News Brief

Angela Bassett Joins Marvel's 'Black Panther' Movie as T'Challa's South African-Born Stepmother

Marvel’s forthcoming Black Panther movie adds Angela Bassett to an already lit cast.

Marvel’s forthcoming Black Panther movie continues to get lit. Angela Bassett is the latest addition to a knockout cast that already includes Chadwick Boseman in the title role and Michael B. Jordan as the villainous Erik Killmonger alongside Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Forest Whitaker, Daniel Kaluuya, Winston Duke and Florence Kasumba.


Bassett, who currently stars in American Horror Story, will play the South African-born Ramonda, second wife to the late King of Wakanda, T'Chaka, and stepmother and main parental figure to T’Challa / Black Panther. She’s also the biological mother of T’Challa’s younger sister, Shuri. In the Black Panther comics, she's referred to as “Queen Mother.”

As for Kasumba, you may recall the Ugandan-German showstopper basically won Captain America: Civil War with a single line (“Move, or you will be moved”), while Kaluuya is about to be the next big thing in Hollywood as the lead in Jordan Peele’s forthcoming race-driven horror flick, Get Out.

The first standalone Black Panther movie is being directed by Creed/Fruitvale Station’s Ryan Coogler. Production is expected to start in the first quarter of 2017, with a theatrical release slated for February 16, 2018. WE. CAN'T. WAIT.

Ramonda in the Black Panther comics. Image via Marvel.

popular
'Black Panther' movie poster.

US Government Accidentally Lists Wakanda as Official Trade Partner—The Internet Reacts

You can't make this stuff up.

On Wednesday night it was discovered that the fictional country of Wakanda (the setting of the 2018 blockbuster movie Black Panther) was listed on the US Department of Agriculture's (USDA) tariff tracking list of free trade partners.

According to BBC Africa, the listing was discovered by a software engineer by the name of Francis Tseng, who stumbled upon the gaffe while conducting research for a fellowship. What's perhaps even stranger, is that the list included detailed information about items that had been traded between the US and a non-existent Wakanda, including donkeys, cows, fresh vegetables, covfefe coffee and more.

Tseng took to Twitter to share his findings, later telling Reuters that he was was confused after seeing Wakanda listed."[I] thought I misremembered the country from the movie and got it confused with something else."

Keep reading...
popular

Trevor Noah, 'Black Panther' and More Are Honored at the Prestigious 50th NAACP Image Awards

"The power of this moment to us really feels like the power of Pan-Africanism," Danai Gurira says at the ceremony.

The NAACP Image Awards is one of the few premiere cultural moments that celebrates to accomplishments of people of color in television, music, literature, film and social justice. In its 50th year, the awards ceremony went down this past weekend at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles, honoring notables who won awards based on public audience votes.

This year's nominees was only a peek into how the African diaspora has continued to build, connect and be recognized for their efforts in telling more stories that reflect our diversity as a global black community.

"The power of this moment to us really feels like the power of Pan-Africanism," Danai Gurira says, while joining the Black Panther cast stage as they swept the awards ceremony that evening. "The beauty of this project is that we as a diaspora made this film successful—and we're just getting started as a diaspora—we're just getting started."

Take a look at some winners of note below.

Keep reading...
popular
Photo courtesy of CSA Global.

In Conversation with Congolese NBA Player Emmanuel Mudiay: 'I want more African players in the NBA.'

The Utah Jazz player talks about being African in the NBA, supporting basketball in the DRC and how 'everybody knows about Burna Boy'.

Inspired by his basketball-playing older brothers, by second grade, Emmanuel Mudiay already knew that he wanted to play in the American National Basketball Association. Then in 2001 his family, fleeing the war in Democratic Republic of Congo, sought asylum in the United States.

In America, Mudiay saw basketball as a way for him to improve his situation. After impressive high school and college careers, he moved to China to play pro ball. Picked 7th overall in the 2015 NBA draft, the now 23-year-old guard has made a name for himself this season coming off the bench for the Utah Jazz.

Mudiay attests to the sport having changed not only his life but that of his siblings. Basketball gave them all a chance at a good education and the opportunity to dream without conditions. Now he wants to see other talented African players make it too.

We caught up with him to talk about his experience as an African player in the NBA, his hopes for basketball on the African continent and who he and his teammates jam out to in their locker rooms.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Keep reading...
popular

University lecturer and activist Doctor Stella Nyanzi (L) reacts in court as she attends a trial to face charges for cyber-harassment and offensives communication, in Kampala, on April 10, 2017. (Photo by GAEL GRILHOT/AFP via Getty Images)

Jailed Ugandan Activist, Stella Nyanzi, Wins PEN Prize for Freedom of Expression

The outspoken activist, who is currently serving a prison sentence for a poem she wrote about the president's mother's vagina, won for her resistance "in front of a regime that is trying to suppress her."

Stella Nyanzi, the Ugandan academic, activist, and vocal critic of President Yoweri Museveni has been awarded the 2020 Oxfam Novib/PEN International award for freedom of expression, given to writers who "continue to work for freedom of expression in the face of persecution."

Nyanzi is currently serving a 15 month sentence for "cyber harassment" after she published a poem in which she wrote that she wished "the acidic pus flooding Esiteri's (the president's mother) vaginal canal had burn up your unborn fetus. Burn you up as badly as you have corroded all morality and professionalism out of our public institutions in Uganda."

According to the director of PEN International, Carles Torner, her unfiltered outspokenness around the issues facing her country is what earned her the award. "For her, writing is a permanent form of resistance in front of a regime that is trying to suppress her," said Torner at the award ceremony.

Keep reading...

get okayafrica in your inbox

news.