Bruce Ndlovu, Sunday Life Correspondent
ONE of the country’s leading radio stations has come under fire from movie fans who accused it of stealing the gloss from the debut of the much anticipated Black Panther movie, after it announced that it would be hosting the premiere of the movie a week before it hits the cinemas across the globe.
Just over a month into the new, Black Panther has already been billed as the movie event of the year, spreading excitement across the globe with its all black starring cast, the first in a superhero movie, with Zimbabwe’s Danai Gurira featuring prominently.
That the movie might turn out to be career defining for the actress who has dazzled on such shows as The Walking Dead and Tupac Shakur’s biopic is an illustration of how highly regarded the movie is.
However, there was uproar among Zimbabwean movie buffs this week after it emerged that the station would host a premiere of the movie a day before it is expected to hit cinemas elsewhere across the globe.
In addition, those who want to watch the premiere would have to part with a cool $12, instead of the $6 that had been initially set to be charged for the opening night on 16 February.
Many took to social media to express their displeasure at the fact that tickets for the radio station hosted premiere were being sold at a mark up, with tickets for the prestige section of Ster Kinekor unavailable as they had allegedly been given away to the station’s clients. Moreover, Ster Kinekor also announced that the premiere date for Bulawayo had been moved from Friday to Thursday.
Nonetheless, far removed from the drama at home, Gurira is basking in the glory of the debut of a movie that is expected to reaffirm black pride across the globe. A visit to Zimbabwe last month confirmed to Gurira that excitement for the film was indeed widespread.
“I was in Zimbabwe early last month and the excitement around this idea of a Marvel movie being told through the African prism was overwhelming.
The excitement was amazing. It floored me, the impact this movie is set to have, if even where I’m from, there is that much excitement around it.
“How often do we get to see a portrayal coming from the continent? And it’s celebrating the continent, and celebrating African aesthetics, and celebrating African cultures and language, as well. Celebrating all those things and people of African descent,” she said in an interview.
Gurira who portrays Okoye, a warrior leading an all female army, said that of particular interest to her was how the movie would inspire pride in young people who would see black people and people women in particular, in positions of strength.
“They’re in the centre of the screen, their faces are what you’re seeing. Their perspectives, their struggles, their stories, their characters, their destinies.
That’s what we’re focused on, and their heroism. I tell you it’s amazing, the impact of imagery and representation. It’s no small thing. Think about how these portrayals could truly affect the minds of these young children and their sense of esteem,” she said.