Earth to dingbats: Yes you can travel to fictional Wakanda
What's more, they’ll serve you Wakandan cuisine too
The futuristic African nation Wakanda, sequestered away from the world and the setting for Marvel’s blockbuster Black Panther, has recently received an unexpected new revenue stream: tourism. It seems that the wealth of the small, fictional nation is not in Vibranium alone but also in travel opportunities. Since the film’s opening there have been multiple reports of people in the US and UK attempting to book flights to and hotels in the fictional country.
In Atlanta, where some of Black Panther was shot and home to the busiest airport in the world, they made light of the requests they were continuously receiving for flights to Wakanda by scheduling a mock flight. The airport took to social media with a board showing a flight scheduled to Wakanda with the hashtag #Wakanda Forever.
Lupita Nyong’o, the film’s female lead, picked up on the post and tweeted her suggestions for inflight movies, “Apart from La Femme Nakita, what else is on the in-flight entertainment? T’Challa’s Angels, M’Baku To The Future, Shuri’s Gotta Have It, Killmonger Bill, W’Kabi In The Woods ...?”Atlanta airport responded that the flight would have all manner of entertainment: “We've gotta have some music on the inflight entertainment too. Now streaming: Killmonger Me Softly, T'Challa Back Girl, M'Baku That Thang Up, Straight Outta Wakanda and N'Jadaka Said Knock You Out.”
Lois Oviawe, a food blogger, focused on African foods to create a meal perfect to prepare travellers for Wakandan cuisine. The movie is an amalgamation of several African cultures, and she believes the food would be similarly collective in its influence.
The Afrofuturism-inspired meal would be not only delicious but symbolic. Koshari, a dish of rice, chickpeas and tomatoes delicately spiced, is an homage to Egypt, known for its ancient technology, science and mathematics.As well as koshari, she suggests kelewele, a street food made from sweet, spiced fried plantains, and topped with peanuts. The sweetness with the kick of chilli symbolises the Dora Mijale warrior women in Black Panther. Both dishes are vegetarian and vegan, which would suit the Jabari tribe. The sweetness of the kelewele with the earthiness of the koshari is reflective of the balance between the sexes reflected in the movie.In truth, if you are looking to find the real Wakanda you are better off flying to Gwangandaegyo, South Korea, or Iguazu Falls, Argentina, which along with Atlanta make up the locations where Black Panther was filmed.
We can also expect an influx of tourism here – flight searches to South Africa from the UK have risen by 78% since the movie was released.