Afrofuturism is focused on everything African, from its people and traditions, to its art, fashion and music, with some science fiction and magic thrown in for good measure – and its inspiring both creatives and companies across the globe in a variety of endeavors. Social media listening offers insight around how the movement is spreading, and why you may want to take note of it as well!
Black Panther is the blockbuster movie, grossing (to date) $1.3 billion USD. It chronicles the story of Prince T’Challa and his hidden, technologically advanced African nation, Wakanda, which is a place where good is done without fanfare, with inhabitants secure in the confidence of their own abilities. It’s Afrofuturism come alive, and it was an immediate hit with audiences.
And it’s not only a cinematic win, but something that has taken on a life of its own. The sentiment around it is exceptional:
And the Wakanda Forever salute has become a favorite of sports stars, with French tennis stars and Manchester United soccer players doing it after wins, to the applause and appreciation of fans:
Link to tennis tweet: https://twitter.com/kokudum/status/972355885065474048 Link to soccer tweet: https://twitter.com/ESPNFC/status/967796858398666753
#WakandaForever has become a driving force in promoting self-confidence and achievement. Moving beyond what one thinks is possible to achieve the impossible.
And now there’s Malika.
Futuristic Warrior Queen
Inspired by “the legend of Princess Amina de Zaria, also known as “the Warrior Queen”, who ruled over a large part of the Hausa territory in the 16th century,” the story of Malika is set to engage and inspire young people with her strength, courage and wisdom, particularly those in Nigeria facing poverty, corruption and stereotypes focused primarily on those attributes.
Malika, and other African heroes created by Nigerian graphic designer, Roye Okupe, set out to change that narrative and help “change the way in which Africans and Black people around the world see themselves.”
Everyday Warrior Queens
This theme of a warrior queen is not just a fringe idea, we see popular performers promoting its finer points as well, like Beyonce’s Grammy performance last year, hailed as a “gilded afrofuturist dream.” Or Rihanna’s photo spread where she was cast as “Tomorrow, the last woman on earth and the ruling warrior queen in a dark, dystopian future.”
It’s an energetic movement, capturing the hearts and minds of millennials and undoubtedly Gen Z fans as well – and their parents! Because what’s not to love about it? A movement that encourages confidence, success and pride? Sign all the kids up! It’s important to note this is not just focused on girls, boys are essential to the afrofuturist movement as well:
Smart retailers are taking note, particularly in the fashion world. “Themed Afrofuturism, this year’s Durban Fashion Fair is all about celebrating the African continent and its heritage. [There were] Zulu spears, kufi caps, statement headwraps and dangling earrings.”
Does this mean you should create Afrofuturistic products? Possibly! If it makes sense for your target audience. You could possibly be missing out on an important segment you’re previously overlooked. It doesn’t hurt to consider it – the story of which segments make sense for your brand can be found in the sentiment. And there are certainly lots of solid options up for grabs in the Afrofuturism game:
One thing is for sure, if your sentiment analysis game is strong, you will find strong positive sentiment online about something that relates – your #WakandaForever moment. And likely a niche trend that’s growing in popularity too, like Afrofuturism.
But if you’re not listening for those voices speaking to you through the mist, or are unable to hear them, you’ll be missing out on your own blockbuster.
We uncover powerful messages from people online every day and are happy to demonstrate how that looks. Reach out to learn more!