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Meet Patrick Shumba Mutukwa: the Zambian in Black Panther

US-BASED Zambian actor Patrick Shumba Mutukwa has starred in the latest movie Black Panther. Patrick, a freelance voice-over actor, narrator and dialect coach could not hide his excitement following the successful project.

“Really rewarding to see your efforts on the big screen. Oh and by the way, tell me how the dialects and accents were,” Patrick posted on his Facebook page on Friday.

He stated that the BlackPanther project was just the beginning as he was already looking to the next one.

“#wakandaForever#BlackPanther#Bordertribe#Accentsanddialects. Very honoured to have helped with dialects/accents and as a warrior in this movie. Can’t wait for the next one. This is only the beginning,” Patrick stated.

Marvel Studios’ “Black Panther” has already entered the record books after a single night in U.S. theaters on Thursday. It premiered in Lusaka on Friday, with Zambian movie fans and known figures such as Iris Kaingu being part of the crowd that turned up at Freshview Cinemas. The first solo movie featuring Marvel’s African avenger took in an estimated $25.2 million on Thursday. That is nearly double the $12.7 million record for a February preview night set in 2016 by Twentieth Century Fox’s R-rated comic book flick “Deadpool.”

Within the Marvel cinematic universe, only “Avengers: Age of Ultron” earned more in Thursday night previews.

 

“Black Panther” is currently tracking for a massive $165 million US opening over the Presidents Day weekend, up from a previous estimate of $150 million a week ago. The movie is the 18th installment in Marvel’s series of interconnected superhero films, but it has injected fresh energy into the franchise.

Patrick’s participation in this movie is definitely exciting as Zambians should look out for some Nyanja dialects in Black Panther.

Below is a verbatim of an interview the Time Machine Zambia had with Patrick on his role in Black Panther:

TMZ: Tell us a little bit about yourself, your background and upbringing?

Patrick: Thank you for having me. I am the third born out of a family of six. Born at the UTH hospital in Lusaka Zambia. Growing up in ZAF Lusaka was great except the friends you grew up with would eventually move to a different city as soon as their parents retired. It was hard keeping friends as a kid. As a result of that, my siblings became my best friends. We moved to Dambwa, Livingstone when I was in the sixth grade. Life had to start all over again. Making new friends and starting a new way of life. My dad would eventually pass away when I was in the 9th grade leaving behind a widow who was a housewife for most of her life. We struggled a lot. The life we knew turned upside down. It wasn’t uncommon to go days without food. Despite all of this, we bonded together as a family and also fell in love with the community.

My first stage experience was at Future Hope Church where I was an usher and a worship leader. It also helped that I was a Head Boy at Linda High School in 2001 as well as the Debate Club President.

TMZ: When did you get into acting and doing voice work?

Patrick: In retrospect, acting has always been there for me. We were expected to “act” like everything was ok even when we were at a low point in our lives. When I joined the drama team at church, it was so rewarding to tell someone else’s story and escape my realities for a bit. Voice over started in America. Well, I’ve always been told that voice is distinct. If you ask anyone who knows me, they will describe me by my voice. The one pivotal moment that started all of this was when I recorded my first audio book for a girlfriend’s blind mother for her birthday. Watching her experience the book through my voice was amazing.

TMZ: What role do you play in Black Panther and what was the whole experience like?

Patrick: I have two roles. I am a Border Tribe Warrior plus a dialect and accents assistant.

TMZ: What was it like training the cast of Black Panther with Dialect and accents – was this a difficult or an easy feat? What was the process like?

Patrick: It was an unbelievable experience. Here I am with Lupita N’yongo, Angela Bassett and a few of my favorite actors trying to hold my composure as I was teaching them to speak like me. It was a much easier task once I got over the emotions. Most times, the director would stop the entire production, call me up, fix the dialects and then continue.

TMZ: Anything Zambians in particular can look forward to in the movie and what do you think a movie like Black Panther will do for the film industry as a whole?

Patrick: This movie is revolutionary; a first of its kind. The story is marvelous and the action is great. You will hear some Nyanja words when Killmonger is being locked to the ground by the Doras. I honestly think this movie will change how superhero movies will be fined – a much more relatable superhero.

TMZ: Anything else you would like to add and where can people follow you on social media?

Patrick: Certainly, this is only the beginning. The world will know about Zambia and all that we have to offer. My dream is to inspire as many lives as I can. Nothing is impossible with hard work and faith. Instagram is SHUMBA_PATRICK and Facebook is SHUMBA PATRICK MUTUKWA.

Verbatim credit – Time Machine Zambia

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