Being able to attend the Black Panther European premiere was an experience that I will never forget and it’s all thanks to VAMP for allowing me to represent Affinity at the premiere.
The opportunity arose when I was simply scrolling through Twitter where I saw a tweet saying something along the lines of “Looking for Black Journalists who are interested in Marvel or the Black Panther” and I immediately replied saying “I’m interested” and it only went up from there. Not only was I able to attend the European premiere with my mom but VAMP hooked me up with two tickets to giveaway to our readers and followers in the United Kingdom.
The premiere took place at the Eventim Apollo in Hammersmith but before heading to the premiere, I picked up my tickets from the Lyric Theatre’s Bar and Grill. VAMP had been hosting a little get together before walking about five minutes to the Hammersmith Apollo. Being there felt so surreal, I was surrounded by so many bloggers and social influencers that inspire me and that I look up to like Chidera Eggerue — popularly known as The Slumflower whilst at the bar.
Before going to the premiere, I did a lot of researching and almost every blog or article said that it was going to be insane in terms of actually getting into the venue because of the long queues. Luckily, my mom and I were able to skip the line that was going around the block and get into the venue easily. It was absolute mayhem but one thing for sure, everyone who came to the Black Panther European Premiere came through for the culture. I saw hundreds of people wearing their Ankara dresses, Dashikis, Kente, Agbadas and Kaftans. Here are a few of my favourite looks from the premiere:
1. Eman Kellam
I met him briefly after the premiere while waiting for the train with my mom. I had seen him whilst at the Lyric Bar and Grill but was too shy to get a picture of him. I finally mustered up the courage once I saw him at the same platform as me and I was able to get this photo of him in his Black Panther Attire repping Nigeria.
2. Michael aka ManLikeMike
Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to meet Michael at the premiere, but I messaged him on Twitter afterward and all I can say is that we both thoroughly enjoyed and are still shook over the movie. Now we’re patiently waiting on Avengers: Infinity War to be released. Make sure to check out his Youtube channel to find out what he wore to the premiere and why he is so excited about Black Panther.
3. Chidera Eggerue aka The Slumflower
4. Stormzy and John Boyega
6. This incredible, lovely family
Seeing so many people unapologetically wearing their African attire filled my heart with so much pride for Africa and Black people. It was a celebration of culture from all the different African countries all coming together to watch and support the Black Panther.
I’ve been anticipating the release of The Black Panther after watching Captain America: Civil War in 2016 and after watching all the trailers about a hundred times. I’m not going to say too much about the movie because you’ll have to watch it yourselves when it comes out in your country. However, Black Panther is a movie that filled my heart with so much love and pride for my people. My older brother, Aaron and I grew up being huge fans of Marvel but there was no representation of Black superheroes.
Black Panther is a movie that we’ve been waiting for our whole lives. Black Panther reminds us why representation matters. I have so many friends who were never interested in the Marvel Universe until the release of Black Panther and they’ve already gotten their African attires ready and booked their tickets. It’s all for the culture.
Manohla Dargis from The New York Times says, Black Panther’s “emphasis on black imagination, creation and liberation, the movie becomes an emblem of a past that was denied and a future that feels very present. And in doing so opens up its world, and yours, beautifully.”
Not only did the Black Panther make me ecstatic as a Marvel fan but just filled me with so much love. The atmosphere was amazing at Hammersmith Apollo and I was surrounded by so many inspiring, funny and talented individuals. My fellow Black brothers and sisters really came through for the Black Panther and it makes me so proud and happy to see the support by our community for this movie. Ryan Coogler satisfied everything I’ve been waiting for since I started watching Marvel movies and reading the comic books since I was little and I’ll forever be grateful for that. The cast, the production and the soundtrack curated and produced by Kendrick Lamar all PHENOMENAL.
As of now, there will never be another movie that will beat Black Panther for me.
I vlogged my journey to the Black Panther European Premiere so make sure to subscribe to my Youtube Channel and be on the lookout for that.
Huge thanks and appreciation to VAMP for sending me to the premiere on behalf of Affinity. You fulfilled one of my biggest dreams.
Featured Image Courtesy of Ian West/PA