Religion as Ideology in Black Panther: A Decolonial Ideological Critique of ‘Religio-Political Problem’ in Wakanda

Chammah J. Kaunda


This article advances a decolonial ideological critique of religion as a state ideological apparatus for advancing political authority and control of strategic resources in Black Panther movie. It argues that the kind of religious matrix which informs Wakanda begs critical interrogation as to how the fictitious nation portrays the role of African religious heritage in contemporary neo-colonial politics.On the one hand Black Panther sought to overcome the dichotomy between modern scientific and African spiritual technologies by presenting religious heritage as decidedly adaptable and integrate-able with emerging scientific ideas. On the other hand, the movie failed to rethink problematic elements of African religious heritage which are perpetuated in most contemporary African democratic dictator regimes. Black Panther’s uncritical retrieval and indiscriminate utilisation of African religious systems undermined its potential to reimage and alternatively demonstrate how African religio-cultural heritage could be reinterpreted and critically reconstructed in order to respond effectively to the challenges emerging from the fourth industrial revolution. It remains that Black Panther did not engage adequately with African religions as a resource for promoting African agency to give Africans impetus for social and political transformation and development in postcolonial Africa.


Black Panther, Wakanda, African Religious Heritage, Decolonial Ideological Criticism, Ideological State Apparatus, Neo-colonial Politics

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