Superheroes have been important threads in the fabric of society for a couple of generations now.
They’ve graced our screens, danced across the pages of our comics and storybooks and dominated our childhood conversations and arguments. Without them, our childhoods would have been boring, our adolescent years a complete nightmare and the seriousness of adulthood would drive us insane. Thankfully though, they’ve been there to save the day, literally. Otherwise, just imagine how things would have been. The horror of it all! Yikes !
For Africans however, despite the profound impact these heroes have had on us, serenading our minds with epic tales of wonderful yet practically impossible feats of valor, we’ve never really had any connection to them, other than, in most cases, our humanity. What I mean is, they’ve never really felt like ours ( probably because they aren’t, lol) and that’s why when Black Panther was premiered, it swept us all off our feet.
Truly, it was a terrific movie but even if it hadn’t been, let’s be honest, we would still have raved on about and cooed over it. Of course! Why shouldn’t we? We had a right to do so. Black Panther was the first major movie superhero to come out of Africa. We felt excited, thrilled, enamored, enchanted and a bucket load of other feelings I can’t even describe in words. But even then, was Black Panther really ours?
Sure it was a portrayal of an African character in a fictional African country, but this character was neither created by Africans nor based on ideas by African people. This, of course, doesn’t take away the fact that Black Panther was an incredible movie, but it does bring up the question: when do we get to see a truly African hero, made by Africans with characters derived from our own stories?
Hmm. Interesting question, huh? Is it mind-boggling though? No. Not at all.
The answer is quite simple. We’ll only get to see them when we start making them ourselves. That’s what makes the concept of Afrocomix so enthusing. In the African Legends saga, we see the stories of African folktale legends, being told, from Ghana’s Ananse and Nigeria’s Oya to Kenya’s Ol-Moran and several other heroes. In other stories, we see pure African creativity on full display, such as in Karmzah, where a disabled super-heroine saves the day while breaking stereotypes and challenging us to strive to defy the odds in whatever we do and wherever we find ourselves doing it.
How inspiring?! Talk about a true African role model!
These stories will undoubtedly evoke a sense of African pride in you and hopefully instill in you a sense of duty to spread the word about them. They can all be found on the Afrocomix app which can be downloaded for free from the Google Play Store.
This, of course, is just the beginning. Indeed, it’s the dawn of a new era!
Author: Nii Okpoti Kwame Oddoye