Black Panther (2018) can be praised for its attempt to modify the concept of a Black hero in the American superhero film.
Prior films did the opposite by focusing exclusively on the White hero regardless of a diverse viewership. However, this does not mean we cannot critique the film and pose some important questions, especially where a part of our culture as Batswana was appropriated. As a genre, the film tends to imagine the whole continent of Africa as an utopian Wakanda, an imaginary place.
It succeeds at challenging the ongoing misconception by some western filmmakers who have repeatedly imagined and represented African films in dystopian terms; where Africa is always associated with unpleasantness or a place to be pitied. This film reminds us in the 21c of the sad narrative of colonialism, and its atrocities and its aftermath in Africa.
This however is not done with greater emphasis, I argue. The narrative of colonialism presented in an extremely passive manner, limiting it only to theft committed on the cultural artifacts that were stolen from Africa long time ago in history. The issue here is, there is more to this narrative that the film fails to expose, such as for example the land question that has continued to persist even today, leaving politicians with their horns locked like wild bulls.
Through this article, I intend to make a contribution to ongoing debates about Black Panther. It has been received with mixed feelings; those of excitement and in some cases it has been rejected quite frankly. Coming from a very critical point of view I’m compelled to ask the following questions about this film: how does it portray Africa as a single entity and why should this reductionist view of be of interest to us as viewers? What are the implications of appropriating the African costume shown in the film?
What stereotypes about Africans does Black Panther reinforce? What is the financial benefit for African cultures whose costumes have been appropriated? Why is the monopoly by western film companies allowed to continue? All these questions are very important in framing our mindset as consumers of our cultures, and the latter is even more relevant today because African narratives or stories are often taken, represented for massive profits in the western markets by Westen film companies.
Can African film companies produce films and benefit in the western in the same manner? If we ask these questions, we will end up confronting cultural issues with sensitivity. It is important to respond to think about these issues because as noted by a filmmaker from Burkina Faso, Gaston Kabore in African Filmmaking, ‘If Africans remain mere consumers of cinema and television images conceived and produced by others, they will become second-rate citizens of the world and be forced to accept a destiny which will not take into account their history, their basic aspirations and even less their values, their imaginary and their vision of the world.
If Africa does not acquire the capacity to forge its own gaze, so as to confront its own image, it will lose its point of view and its self-awareness.’ In the next article, I will revisit another film that was well received, yet a few questions asked A United Kingdom. Please share with us your views, comments or responses by email and we'll be happy to engage a debate on this matter. There will be prizes for best commentaries!
There is an intimate relationship between material wealth and poverty of spirit, posits Jeff Golden, whose award-winning book, Reclaiming the Sacred: Healing Our Relationships with Ourselves and the World, begins with scientific revelations regarding the things that nourish the human spirit and the things that don’t, most notably money and possessions.
“As we’ve surrounded ourselves with more and more possessions, we’ve grown further from the sacredness of the world, and the sacredness of ourselves,” Golden writes. “As we’ve elevated economic growth and consumption to the highest measures of success and purpose, we’ve closed ourselves off from so much of the joy and wonder that are inherent in us and the world.”
The result of 12 years of research, Reclaiming the Sacred draws upon the work of thousands of psychologists and economists, cosmologists and activists, saints and poets, to ground readers in their inherent joy, purpose and belonging — both for their own sakes and for the sake of the world.
Golden explores the profound consequences of materialism, including how it impacts the global climate crisis. Then he goes beyond all of that, diving into the very heart of humanity’s existence, by charting a path — both scientific and mystical — for reclaiming the inherent joy and richness of life.
Money accounts for just 2-4% of our happiness, according to former Vassar College instructor and activist Jeff Golden. What about the remaining 96-98%? Jeff’s thoroughly researched insights provide the answers, and he shares them in his new book, Reclaiming the Sacred, which received the 2023 Nautilus Book Awards Grand Prize, putting him in the company of the Dalai Lama, Barbara Kingsolver, Eckhart Tolle, Deepak Chopra and other luminaries.
Reclaiming the Sacred explores profound questions, including:
How important is money to happiness?
What is the optimal amount of money and possessions for a person to be happy?
Does having kids make people happy? Getting married? Having sex? Working?
What are some of the most serious effects of global warming?
What kinds of changes will people have to make as individuals and as a society as a result of global warming? How will those changes allow people to actually live better lives?
What does the economic system get wrong when it comes to what really matters, and how should progress be measured?
Ultimately, Reclaiming the Sacred takes readers on a journey that follows the golden threads of happiness, abundance and belonging — and leads them home.
“We have an opportunity to reweave ourselves back into the human community and the family of all living beings, the family of the land and trees, the otters and grasses — to live with them in relationships of respect and wonder,” Golden adds. “We have an opportunity to reclaim ourselves and this world as sacred.”
About the Author
Jeff Golden has been teaching and writing about the topics he covers in his book for over 30 years, most recently at Vassar College. He was a Fulbright Scholar in sustainable development and a recipient of the State Department’s Millennium International Volunteer Award. He is a prison reform and animal rights activist, and has headed several nonprofits promoting social justice, sustainability and international education. A native of Idaho, he resides in the Mohicanituk Valley in New York, with his children, the river and the stars.
The best sex of sexually active persons begins in Spring. Well, this season is time to pack up puffer coats and throw on some lacy lingerie, just so the bedroom is lightened up and the sex gets spicier. For singles, and just in case the libido has been hibernating all winter, it has now become crucial to bring in some heat.
Sexologists and therapists say better sex means different things to different people and it can mean changing many things over time, but one thing’s for sure, to improve sex life in any way, one got to be ready for change.
Certified Sex Therapist Kendra Capalbo suggests that lovers should make most of the weather. “Studies have shown the positive correlation between sunlight and mood, and now that there is more of it, harness the impact it can have on the mood of your relationship. One study from Tel Aviv University showed that increased exposure to sunlight can enhance romantic passion.”
Moving around outside won’t only improve your mood and possible mental approach to sex though, Clinical Sexologist Megwyn White says. “It has physical benefits too. It increases libido by releasing endorphins and improving self-confidence, and it brings more blood flow to the genitals.”
Removing negativity can also work this Spring. Think of the warm weather as a time in which to reset your mindset as well, especially when it comes to your time in the bedroom (or in this case the camping tent.)
“No more negative self-talk or other people’s opinions holding you back. If there is that one fantasy that you and your partner keep agreeing, then make it your mission to finally check it off your bucket list. Spring is all about adventure, so it is time to embrace it.”
Therapists also say that something about Spring makes people want to strip down. Plus, the mild forecast does wonders for your skin and hair, and you can see your legs again. The season allows sex enthusiasts to engage with windows open. Think of it as exhibitionism without the threat of jail time.
Its just as sensual as summer, without the sweat. Those summer months get all the sexual glory, but it’s hard to feel hot when you’re actually, legitimately so hot! When the bedroom turns into a sauna mid-hookup, it’s a little hard to get in the mood.
Experts say there are a number of factors that make Spring sensual. “The weather is the catalyst. Ever since the spring equinox, the days have been getting longer. More exposure to sunlight increases our production of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that boots mood. And happy people tend to be horny people,” said Danielle Forshee, a psychologist, family, marriage and individual therapist.
Having started her business in 2016, Forshee specializes in the evaluation and treatment of high-conflict family problems, high-risk behaviors, and psychological disorders within and outside of the family court system.
She also said that the pleasant weather also urges sex lovers outdoors, where they’re likely to socialize and meet potential new partners. “It encourages us to shed some of the bulky layers we’ve been wearing all winter too. People are coming out of hibernation, and they’re swapping out their sweats and comfy clothes for more, shall we say, ‘scantily clad’ options.”
“They are exposing more body parts. As humans we notice those things, and it makes us more apt to go into mating mode.”
Whether you are looking for a casual hookup or you just want to get more loving from your partner, Spring will boost your desire. According to a study published in the US National Library of Medicine, animal mating habits are directly correlated to the changing of the seasons.
“We’re attuned to our biological clocks. Our bodies know that offspring survival rates soar when the weather is warmer; food is plentiful, climate is temperate and no one will freeze to death. Therefore, when Spring hits and warm weather abounds, our biological mating siren is ticked off.”
Now, while there is conflicting discourse on whether Spring fever is an actual illness, most scientists agree that there are documented psychological changes associated with the change in season.
“Spring fever is not a definitive diagnostic category. But I would say it begins as a rapid and yet unpredictable fluctuating mood and energy state that contrasts with the relative low winter months that precede it,” said Michael Terman, Director of the Center for Light Treatment and Biological Rhythms at Columbia University Medical Center.
The country’s Afrocentric and most popular youth fashion brand, Glotto, continues to dominate the fashion industry and shape fashion trends. It is reaching heights and staying relevant in a fast-paced and ever-changing landscape. Without doubt, the youthful fashion brand has revolutionized the fashion and lifestyle industry in Botswana.
Not only that, its iconic logo and tagline have become synonymous with style and sophistication, and Glotto’s influence extends far beyond the world of fashion. Haute couture, elegant designs and ready to wear is what Glotto has to offer.
New York Fashion Week (NYFW), a semi-annual series of events in Manhattan typically spanning seven to nine days when international fashion collections are shown to buyers, the press and fashion enthusiasts is coming up, and Glotto has been invited to showcase at the same top fashion event.
This is one of four major fashion weeks in the world, collectively known as the “Big Four”, along with those in Paris, London and Milan. This year’s NYFW schedule includes a range of runway shows and presentations for both men’s and women’s clothing lines.
Designers such as Marc Jacobs, Ralph Lauren, The Blonds, Proenza Schouler and Carolina Herrera will be showcasing their upcoming collections in a variety of different formats ranging from traditional runway shows to virtual showrooms and digital activations.
NYFW organizers say every great designer began as an “unknown”, so in addition to some of fashion’s most storied names, their schedule includes independent and emerging designers, many making their appearance on the runway for the first time.
“This is where NYFW becomes a true journey of discovery, the perfect opportunity to discover emerging designers who are pushing the boundaries of fashion and style. Some are new, and others are successful designers in their home country making an appearance at NYFW for the first time.”
Talking about making an appearance at the NYFW, WeekendLife had a conversation with the creative behind Glotto, Mboko Basiami this week, who unpacked how she was invited to showcase in New York and how things are unfolding.
When speaking to this publication, Basiami said a series of invitations were sent via email and social media, inviting her to be a part of the fashion week, something that she wouldn’t trade for anything.
She expanded a bit on collections that she will be showcasing, saying “It’s a seven-look collection and this is our first time participating in the NYFW. Glotto was founded seven years ago and everything is going to come altogether and of course, our attention to detail and texture and a lot of storytelling is what fashion lovers should expect.”
Quizzed if this is a self-sponsored trip to New York, Basiami stressed that in the business of fashion, one can’t expect to have talented runway models, hair, makeup and two assistants sponsored, therefore the trip will be taking money from her pockets. “It is heavily subsidized but there is still a 7000 US Dollar bill to it.”
Networking, global reach and exposure is what is motivating Glotto to go and shine in Manhattan. This is predominantly because New York Fashion Week has been there for so many years, having established itself as the most reputable fashion week in the whole world.
There is the media, right buyers, great location, investors and scholarships. “It will also allow me to compare the quality of my garments with that of designers all over the world. This adds on our unique product offering and what makes Glotto competitive, something that we have been striving for even though we are a local brand.
In preparing for this phenomenal opportunity, a lot needs to be done and thus far, everything is on track. According to Basiami, “I’m trying to balance not worrying about the business and accounts side of things, but rather about the looks and integrity of garments and fashion sustainability. We have reached out corporates who are willing to support us on the journey, the moral support is beautiful and heartwarming.
Meanwhile, Glotto recently showcased at the US-Africa Business Summit in Gaborone. The fashion brand hosted President Mokgweetsi Masisi, who was introduced to ready to wear collections and Glotto live mannequins.