With Black Panther fever at a high, Africans are showing their love for Wakanda in many different ways.
If you're not prepared, you might be troubled when you hear young men randomly say "Wakanda Forever" to each other repeatedly. Everywhere, from the streets of Ojuelegba to Old Trafford, young black men are crossing arms in the official Wakanda salute.
It is hard to discount the emotions behind these gestures. While Black Panther has been praised as a phenomenal movie, the fictional African nation of Wakanda has extra appeal to Africans who live and breathe the dream of a real-life African utopia.
Here are 5 reasons why Wakanda is the ultimate African country.
(1) They were not colonized.
All of Africa's countries save Ethiopia were colonised by western powers at some point in the 19th and 20th centuries.
As an African, it is not out of place when one imagines what the continent would be without western interference. Wakanda is the answer.
According to the Black Panther story, Wakanda avoided "the colonizers" by staying secluded and building a defence system that was more than worthy of the invaders.
In the word of Lupita Nyong'o, it is an example of what could have happened if Africa was allowed to realise itself by itself.
(2) Wakanda has a king.
In most pre-colonial African societies, African kings ruled over vast nations and empires.
The ruling class was often autocratic but it built a system where children of royalty were trained to be leaders from the front and imbued with high levels of character and tenacity.
The introduction of western democracy broke that system.
However, in Wakanda and T'Challa, fans get a peek into a future where kings who are trained for the role would rule over the nation with a depth of character that is admittedly in short supply in real life.
(3) Wakanda is Africa in the future.
The afro-futuristic theme in the engineering, technology, construction and culture of Wakanda and its people provided a glimpse of what the future could be if we combined our traditional institutions and the elements of indigenous culture with advancement in technology.
The character Shuri, for instance, was a unique depiction of an African techie and savant.
While many countries like Nigeria and Kenya, struggle to preserve the culture in the face of leaps in areas like tech and the gentrification of the human resources, Wakanda shows what could be if we get it right.
(4) If Wakanda was a bit more relatable, we'd start looking for it in real life.
The best movies are those where the filmmakers are able to combine their inspirations and influence into creating a gripping, seamless narrative, plot or reality.
The makers of Black Panther created the ultimate African country by infusing elements of almost every prominent African tribe into the movie.
From the language spoken to the attire worn by the Dora Milaje, it was a celebration of African identity.
(5) There was a sense of loyalty, patriotism and identity.
In most African cultures, individuals learn tribal identity very early on and throughout their lives, they learn to put it at the forefront of their decisions, judgement and association.
Unfortunately, it has usurped the place of national identity, especially in a continent cut up by ignorant colonial powers with asinine motives.
Wakanda's lineage-obsessed and tribalist system is not the most ideal. But the nation draws and provides a sense of identity and patriotism that most Africans cannot claim to have for their countries.
It is why the references to Wakandan identity have become so common.
Many Nigerians, for instance, would give their all for their country if there were certain of a system that rewards sacrifice but in the absence of such, the fictional Wakanda is the next best thing.