ENTERTAINMENT
16/02/2018 17:54 SAST | Updated 19/02/2018 07:53 SAST

Lupita Nyong'o, Danai Gurira Open Up At SA's 'Black Panther' Preview

Lupita Nyong'o and Danai Gurira wowed the press in their first South African interviews

Cast member Danai Gurira poses for a portrait while promoting 'Black Panther'
Mario Anzuoni / Reuters
Cast member Danai Gurira poses for a portrait while promoting 'Black Panther'

Some of Hollywood's biggest names are in South Africa to promote "Black Panther" — the most anticipated superhero film of the past few years — and HuffPost got a chance to sit down with a few of them ahead of Friday night's star-studded premiere.

Kenyan-born, Oscar-winning lead actor Lupita Nyong'o, dressed in an orange traditional outfit accessorised with dramatic Xhosa traditional beads, teamed up with Zimbabwean-American co-star Danai Gurira, who was wearing an African-inspired Mary Katranzou cocktail dress, for a press roundtable.

They were joined by South African stars John Kani, wearing a dark suit, and Connie Chiume, in a colourful skirt by Johannesburg label Deja Vu.

The two U.S. stars said the film was a labour of love, and that they "moved mountains" to be in the country on the day of its global premiere, saying it was important to both of them that the film, "came home".

Nyong'o and Gurira emphasised the importance of the film for its representation of African women, with Gurira saying it was an opportunity to show, "the truth" of what African women are.

"Black Panther" is a global sensation, setting a new world record for advanced ticket sales, according to CinemaBlend, but according to Nyong'o, this is not enough. "Africans need to take the conversation further, and own their narrative," Nyong'o said.

"It's starting a conversation that is long overdue ... Things that we felt and never expressed, and now they're being expressed in a manner that is bringing us all together ... There's something that can shift when we experience something culturally together in a way that is harder to galvanise that sort of movement in isolation."

South African cheered earlier this year when they learnt that local musicians like Babes Wodumo would be included on the score of the film. This was an essential step, and an important part of the process of representing the continent properly, the film's stars said.

"The music is incredible. It fuses hip-hop and Africa," Nyong'o said.

"Yes, I was very passionate about the idea of African artists being in the movie," Gurira said.

"Freshlyground would come to the [U.S.], Oliver Mtukudzi, and a few others, but I would ask when is it going to happen? When will it get a universal, larger platform? When will people get to hear how amazing African contemporary music gets? I'm not talking about drums, I'm talking about artists who drop albums," she said.

"So I was a little birdie on Ryan's shoulder, because now's the time to give them a platform. I sent him a list that was largely South African – because that's the music I get the most in the U.S."

Follow @HuffPost's Instagram account on Friday night for more live coverage of the historic film opening.