It’s been a long eight months and we’re now at the final week of our Around the World in 8 Sundays multi-week theme. Africa is the final stop on our tour of the world via pop culture and fandoms and I for one have found myself looking at a lot of things differently after answering these questions. Please join me as I answer this week’s Seriously Geeky Sundays questions.
It’s also time for another set of new themes as April is just around the corner and it’s a special month for Seriously Geeky Sundays as it has officially been one year since I launched these prompts! Head over to April’s questions to find out how we’ll be celebrating our first birthday 🙂
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Around the World in 8 Sundays [Africa]
My answers for week #52
What is your favourite fandom set in Africa?
I’m sad to say that I don’t have that many fandoms set in Africa, and of the few, The Mummy Trilogy is top of that list. I grew up with these movies and instantly fell in love with the mixture of adventure, romance and humour.
Who are your favourite fictional African characters?
It’s two powerful and incredible ladies leading the charge. While I was impressed with (and in complete awe of) the Black Panther film I don’t feel I know enough about Wakanda or the Black Panther fandom to list them as favourites per se. Top of the list is DC Comic’s Vixen aka Mari McCabe, an incredible woman who has the ability to call on the power of any animal thanks to a totem she wears. It isn’t just her powers that make her a favourite character of mine, it’s her personality. She’s both kind and formidable, graceful and strong; she handles Batman with ease and never forgets her home or her people. Marie is the type of character that reminds us that power comes in many forms, and just as she utilises the power of multiple animals, from the large predators to the tiniest rodents, there’s a time and a place for every skill and ability.
Ororo Munroe aka Storm is the other character that I’ve always liked and when I finally move onto Marvel comics she’s at the top of my list for getting to know better. My knowledge of Storm primary comes from the X-Men animated series when I was a kid, and it wasn’t just her power, as a person and a mutant, that attracted me, it was her vulnerability. I was drawn to this character who for all her power had been hurt, had known fear (and still knew it) and yet still flew into danger against the sentinels that terrified her.
Africa is a popular setting for video games; have you played any of them?
I’ve only ever played one game that was set in Africa and then not very much. Way back when I was just beginning to get into games I had a copy of the city building game Pharaoh. The aim of the game was to build a thriving civilisation along the river Nile. I never for very far in it. I was interested to hear that they announced a remastered version last summer so I’m curious to see how that turns out.
We’ve been exploring fictional countries with this series and there are more fictional countries attributed to Africa than any other continent. What are your thoughts on this?
I think that racism has much deeper roots than many of us want to believe. I expected to find many of the fictional countries on that list to be from the colonialist literature of the Victorian era and was disheartened but not surprised to find that most were from the 1950s onwards by primarily American creators. Rather than research the real countries of Africa and their people they created their own, and I can only imagine the stereotypes that were embedded into them.
Africa is home to Egypt and ancient Egypt has been given the pop-culture treatment many times. Which has been your favourite?
I have to admit that Ancient Egypt has always been one of my favourite mythologies, however, that was not the reasoning for this question. It has been done so many times and interlaced with every genre including aliens (looking at you Stargate), for better and for worst. My personal favourite (other than the aforementioned The Mummy Trilogy) is Rick Riordan’s The Kane Chronicles which doesn’t get as much press as his Percy Jackson series. It’s still filled with mythology and gods, however, the emphasis is on magic and sorcery rather than warriors as it is in the Percy Jackson series and the Magnus Chase series. The characters do learn to fight with weapons, however, magic is at the core of this one and it’s really interesting. It fits much better with the Egyptian myths.
Which actors from Africa do you like?
Sorry boys, it’s all about the ladies again for me. There is the multi-talented Lupita Nyong’o who makes an impact in whatever she is in (and this interview made me love her even more), Lesley-Ann Brandt who takes my breath away whenever she is on screen, and Toks Olagundoye who I fell in love with for the brief time she was on Castle and I wish I could see her in more shows I watch as she stole the show.
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Over To You
Thanks for reading today’s Seriously Geeky Sundays post. While writing the answers for this week’s topic and the final week of our eight-month trip around the world I found myself reflecting on my answers, my limited knowledge of some continents within fandoms and how some continents have been framed by Hollywood. I didn’t leave Africa until last for any particular reason, but doing so made an impact on me personally. I didn’t like that I had to stop and think so hard about a fandom set in Africa only to come up with ones linked directly to white characters, not native characters and their stories. That my only other references to Africa in a fictional context were from English Literature at university when studying Victorian Literature and colonial literature, if you’ve not read it, is disgusting.
I’ve been trying to get hold of Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky By Kwame Mbalia for a while now, and I’ll be making an effort to look for other books and other fandoms where Africa is framed by its people and not by outsiders. If anyone has any suggestions (within the genres I consume) please let me know.
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