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
Getty Images

Six Things History Will Remember Kenneth Kaunda For

News of Kenneth David Kaunda's passing, at age 97, has reverberated across the globe. Kaunda, affectionately known as KK, was Zambia's first President from 1964 to 1991.

Following Nelson Mandela's passing in December 2013, Kenneth Kaunda became Africa's last standing hero. Now with his passing on Thursday, June 17 — after being admitted to the Maina Soko Military Hospital in Lusaka earlier in the week — this signals the end of Africa's liberation history chapter.

It is tempting to make saints out of the departed. The former Zambian struggle hero did many great things. He was, after all, one of the giants of the continent's struggle against colonialism. Ultimately however, he was a human being. And as with all humans, he lived a complicated and colourful life.

Here are six facts you might not have known about him.

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox

popular.

The 7 Songs You Need to Hear This Week

Featuring Olamide, Black Motion, Blxckie x Nasty C and more