The biggest night in Hollywood movie calendar, the 91st Academy Awards, took place amid much fanfare on Sunday, February 24. The ceremony was the first host-free ceremony since 1989 after Kevin Hart stepped down amid controversy in 2018. The proceedings ran a lot smoother though and were far more exciting than many people expected.
Two of our most favourite moments; first up was Trevor Noah taking to the Oscars 2019 stage to present 8 of the Best Picture nominees, among them Black Panther. Recalling the impact the film has had on black culture, he said he’s often greeted by the phrase ‘Wakanda Forever’ and that many believe that it is a special place in the heart of Africa. The best and most funniest however, was when the South African born comedian fooled the audience with a fake Xhosa translation, sending the local social media into serious LOLs. “Abelungu abazi uba ndiyaxoka” – which means, ‘In times like these, we are stronger when we fight together than when we try to fight apart,” Trevor told the audience. What Trevor actually said is: “White people don’t know I’m lying.”
Second most unforgettable moment; the night produced the world first black African American woman to ever win an Academy Award for best costume design, Black Panther’s Ruth Carter.
However, what many Wakanda fans would be surprised to find out is that in order to help turn the fictional African country of Wakanda into a living Afrofuturist spectacle, Carter drew inspiration from across Africa; the Tuareg people from the Saharan regions of North Africa, as well as the Maasai (Kenya) and Zulu nations – whose tribal dress sense she admired – and of course our very own designer Laduma Ngxokolo’s Maxhosa range. To achieve the stunning sartorial storytelling, Carter reportedly had over 100 buyers in South Africa, Nigeria and South Korea sourcing many of the movie’s outfits and jewellery.
Last but not least, Hannah Beachler became the first black nominee to win the Oscar for production design, once again helping turn the fictional Wakanda into a breathing genius. #AfricaYourTimeIsNow