By Kurtis Adigba In the course of my daily activities…
By Abdulkabir Olatunji
We Africans are being mumufied and mugulized again. You migh be wondering what do these words mean? ‘Mumu’ is a word in Pidgin English that neans a silly unintelligent person and ‘Mugu’ means a person that is easily deceived, call them ‘naive’ if you like. Consequently, ‘Mumufication’ is the process of being made a Mumu while ‘Mugulization’ is the process of being made a Mugu.
Don’t be offended, the last time I checked, I am a full-blooded African.
So, there is this new movie called ‘Black Panther’ in which a very technologically advanced fictional African nation called Wakanda produces a Super Hero, you know; Superman, Spiderman, Ironman, Batman kind of thing. The film also has a largely Black cast and almost all the people that have watched it and those that have not watched it (like me) have been hyping the movie.
Descriptions like; ‘revolutionary’, ‘a moment in time’, ‘refreshing’ have been used by critics and fans in analyzing the film.
However, very few people have understood that the fact that we need to look to Marvel Comics and Hollywood to produce a positive portrayal of African society being technologically advanced is actually a huge part of what is wrong with Africa.
Nollywood, the continent’s biggest film industry from Nigeria could not conceive and successfully deliver it, neither did any other African filmmaking outlet.
Perhaps, more depressing is that there really is no African country close to the kind of technological development that Wakanda represents. “South Africa”, you say? Just look at the recent Jacob Zuma debacle and you know that your point is very contestable.
If it were set in Asia, we could cite cities like Shanghai, Hong Kong as well as countries like Japan, South Korea and Singapore to point to. The same holds for Europe and America. Even South Americans may point to Brazil.
So, what are we to be excited about? That the West has envisioned progress for Africa? A kind of progress we have failed to effectively envision and work to achieve for ourselves?
If you enjoyed the film, that is a personal thing but let us not present it as if it is going to actually change our reality in Africa or as Black people in general. This is something we have to do for ourselves and not outsource to Hollywood or any other external party for that matter.
No movie made in Hollywood will raise our living standards or remove the majority of our people from poverty, we must leave the Wakanda dream or illusion for the reality of good governance that ensures proper education, quality healthcare and infrastructure before we can begin to have a different reality. A Wakanda-like reality in terms of technological development and advancement.
Abdulkabir Olatunji is the Head of Strategy at Jarus & JAN Internet Group and an Associate Member of the Nigerian Institute of Management (AMNIM). His interests include writing, blogging, all-things-tech and analysis of current affairs and sports. You can follow him on LinkedIn and on Twitter @maclatunji