Art
Image courtesy of Osborne Macharia

Osborne Macharia Introduces the 3 Blind Elders of Wakanda In Exclusive 'Black Panther' Artwork

The Kenyan visual artist was commissioned by Marvel to create original artwork for the film.

Kenyan artist and fine art photographer, Osborne Macharia, is a master at creating alternate black universes. Macharia envisions a world where Kenyan women freedom fighters with opulent hair and hip-hop grannies reign supreme. That's perhaps, why the folks at Marvel, commissioned the artist to create original artwork for their afrofuturistic masterpiece, Black Panther.

"When I was approached by Marvel to create an exclusive art piece for Black Panther, I was excited at the fact that finally the world is seeing what we are doing in Kenya and Africa in general," the artist tells OkayAfrica.


"We always talk that Africa's time is now but this was that solid stamp to certify that our time has come."

Macharia tells us how he went about conceptualizing new characters that fit seamlessly into the utopian nation of Wakanda.

"I spent a couple of days trying to crack the concept until I finally figured how I would incorporate the Maasai people, who are commonly known worldwide, and afrofuturism which is my signature style. I consulted with my friend Paddy Gedi—who is a wiz when it comes to comics—on how my story would align with Wakanda, so that my project sits right in place within this universe."

For the project, the artist conceived a photo series called Ilgelunot, which translates to 'The Chosen Ones' in Maasai. It tells the story of "three blind elders of Maasai origin (originally from Kajiado) who were Black Panther's most trusted advisors in the Kingdom of Wakanda," says Macharia.

"The three were rescued by King T'Chaka during World War II, after having wandered the vast plains of North Africa for months in search of refuge. As nomads, they got to integrate, assimilate and learn from different cultures and tribes. Exposure to the metallic element Vibranium made them blind but also gave them extra ordinary abilities and insight. Little is known about them till now."

Get to know the three wise elders of Macharia's Ilgelunot, Koinet, Kokan and Saiton below. Wakanda forever.

Image courtesy of Osborne Macharia


Image courtesy of Osborne Macharia


Image courtesy of Osborne Macharia

Props + Styling + Production / Kevo Abbra

Styling Assistant / Sylvia Owalla

Make Up Artist / Valary Mdeizi + Sinitta Akello

Hair Stylist / Richard Kinyua + Corrine Muthoni

Photographer Assistants / Victor Ndalo + Jared Maina

News Brief
Photo by Ian Dickson/Redferns (via Getty Images)

New Fela Kuti Reissues & Box Set Are Coming This Year

Partisan Records has shared initial news of upcoming Fela 50th anniversary reissues and a new box set on the way.

Fela Kuti fans have a lot to look forward to this year as Partisan Records (home to Fela's catalog) has announced plans to release special reissues of two 1971 albums: London Scene and Live! With Ginger Baker, the classic album in which Fela and his band Africa '70 where joined by the Cream drummer.

The label has also said they plan to release the fifth installment in their ongoing Fela vinyl reissue box set series, which are handpicked by notable names in the music world. Previous volumes have been curated by Erykah Badu, Questlove, and Brian Eno.

Partisan has also shared that they will also be launching a scholarship program at Fela's alma mater, Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, in London this year. The label will be sharing more information on all of that exciting Fela Kuti 2021 news soon, so keep and eye out.

In the meantime, Fela Kuti is currently leading the fan vote for induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. You can head here to cast a daily ballot for the afrobeat legend. Voting is capped at one ballot per day.

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