.
“I’m certain that the children now know how important team work is” as she referred to various parts of the movie where the people of Wakanda worked together in saving their country as well as protecting one another.
Gawagas while noting her own learning experience noted that she is taking away a lot of knowledge on cultures that she never knew of. Especially that of the ones that have lip plates in their mouths. Tribes that make use of traditional lip plates include the Mursi and Surma women of Ethiopia, the Sara women of Chad and the Makonde of Tanzania and Mozambique.
For the girls, they learnt that as a woman they are able to be powerful in their own way by making a difference not only on for themselves but for an entire country. In talking to the boys, they shared their lessons that violence is never the right answer but respecting and working together was vital for a nation.