Posted in Bismark's Corner, Sightings & Places, Uncategorized

Sightings & Places – Prince Peter takes us to Bénin Republic

Some like me are yet to set foot on the soils of Bénin Republic. Thankfully, Prince Peter offered to takes us on an adventure, somewhere in Cotonou called ‘Possotomè’. He tells us about this fountain of life located in the village that has sort of become symbolic to the people. Also an interesting trip to a sacred forest. Enjoy his narration and the accompanying visuals.

I’m sure there are only 60% of people living in Bénin Republic who actually know where the Possotomè mineral water is gotten from.
So, I had the opportunity to visit the great Possotomè village (most of y’all never knew there was a village named after the water, until now.) with its wonderful river. Lac Aheme.
The factory producing the mineral water is right in the village. Using the natural water, gotten from the lake and other places, the water then undergoes a wonderful process, turning it into the best and most used mineral water in Bénin Republic.

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Now, the best part is this; the people of Possotomè village, believe the water is supernatural. What I mean by supernatural is this; the water is said to heal the sick and do many other wonderful things.
Look at the picture above again… Are you seeing the tap there? Yes, when you’re sick, just go and take a wonderful bath under the big tap (I won’t call it a shower) and you’re healed, or drink from a water tower, located in the village.

Another thing is this. It is believed that there’s a hippopotamus in the very middle of the Lac- river. That’s it up there in the picture. No one dares crosses to the middle. While travelling there, you’ll see a hotel built on/around the river.
Right after there, going forward, that’s where the hippo lives. All hail the great hippo!!

The Mineral water gotten from the Lac- river here in Bénin Republic is one of the best and one of its kind. I don’t think any mineral water will ever beat it, even in 20 years!

The Sacred Forest of Kpassè:
We walked for 5 minutes from; where we stayed, to the forest. The weather was really bad. It looked like it was going to rain, anytime soon. Finally, we got there and tour commenced.
The sacred forest, does not have the word ‘sacred’ for nothing. It’s sacred because it houses the King of Kpassé and other creatures.
The king of Kpassè, on the run from the enemy in the 16th century, went into the forest to seek refuge. He wanted to be protected from the enemy and this, was a good place.
Take a look at the following pictures.

This is an iroko tree, which was said to be 400 years. The king of Kpassè, after fleeing from the enemy, wanted to live forever and get protection from evil. This, made him disappear into the tree. Legend has it that the king grants the wishes of his subjects and other people, who comes with a problem.
Make your wish and kiss the tree. Boom! Your wish is granted.

The above picture shows a man, playing with snakes. Lovely creatures, right? No, they’re not. People in this part of the country believes in the power of the snake. The snakes are not harmful as its said. Legend has it that when one snake is killed, dangerous things will befall the village and if possible, the entire country.
So please, don’t go about killing snakes anyhow. One, might be a prince.

This is The temple of the Snake. This temple is for the snakes and those who’ve been initiated alone. They go in there, to pray to the snakes and ask for anything which the snake(s) grants. The snakes in there are all loyal to their Queen (if indeed there’s any) and oversee things going on in the village/town.

This is Legba with his long penis. Legba is the god that takes care of the villages and towns in the country. He also is the god of “fertility”. Women around the world, who are barren and believes in the power of this god, comes to him with gifts and then prays for whatever they came for.
Legba is one of the good gods of Bénin, till date.
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The people of ancient Kpassé, made a route through the forest to the kings palace, so that he can get inside and take whatsoever it wants.
An oracle, was made for the king, next to the iroko tree he entered. While going there, your shoes should be removed otherwise, you face the wrath of the king.
The people still ask when he’ll come out. He says, he’d live there till eternity.
Well, let’s believe he still lives there and grants wishes.

P.S: Benin republic, is one of the countries in the world that believes strongly in voodoo powers. Respect the dead!
_______________________
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Posted in Bismark's Corner, Cave View, Uncategorized

On Shaky Foundations – Written by Matty Marope

Today I specially acknowledge the kids of parents who engaged in physical abuse. You never really do grow from that. When other kids have memories of being scolded for running without their shoes on, you have little flashbacks of fists, belts, kicks, insults and rage. These memories come randomly when you are giggling with your friends over jokes about this or that,when you are blushing over compliments given to you and even when having sex-anytime! These morsels of memories come with an after-taste of distrust, over-trust &misplaced compassion and love from the bitter drink named emotional abuse.

Your brain tends to shatter, reality becomes skew and a sense of compassion to you dabbles between hiding from everyone or overly loving everyone from afar and close. That needle on the scale is never really balanced. And when it seems to dabble on a certain number it still never really settles and re-calibrating means therapy and therapy means picking scabs of the past,applying balm and bandaging wounds as a sign of healing-always painful but it works until the next disease.

You hang on to anything as a shield. You can even hide in a tinned shack with a toxic lover who also has their own scars and wild perspective to life but just as long as he looks like or has the physical capability to shield you should the need arise, your version of love means being physically ready to protect yourself. You watch for cues in tone, habits and touches to know when you should be prepared to be disregarded for another. And even when you know, you stand still, disappointed at your lack of movement, longing for more affection and hateful that instead of being physically challenged and being ready for it, you are now emotionally contending and there is little else you can do-its like trying to run under water-physically tiring,mentally shattering and emotionally exhausting.

Your version of educational fulfilment means a fear of completion and success because again you didn’t fight for this and it somehow feels like even the best you have so far (even when its better than most else’s) is too meagre to be presented to the world. Being at work dabbles between being too nice and liberal to being cagey. You have the opportunity to seek mentorship and friendship but if at the first sign of ‘hello’ you see cues for unwillingness, distrust,disinterest – you bail when it could have just been that person being too busy at the moment or having a hard time in their life or with their health at that moment. Or it truly could’ve been that they have no interest in helping you and that they do want to see you fail but because you don’t have the emotional capacity to handle rejection without tearing up and begging like you are being beaten and then fixing things like you are bandaging scars, you let go of everything and wait anxiously.

These are wounds religion can’t seem to fix because it preaches submission,being humble and kneeling-the same positions your saw your battered parent being in and your other battering parent playing God and striking at every turn, sometimes fixing things a little before striking again.

On most days when things are lovely; you do so well. On horrible days, you try to at least stand when your feet even when they are wobbly. On all days; you are beautiful, you are the sunshine and the moon and we were and are still here-all of us. I acknowledge you, I am you and we kids are alright.

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Posted in Uncategorized

Linda Ikeji’s Online TV Channel Launch: Our Time is Now By Eleanya Ndukwe, Jr.

“Until the lions have their own historians, the history of the hunt will always glorify the hunter.”
~East African proverb

The African narrative has been subjected to a linear perspective that is induced by the ulterior motives and racist undertones of the Western media. The complaint has eternally become almost mute: “why do they report negative news about us always?” To which the usual reply came back to the effect of “If you do not want them telling lies on you, tell your own stories.” So, the bastardisation remained while our image and overall perception—to the West and the world at large—plunged even deeper into the abyss of international irrelevance.

Perhaps on this premise, one can understand the joy I felt at the news release by blogger and social media entrepreneur, Linda Ikeji to launch the online version of her TV Channel less than a week from today.

In the official announcement of the proposed “Linda Ikeji TV” launch, Linda mentioned that she hopes the TV Channel would become “To Africa what Netflix is to the world.”
To put into proper context, the giant American streaming company’s market value as at January, 2018 was $110 billion. Comparatively, that makes it wealthier than Time Warner (surpassed since 2017), CBC, McDonald’s, Viacom, Sony etc. Measuring Netflix’s market share, it was reported that in the past year alone, shares went up more than 64 percent. This figure is mind-blowing especially when juxtaposed with the financial muscle of the United States’ entertainment industry, or its human capital venture vis-à-vis socioeconomic and financial competitions amid the somewhat overcrowded market.

Content creation has been the major driving force of this “sudden” economic might and the company understands this. Netflix CEO and cofounder, Reed Hastings announced that spending on content would skyrocket, even higher in 2019 and 2020, as the company has earmarked about $7.5 billion to $8 billion on content for 2018 alone. While it has been the major reason for their large amount of debt, the company’s hierarchy believes that the development of original content, and charge to subscribers however will always pacify the worries. I agree.

With the creation of content—original contents, I must emphasize—have come unprecedented financial gains. Netflix generated $11.69 billion in annual revenue for 2017 and is expected to make up to $15 billion this year. Their aggressive reflection through award nominations and wins have held up the model too.

All these have loosely been made possible due to the number of streaming subscribers on its platform. According to data gathering site, based on “statistics from more than 22,500 sources,” “Statista,” in its 2018 report noted that from the mid quarter of 2011 to the first quarter of 2018, the number of Netflix streaming subscribers worldwide has grown to 125 million!

So, bringing the discussion home, with Linda’s aim to make her TV Channel “what Netflix is to the world,” that’s one hell of an audacious statement, and arguably, perhaps with merit still, a very tall order. In retrospect—based on the African continent’s stratospheric populace—this looks like a piece of pie if the “streaming business” as widely anticipated, buys into the programmes to be aired on the Linda Ikeji TV Channel particularly with South African broadcast giant, DSTV being part of the enterprise.

Netflix, according to “Statista” has approximately 5.5 thousand employees. The potential reach of Linda’s TV could be massive in this regard, creating jobs and empowering locals within the context of the much-vaunted lack of jobs in Nigeria, and by extension, Africa.

Again, considering how Linda has been the pacesetting revolutionary for social interaction—and dissemination—bringing millions of active followers, readers, and even idle, passive consumers to her media contents and platforms, while making her the richest and most influential blogger in Africa today, nothing seems impossible to this amazing, strong-willed, visionary woman.

With the news came massive positive raves, underlining how important and timely—maybe, a bit late if the years of western indoctrination, single point narrative, and unbridled racial biases are considered—Linda’s TV Channel launch is to the African narrative as a direct counterpoint to the West’s. Its purpose and potential reach are to be lauded. For those who may not comprehend fully the importance of this achievement, imagine how many times you have been subjected to the bias of western news reportage, unapologetically, even with clearly skewed statistics all employed to suit the western narrative in the deplorable creation and/or shaping of negative perception and image for Africa or African-related news stories. Imagine what it would mean to no longer be exposed to the poisonous indoctrinations from “BBC,” “Aljazeera” or “CNN” just to know what is happening in neighbouring African nations, or even within.

For the first time in a long time, with the latest 21st century trend of infotainment—a marriage of information and entertainment—Linda sets the bar higher than anyone else in Africa. Her announcement to take her social media reach across borders, inspires so much hope and faith and belief in the new ways we could tell our stories from “an unapologetically African perspective,” as Professor Okey Ndibe notes in his classic memoir “Never Look an American in the Eye: Flying Turtles, Colonial Ghosts, and the Making of a Nigerian American.”

Obviously, the biggest drive to the Linda Ikeji TV Channel would be the quality of content which must be fashioned to resonate with the target audience—the African public in this case. With such creative contents from brilliant minds like AMAA-nominated filmmaker and writer, Onyeka Nwelue’s “The Onyeka Nwelue Show” which according to him is “all about everything,” speaks volumes. Episodes have already been shot with renowned personalities like Professor Wole Soyinka, Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr., 2017 Nigeria Prize for literature winner, Ikeogu Oke, Toni Kan, amongst others, one can only clasp hands in anticipation of the heights to be attained.

There is, in fact, almost no limit to how high Linda can soar with this latest achievement.

Maybe I’m being my optimistic self as usual, thinking too much of the original contents that could be plugged into the mainstream TV channel. But I can only imagine the limitless possibilities of what Linda Ikeji has and can do with her TV.

This is great news. Not just for Linda, but for Africa. As the leader of the self-acclaimed “free world” would note: This is Yuuge!

This is everything Africa needs—well, partly, but majorly to tell our story!

Thank you Linda Ikeji for the gift of your creative mind and the audacity to bring these ideas to fruition.

You’re a Melanin Goddess🖤

_______________________
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Posted in #FOC, Bismark's Corner, Let's Meet You, Styles of the Cave, Uncategorized

FACE OF THE CAVE FOR THE WEEK (Appreciation of Beauty and Excellence)

The surest place to find the loveliest faces, right here, as always.


Name: Ojo Olufisayo


State: Osun
Field: Legal Profession


Likes: Reading, Writing Travelling & Watching movies
Dislikes: Dishonesty, Pride & Lies


Favourite Quote: “You Only Live Once”


Contact: Ojo Olufisayo |Facebook

Yes! Age is just a number!!! Get your Anti- Ageing Mask from Star MakeUpWorld/Spa at a very affordable price… Whatsapp us on 08094592460 to place orders.
#WhyLookBeautifulWhenYouCanLookGorgeous?


Name: Chukwudi Eternal Udoye


State: Anambra
Field: Creative Arts/Photography/Music


Likes: Open-mindedness and laughter
Dislikes: Lies, Slander,


Favourite Quote: ‘What I am, I cannot become’


Contact: Chukwudi Eternal Udoye |Facebook

_________________________
Quote For The Week
“Quiet people have the loudest minds.” – Stephen Hawking

To qualify for the next Face of the cave series
*Have your profile be a clear face shot.
*Give a brief description of yourself and please make sure to include your likes, dislikes and hobbies.
*Submit them to the chatterbox team within four days from now via bbm pin- 2898fd68 or inbox Bismark Ekenedilichukwu Benson on Facebook.

Cheers to the new Face of the cave!

Share your thoughts on this week’s faces in the comment box.
We’d also love for you to stay in touch with us! The best way to keep up to date is to subscribe to Bismark’s Cave. You can do this by tapping the ‘follow’ option.
_______________________
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Posted in #FOC, Bismark's Corner, Let's Meet You, Styles of the Cave, Uncategorized

FACE OF THE CAVE FOR THE WEEK (Appreciation of Beauty and Excellence)

The surest place to find the loveliest faces, right here, as always.


Name: Blessing Edward


State: Akwa Ibom


Likes: Honesty, Politeness
Dislike: Pride


Favourite Quote: “Never regret. If it’s good, it’s wonderful. If it’s bad, it’s experience.”


Contact: Bléssìng Blìzzy Blìñgs Edwärd |Facebook

Yes! Age is just a number!!! Get your Anti- Ageing Mask from Star MakeUpWorld/Spa at a very affordable price… Whatsapp us on 08094592460 to place orders.
#WhyLookBeautifulWhenYouCanLookGorgeous?


Name: Nelo Obi


Occupation: CEO & Founder at Fashionati
School: Graduate of University of Nigeria, Nsukka
Status: Married


Likes: Hard work
Dislikes: Mediocrity


Favourite Quote: “Strive to put in your best in all that you do to stand out at all times.”


Contact: Nelo Obi |Facebook

_________________________
Quote For The Week
“The question isn’t who is going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me.” – Ayn Ran

To qualify for the next Face of the cave series
*Have your profile be a clear face shot.
*Give a brief description of yourself and please make sure to include your likes, dislikes and hobbies.
*Submit them to the chatterbox team within four days from now via bbm pin- 2898fd68 or inbox Bismark Ekenedilichukwu Benson on Facebook.

Cheers to the new Face of the cave!

Share your thoughts on this week’s faces in the comment box.
We’d also love for you to stay in touch with us! The best way to keep up to date is to subscribe to Bismark’s Cave. You can do this by tapping the ‘follow’ option.
_______________________
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Posted in Bismark's Corner, Let's Meet You, Styles of the Cave, ThrowBackThursday, Uncategorized

FUNNY THROW BACK THURSDAY PICTURES – Dipping Into The Archives

Here’s another exciting throwback segment. Check out these selected Cave Members today and before. Try not to laugh as you observe the huge transformation in looks & overall appearance…Lol

| Obiajulu Ugochukwu

High Glasses

| Chukwu-Ebuka Umennadi

My first passport

| Cent Anthony Chukwu

My Nokia N1 be no get flash that year

| Esther Golden Uma

My mama say I must carry my brother go school

| Joe Hiykesleo Ikechukwu

I still use material from this shirt sew my wife Weddy gown

| Chidinma Anya

Nwa Selfie

| Ezema Emerald Kalu

Abeg who take my cream

| Ebuslim Sylvester Udemezue

This Camera Man wash my picture inside Barca Chemical

| John Defiant

Admitted into College of Medicine graduated from College of Theatre Arts

| Debbie Emerald

From Nigga to Princess

_______________________
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Posted in #FOC, Bismark's Corner, Let's Meet You, Styles of the Cave, Uncategorized

FACE OF THE CAVE FOR THE WEEK (Appreciation of Beauty and Excellence)

The surest place to find the loveliest faces, right here, as always.


I am Michael Chukwudi Okoye, First of his name.


I’m from Nanka, Anambra state.
I’m a writer and weaver of words. I’m currently into sports writing. I’m pretty good at what i do. sportzkick.com is the site.


Dislike?
I dislike people that are too serious and also people who are too un-serious. There should be a balance to everything.
I hate dishonest people.
I dislike people who let other people trample on them.
I dislike people celebrating mediocrity. Unless your work is excellent, i can never patronise you.
I dislike people without a sense of humour.

Likes?
I like honest people. People whose yea is yea and amen.
I like money. Yes, i’m a full blooded Igbo man.
I like rebels. I am one.
I like a good movie.
I like Ofe Nsala. In fact don’t crush on me if you can’t prepare that delicious dish.


Contact: Michael Okoye |Facebook

Yes! Age is just a number!!! Get your Anti- Ageing Mask from Star MakeUpWorld/Spa at a very affordable price… Whatsapp us on 08094592460 to place orders.
#WhyLookBeautifulWhenYouCanLookGorgeous?


Name: Mwuese Praise


Field/School: Studied English Language at Benue State University
Personality: Reserved


State: Benue
Favourite Quote: “What is worth doing is worth doing well.”


Contact: Mwuese Ter Praise |Facebook

_________________________
Quote For The Week
“True freedom is impossible without a mind made free by discipline.” – Mortimer J. Adler

To qualify for the next Face of the cave series
*Have your profile be a clear face shot.
*Give a brief description of yourself and please make sure to include your likes, dislikes and hobbies.
*Submit them to the chatterbox team within four days from now via bbm pin- 2898fd68 or inbox Bismark Ekenedilichukwu Benson on Facebook.

Cheers to the new Face of the cave!

Share your thoughts on this week’s faces in the comment box.
We’d also love for you to stay in touch with us! The best way to keep up to date is to subscribe to Bismark’s Cave. You can do this by tapping the ‘follow’ option.
_______________________
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Posted in Bismark's Corner, Let's Meet You, Styles of the Cave, Uncategorized

An Interview with Comedian – Ebuslim

Best known for taking crazy to another level, enough to keep you laughing and wondering how he does it.
He’s the one and only incredibly talented ‘Ebuslim’. Enjoy the interview.


Q – Can you briefly introduce yourself, Ebuslim:
A- I am a native of Anambra state, Nnewi local government, Osumenyi village precisely. 25 years ago, i was born into the family of Sylvester Udemezue.


Q – What kind of comedy do you do?
A – I do online comedy and stand up comedy.


Q – Can you tell us a few stand up comedy shows you’ve featured in?
A – A couple of them. I performed at the launching of Faze album. Most recently, Awka Concert which took place on February 23rd. Graced by Terry G and many other top acts.


Q – You have a huge Facebook fan base, did you realise you were funny before social media?
A – I knew I was funny because I was this jovial kid in school. I amused my mates so much that at a point, my friends would always showcase me before our teachers, for them to see how funny I could be. Then, they called on me to make them laugh. Sometimes I chose to dance or say jokes which cracked them up.
Thereafter, I grew up knowing how to easily make my friends and family, including people around me, laugh. This is what keeps me on the track.


Q – Tell us how social media has helped in putting your name out there?
A – For an up and coming comedian, doing my thing on social networks created a good platform for me. Instagram and Facebook can easily help in making one’s stuff go viral. Thousands of people get to know you and before you know it you are on that celebrity status. In my case, social networks helped in promoting me to a certain extent. Off-line, I had been to many shows where nobody knew me. But my hushpuppi comedy photos was the one that gave me the little fame that i didn’t get all these while. So I still believe in the effectiveness of online comedy.


Q – What inspires your jokes?
A – My jokes are basically a reflection of how I view things in the society. I get inspiration from what people do or what they say and how people react to things of life. Then I say to myself, “what if it is told this way?” I try to make a joke out of it, without losing the real message. Other times, I use my experiences.


Q – Any example?
A – For example, the day a bike man carried me and I had no idea of the location of where I was going to. Then he got fed up and told me to get down. So I came down and boarded another bike, but then he told his colleague that he shouldn’t carry me that I am mad I have no destination. It sounded serious, but to me, funny. Till date I share this experience in jokes and people laugh. It has become comical.


Q – When people don’t laugh at a joke, how does it feel?
A – Most times when I crack jokes and people don’t laugh, it sends a signal to me, like, “Bro you didn’t present the joke well or the people aren’t listening to you.”
I feel bad and keep on working on my skill. Not everyone would find your joke funny. I do feel bad but i don’t take it to heart. I try to improve.


Q – Do people take you seriously when you’re serious?
A – People don’t take me seriously at all. Sometimes I might say I need money and people tend to care less. I might see a fine girl like that and pour out my real intentions towards her and she would be like, “you dey use me joke abi”
Such happens but I understand that’s how they see me – a non serious person.


Q – Any major influences in the industry? (If any, mention)
A – In the industry I really appreciate the works of everyone. Nigerian comedians give their best and I found out it isn’t easy to just say this one man I love because everyone has different comedy styles. But if I were to be in a situation to choose only one person or two I would go for Bovi and I go die. These two individuals are very creative in their thoughts.


Q – What are your plans in the nearest future?
A – My future plans are on track by the grace of God. I am working with a friend currently. We plan to shoot hilarious skits that i’m really sure will make waves and make people want more from us. And also having shows annually for friends and fans all over the country to come and watch me perform – just like AY shows. Bovi’s Man on Fire, etc.


Q – In a relationship right now or not?
A – Yeah i’m in a relationship and we are good for now, hoping to take it to the next level soon.


Contacts
Phone Number | 08187933207
Facebook | Ebuslim Sylvester Udemezue
Instaagram | @officialebuslim
_______________________
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Posted in #FOC, Bismark's Corner, Let's Meet You, Styles of the Cave, Uncategorized

FACE OF THE CAVE FOR THE WEEK (Appreciation of Beauty and Excellence)

The surest place to find the loveliest faces, right here, as always.


Name: Divine Chibuzo


State: Imo


Field: Nutrition & Mgt


Likes: Honesty
Dislike: Pretenders


Favourite Quote: “There’s something about a woman with a loud mind that sits in silence,smiling,knowing she can crush you with d truth”


Contact: Deevyne Chibuhzoh |Facebook

Yes! Age is just a number!!! Get your Anti- Ageing Mask from Star MakeUpWorld/Spa at a very affordable price… Whatsapp us on 08094592460 to place orders.
#WhyLookBeautifulWhenYouCanLookGorgeous?


Name: Christian Williams Jaja


State: Rivers


Field: Biochemist/businessman


Likes: Writing, travelling, swimming, Working out.
Dislikes: Arrogance, selfishness


Favourite Quote: ‘Get up, Get on`


Contact: Christian Williams-Jaja |Facebook

_________________________
Quote For The Week
“Thinking will not overcome fear but action will.” – W. Clement Stone

To qualify for the next Face of the cave series
*Have your profile be a clear face shot.
*Give a brief description of yourself and please make sure to include your likes, dislikes and hobbies.
*Submit them to the chatterbox team within four days from now via bbm pin- 2898fd68 or inbox Bismark Ekenedilichukwu Benson on Facebook.

Cheers to the new Face of the cave!

Share your thoughts on this week’s faces in the comment box.
We’d also love for you to stay in touch with us! The best way to keep up to date is to subscribe to Bismark’s Cave. You can do this by tapping the ‘follow’ option.
_______________________
Have a story for us? Or want to place ads on the page?
Reach us on our social media handles
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Posted in Cave View, Uncategorized

“Black Panther”: Pan-Africanism on Screen – by Eleanya Ndukwe, Jr.

Since “Black Panther” premiered in Los Angeles in January, and its theatrical release in the United States on February 16th—actually, if truth be told, even before then—till the day I saw it on the 22nd, there had been conscious efforts to dodge every “review,” “spoiler,” hash-tags with “Wakanda,” “BlackPanther” and likes. Reason: I wanted to go to the movie theatre with an “unadulterated” mind; one not coloured through the prisms of subjective and secondary analyses.

While the anticipation grew to go see “Black Panther” almost to the point of hysteria, my mind had started playing tricks on me about what I’d wear to the “occasion” as this was something out of the ordinary. My attire was definitely going to be heavily influenced by whatever cultural ideology —culture, you bet, wasn’t to be missed—I so desired.

What could be more appealing than the Abiriba cultural attire? I thought. So, out came my Ọkara from the farthest side of my box, Pop’s “Kpọmkpọm,” designed as a two- piece intertwined cultural clothing worn around the waist girdle-like in style came aboard, cuff-links followed suit, tie, my favourite white shirt, perhaps as a symbol of purity and innocence joined the clique, shoe, and the “Nnweyi Ikputu”
were all summoned. I was set—for “Black Panther.”

The excitement was building.
We got to the theatre. Pops mentioned we would be seeing “Black Panther” in “3D.” I couldn’t wait. My anticipation had bubbled over, especially with me in my Abiriba attire and an unmissable ‘heightened’ African swagger to my newly acquired footsteps.

I sat.
And it began!
It was Robin Walker who in his timeless book, “When We Ruled: The Ancient and Medieval History of Black Civilisations,” wrote about the past, historical domination of Africa during the early centuries pre-colonization, while de-bunking the western-propagated agenda of a historically- bereft Africa before the coming of “colonizers,” of which a few of its excerpts can be found here

Thus, laying credence to the works of such educationalists and historians as Chancellor Williams, Dr. Carter G. Woodson and Cheikh Anta Diop; activists as Marcus Garvey, Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X; and even literary icons as Amiri Baraka, Chinua Achebe, James Baldwin, Ngugi Wa Thiong’o and others that Africa’s history did not begin with the barbaric invasion and intrusion of colonialism, or trading of Africans but rather, as a certain sage aptly captures it, it was “interrupted” by it.

It is against this backdrop that “Black Panther” takes centre stage as A) A futuristic projection of African dominance in global politics, technology and medicine.
B.) An aesthetic representation of African livelihood and ideologies before colonialism—and some which continue to take hold of its citizens till date.

A lot of negative “reviews” have largely stemmed from the reactions to the character of the villain, Erik Killmonger. But even that, is a depiction of the “Black” man’s struggle in America: the child without a father figure, son left to find his place in a rudder-less world, the forgotten, the broken, the lost! The same way one could argue about how different world history would have read had Africa “colonised” other continents, tribes and regions. The resolution of “Black Panther’s” conflict therefore puts into perspective the fact that ambition—no matter how worthy or Pan-Africanist in quest—is not justifiable on the altar of colonialism, political and economic enslavement of “perceived” weaker nations especially while annihilating one’s own and going as far as abandoning African ideologies.

Alluringly, the richness to a work of art—visual—plays to the aesthetic introductions exhibited. If there was a need for a keen attention to details of African traditions, cultural identities, and ideologies, “Black Panther” nailed it.
And I list a few, among the numerous: Parental guide, spiritual and emotional support of the African as core, deeply embedded trait in the African family tradition stays true to this movie. Queen Ramonda remains eternally present and relevant in offering support, guide, and
even medical interventions to his son via the richest “pharmaceutical” invention known to us: Herbs. Her eternal line to T’Challa “My son, it is your time,” buttresses this point.

Much more, there is the dominant, progressive role played by other female characters from Army General and tactical, patriotic spear-wielding Okoye—whose epic line “Wakanda Forever” resonates—to super spy Nakia to tech genius Shuri taking back to the ideological empowerment format of the African heritage which produced such prominent figures as Queen Anna Nzinga, Queen Amina Sukhera of Zaria, Princess Nandi Zulu, Commander Yaa Asantewa, Queen Ahmose-Nefertari, Miriam Makeba, Queen Tiye, Queen Neithhotep and more. Thus, not pandering to patriarchal entitlements of modern society and so-called civilisation, but understanding the role, importance and relevance of the African Goddess both in the formation of life, politics, and advancement of societal goals. In this regard do we see “ancient” civilisation as acknowledging the woman as the God of creation, survival, and dominance; and reinforcing the need for feminism, gender equality and most importantly in this new age, women empowerment!

The costume designing in “Black Panther” would bring this truth even further. The famous drapes usually gracing Nigerian attires are not missed; the lip and ear plate modifications of the Surma and Mursi body tribes of Ethiopia; the Ndebele neck rings and laces largely
synonymous with the South Africans and Zimbabweans; the Ethiopian and Sudanese tribes-inspired body tattoos; Maasai-inspired ornaments and dressings of the Tanzanian and Kenyan people; the Mgbedike masks of the Igbo, Eastern Nigeria tribe; the Lesotho blankets; the “otjize” paste reminiscent of the Northwestern Himba people of Namibia; the Tuareg scarfs of the North and West Africans;
the Agbada largely worn by those of North and West Africans; the Dogon attires of the Mali people; the tiny, multi-coloured neck beads worn by Kenya’s Turkana people etc.

Just as unique as the costumes are, the languages utilised in “Black Panther” enchant even more. Language as an extensive form of communication/dissemination of information in the movie heightens the consciousness of Pan-Africanism in “Black Panther” using Nsibidi and the Xhosa languages.

Nsibidi is comprised of both logo-graphic symbols, as words and morphemes, and an ideographic set-up, as such, a representation of ideas and concepts known to the indigenous Ejagham (Ekoi) people in present day Cross River State, Calabar, Nigeria. It was adopted by their Efik, Ibibio, Anang and Igbo neighbours (Abiriba, Bende, Igbere,
Edda, Arochukwu, and Afikpo) through the interpersonal relationships bordering on socio-economic integration and by a stretch of political domination cum communal clashes.

According to archaeological findings of ceramic artefacts with such inscriptions on them, Nsibidi dates between at least 4000-5000 BCE; totally devoid of Arabic and Latin precursors. However, some unique Ikom, Nigeria monoliths with Nsibidi writings were found to date back to 2000 BC.
This makes it one of the oldest written languages in world history and emphatically refutes the idea that oral tradition was the only means of communication employed by Africans —Nigerians in this case—before the advent of the British colonising monsters.

As imperialism and slavery took root in Africa, through the Atlantic Slave Trade, Nsibidi was exported by the African slaves to the Caribbean where it developed into the anaforuana and veve symbols and can be found till date in Cuba, Venezuela, Jamaica, Haiti, and even Brazil. While recent history claims that the Nsibidi language and writing is almost going extinct, it has been recognised too that some clans and tribes in Eastern Nigeria, mainly the Efik, Ibibio, Ohafia, Abiriba, Arochukwu, Ebonyi and even Southern reaches of Cameroon still use this esoteric, mystical language as a communication format through the societal fraternity known as Ekpe.

Xhosa—the endearing “click click language,” so named for its ‘click’ consonants’ at pronunciation—is a Bantu language spoken by over 19 million people in Southern Africa. Nations like Zimbabwe, Zambia, Tanzania, Botswana, Namibia, and Lesotho are heavy users.
Archaeological findings reveal that the Xhosa-speaking people have lived in the Eastern Cape region since the 7th century AD as descendants of the Bantu, originally from present day Cameroon and Nigeria while another record posits that Xhosa has existed since before the 16th century.

Juxtaposing the usage of the Nsibidi and Xhosa languages in “Black Panther” and relative global history, one can note, regrettably, that in colonialism and western imperialism, Africa lost one of the most unifying factors of civilisation—language. Just as we did with spirituality, cultural practices etc. “The white man is very clever…he has put a knife on the things that held us together and we have fallen apart,” the eternal novelist, essayist and poet Chinua Achebe aptly
captures this vanquishment in his classic “Things Fall Apart.”

As with the language culture being a unique trait of mother-land Africans, so is art. Africans are first recognised and portrayed on the basis of their unique art ideologies.
These identities are portrayed through the traditional garbs, rhythmic fusion of murals covering backgrounds across most scenes, exploring the richness of African art, its place in pre colonial times, continuous relevance and consciousness. Speaking of “Art,” “Black Panther” zeroes in on the failures of Africa while highlighting the massive exploitations perpetrated by the West. For instance, the scene where Killmonger appears in a London art gallery depicts the Art plunders that have become the bane of African Art the world over. I wrote about this problem some time ago and can be found here

Critically, one must factor in the notion of rejecting “immigrants” into “Wakanda” as pandering to racism. As such, would Africa be a dominant continent for all forms of civilisation if she rejected/rejects migration, border crossings and voyages from “foreigners?” This, “Black Panther” credibly dealt with, with T’Challa acknowledging the role to be played by his “nation” in treating an ailing CIA agent Ross while waging war against his cousin Killmonger. Subliminal in tone, but equally forceful in portrayal is how it depicts the effects of the madness of current global crises of wars, persecutions, and terrorisms
vis-à-vis migration, asylum requests and the need for borders of nation-states to be opened to refugees or refusing to give aides through the sheer boundless possibilities of the symbolic resource “Vibranium”—representing the massive, vast, limitless potentials of Africa ‘s numerous natural resources.

Does this justify and fulfil the promises of its needs or merits? T’Challa answers in one of the credits scenes: “Wakanda will no longer watch from the shadows….We will work to be an example of how we, as brothers and sisters of this earth, should treat each other. Now, more than ever, the illusions of division threaten our very existence. We all
know the truth: more connects us than separates us. … We must find a way to look after one another, as if we were one single tribe.”

Perhaps as a rebuttal to the foreign policies of the major world powers in their respective foreign policies or at least, an allegory for the recognition of the self-acclaimed “greatest nation on earth’s” failure, T’Challa advises, “In times of crisis the wise build bridges, while the foolish build barriers.”
It might interest you to replace “barriers” with “walls,” for better and easier relativity.

If building “bridges” is T’Challa’s goals, then on its metaphoric base dwells the platform on which the greatest act of dehumanization, the Atlantic slave trade, transpired— the ocean. Africans were traded across the American continent as lesser animals to face even greater acts of inhumanity for the sake of racism. African ancestors bled, had their bodies torn limb from limb, raped, slaughtered, lynched for the bloodthirsty spite of their western plunderers. Some entertained hope—no matter how infinitesimal—of a future where they would be treated or at least regarded as equal, or maybe more than lesser animals. They kept the faith.

But a few select souls would rather embrace death as their ultimate redemption than be sold into slavery. Those were the Igbos, of present day South-eastern Nigeria. It was May 1803. At the Dunbar Creek on St. Simons Island, Glynn County, Georgia, they seized their ship, overpowered and drowned their captors, and as a verified account of the tragic event recounts, led by their spiritual leader with
raised vocals on a war-like song of courage; of defiance; of homecoming, marched to the sea, hand in hand, forever in brotherhood’s solidarity, they committed one of the largest mass suicides in America’s history of slavery. The historic site is known today as Igbo Landing.

Erik Killmonger seems to allude to this historic happenstance in his final moment when he quips, “Bury me in the ocean with my ancestors that jumped from the ships, ‘cause they knew death was better than bondage.”
Constant recurrence in “Black Panther” is the minor theme of communication between the living and the dead—a major African ideology about the place of deep connection between those still in the physical realm and their ancestors. For guidance. For inspiration. For peace. Thus, Killmonger finds peace in reconnecting with his ancestors which had eluded him in life, but not in death.

Not to forget though, the directorial prowess and tight-knit script written by Ryan Coogler and Joe Robert Cole; the cast starring Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Andy Serkis, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Martin Freeman, Daniel Kaluuya, Angela Bassett, Forest Whitaker, Letitia Wright, Winston Duke; and the awe-laden, Pan-African-inspiring costumes designed by the super creative Ruth E.
Carter more than delivered. My number is on a few personalities from the “Black Panther” cast and crew to win next year’s major awards.

In the end, “Black Panther” is one of those classics that cannot be exhausted in one “review” as every scene, sequence, character’s arc, major and minor themes all build on to something bigger. Something almost unexplainable.
Something complete justice would arguably never be done to by way of exposé.

This is my opinion. Whatever you make of “Black Panther,” there is no denying the fact that, in this Information Age, the consciousness for Pan-Africanism is taking a more forceful root and “Black Panther” has only added to this movement.
Shamefully, the only failure I can perceive of “Black Panther” is perhaps the irrepressible tragic feeling that it may not be enough to arouse the slumbering political “leaders” littered all over Africa who clearly lack the political will to bring the “futuristic” potentials of “Wakanda” to fruition.

But like Somali-Canadian artiste K’naan expresses hope in his audacious “Waving Flag,” I patiently wait for that fateful day, when I will be able to say assuredly, like Okoye, “We are Home!”

P.S.: all pictures featured on this piece were sourced from different websites on the internet. Therefore, all copyright laws are duly acknowledged with no intent, whatsoever, to infringe on the creative rights of the original owners.

#WakandaForever #BlackPanther #Africa #TheNewMind

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