Superhuman spirit sees army of Hackney teens attend Black Panther for free

Hundeds of teenagers have now seen Hollywood blockbuster Black Panther thanks to a crowdfunding camp

Hundeds of teenagers have now seen Hollywood blockbuster Black Panther thanks to a crowdfunding campaign which drummed up more than £1,000 for free tickets. Photo by Hackney Quest - Credit: Archant

A superhuman chunk of community spirit resulted in hundreds of Hackney teenagers seeing a Hollywood blockbuster for free.

Black Panther, the first Marvel film to feature a black lead actor and a predominantly black cast, has been lauded by critics, but not everyone has the cash to enjoy it.

Thanks to a crowdfunding campaign, which saw more than £1,000 raised in five days after a Facebook shout-out by A&E registrar Dr Ronke Ikharia, an army of teens have been an able to enjoy the movie at Genesis Cinema over the past fortnight.

Ronke, known as Dr Ronx at Homerton Hospital where she now works, started the campaign to get more young people from black and minority ethnic backgrounds watching a film of cultural significance.

The campaign has seen a variety of the borough’s community groups working together, including Hackney youth organisation Hackney Quest.

Busayo, 17, one of the many teenagers who saw the film, said: “I’ve never seen black females being so empowered and I have never seen so many black people in a film. I’ve always wanted to have positive female black role models and this film has made me see Africa in a new way.

“I want to rebuild and change a generation and go into a field where I can empower people and let them know they can go into so many different jobs.

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“Thank you Hackney Quest and Dr Ronke, my life will never be the same.”

A spokesman for Mouth that Roars, a Shoreditch film-making company that sent two of its youth groups to the screenings, added: “Most of our young people would not have seen the film.

“They all rated the film 10 our of 10, and the best Marvel film they had ever seen.”

Mile End cinema Genesis has been fully on board with the crowdfunder, offering a heap of two-for-one tickets, which can still be used over the coming weeks.

Colette Allen, director of Hackney Quest, said: “Our young people were in awe of the film and the amazing role models as characters.”