Sometimes there is such pleasure in riding a wave, and this goes for the professional surfer as well as the average person at the beach. Even more pleasurable is riding an unexpected wave, and so it seems with our new-found superhero the Black Panther. During our conversation, it was highlighted that avid comic strip followers, aka ‘nerds’, were aware of Black Panther before the masses. Okay, before the wave dissipates, how about as a region, explore the wonders of Wakanda. Attempts would be made to do so though with great consideration to those yet to view the movie.
Wakanda was presented as the birthplace of the Black Panther. The most noticeable from the very beginning was the deep respect and appreciation that the Black Panther and the other ‘natives’ had for their homeland. It was evident in the way they spoke of it, so much so that before entering Wakanda there was a desire to go there. At no point was the viewer left to consider that Wakanda could be anything but pure perfection.
Now, let’s contrast such with our regard for our respective Caribbean localities. Do we offer the same to others looking upon our isles? Of course, depending on the context, some might speak of the crime and other social challenges. Yet, and this is with deep regard for lost lives, despite all the mass shootings at school, many of us willingly uproot families and place our children in schools abroad. How can that be? Could it be because the United States of America and some other countries promote their Wakanda?
However, might we in the region, not fall into the trap of poor Wakanda PR, it was good to note recently The Bahamas being advocated as a desirable vacation spot for those wishing an escape from the cold, but even so, there is so much more room for improvement of our Wakanda PR.
Just as we Caribbean folk have our Diaspora, it was interesting to note how the ‘Wakandan’ people were dispersed throughout the Americas making their contributions. In this regard as a region, we do seem well on our way. What was more interesting with this diaspora was that they shared a biographical sameness (watch the movie). This is where we can learn something from our leaders when it comes right down it, do we as a diaspora present unity when we speak? Are we working toward the same shared goals that might strengthen our diaspora despite differences? The struggle is real, and it was quite evident as we watched the movie. This struggle to keep on the table the main thing as the main thing. This struggle to not let past miscommunications and inherited hurts damage future regional prospects. So, while we are riding this Black Panther wave, hopefully, such would remain.
The wisdom in not having oneself exposed to the outside World was strong with Wakanda. Understandably, anyone would wonder how it might be possible within our global village and with such advanced technologies to do this? Oh, just ask those locations that understand the power of patent, copyright, and trademark! Wakanda valued its precious resources. Do we? Independently and collectively, do we? Wakanda saved their precious resources and made sure to preserve some for the future even growing precious plants for future use. Again, without meaning to belabour a point, do we?
He asked, “my darling would you…,” and she replied, “For Wakanda, yes!” For those who have seen and who would view the movie such might seem extreme, but it was an attempt to show allegiance and loyalty. How, or to what extent, are we able to maintain loyalty and or allegiance to our birthplaces? Surely, many of us are found near and far and how do we demonstrate such allegiance or loyalties.
Such a place as Wakanda would be vulnerable to proverbial vultures, but the ‘natives’ were wise, knowing when to back down when to work along with others, when to switch sides and when to fight. In other words, allegiance and loyalty looked different at different times. Most beautiful of all though was the way in which these Wakanda people calming and respectfully, expressed their disagreements and were able to reunite when it mattered.
Also, noteworthy was the way in which the history was handed down. They had respected rituals, shared stories and an appreciation of how their customs and norms developed. Of real significance too was their succession planning. For history to remain powerful must there not be an expected future? How do we do as a region in all our contexts, in the workplace, individually and regionally in terms of succession planning? Not the haphazard luck-of-the-draw succession planning, but the noting of and grooming of a successor who understands the history, who gets the value of Wakanda. Well, that was what brought us the Black Panther.
Do hope when the pleasure of this wave leaves, the memories would continue to guide. Behold not only the wonders of Wakanda but more so the wisdom of Wakanda.
By Kerriann Toby
Kerriann Toby holds a Master of Counselling and Bachelor of Psychology. She is a dynamic therapist, trained mediator; and educator since 2000. In addition to being a trained educator, mediator, and therapist, she is a certified Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) Professional. Kerriann has also trained in cyber counseling and holds clinical registration with Employee Assistance Professionals Association (EAPA) & Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association (CCPA).
In mid-October 2015 she initiated operations of KarryOn geared toward the provision of a variety of enhancement and developmental services for the individual, groups and the organization; e-Coaching/Counseling, Mediation, EAP Services and the creative presentation of psycho-social information. She can be reached at email@example.com.