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EXCLUSIVE: Ghana’s Folklore Board To Recover Compensation From ‘Black Panther’ Movie Producers For Using Kente In The Movie Without Permission

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Acting Director of the National Folklore Board, Nana Adwoa Adobea Asante, has disclosed that her outfit will be recovering compensations from the producers of the popular Black Panther movie for using Kente in the movie without prior permission and/ or payment of compensation to the people of Ghana.

Black Panther, produced by Marvel Studios and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures – tells the story of T’Challa, heir to the hidden but advanced kingdom of Wakanda, who must step forward to lead his people into a new future and must confront a challenger from his country’s past.

The popular movie, qualifies as a master’s masterpiece ensured by a good number of factors; Wakanda fictional world the writer created, global acceptance or appeal of the movie, especially the black community, and its cumulative worldwide grossing of $1,347,071,259 (and still racking in more revenue).

Aside the above x-factors in the movie, is the overflow of images of the cast looking amazing in (lion) furs, raffias, Afrocentric hair styles, and of course Ghana’s Kente fabric. In the movie, the character, King T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman), aka the Black Panther, wore Ghanaian made Kente scarf.

From left, Danai Gurira as Okoye, Ms. Nyong’o as Nakia and Florence Kasumba as Ayo. Credit, Matt Kennedy/Marvel and Disney

Any copyright and IP expert/advocate who knows Kente, Adinkra symbols, Ananse myths, among others as Ghana’s copyrighted folklore works, is likely to believe the producers sought permission from Ghana and/or have paid some compensation to the good people of Ghana, but that is not the case.

In an exclusive interview with Presspeep.com, Miss Adobea established that Marvel Studios did not contact her outfit before using the Kente fabric as costume for the movie.

Acting Director of the National Folklore Board, Nana Adwoa Adobea Asante

“They did not contact us. When you want to use Ghana’s folkloric works, you are to come to the folklore board for permission which they did not do so we need to go and get our compensation. They used it without permission yet continue to benefit from the movie.”

She stressed: “Our ancestors left us something and if someone wants to use that, it is only fair that those whom it belongs to, are duly compensated. The custodians of such works duly need to be compensated.”

The venturous Miss Adobea, a lawyer by profession, said her outfit is “really serious in pursuing this cause! We are very serious about this! The Ghana Folklore Board was inaugurated in November and is now going through a process of rebirth supported by the government and the Minister of Tourism, Culture, and Creative Arts.”

Asked if they will be resorting to civil action to get compensation for Ghana, Miss Adobea stated their approach is not going to be one of a court litigation.

“We are actually going to use a law firm that has an international reach to actually write to them. It’s not a fight. We are going to write to them and get our due compensation for the use of our folklore. We have the legal backing. Ghana’s Copyright Act, 2005 Act 690 gives us that right and backing to go for what belongs to us.”

Section 64 of the Copyright Act on Use of folklore, states: (1) A person who intends to use folklore for any purpose other than as permitted under section 19 of this Act, shall apply to the Board for permission in the prescribed form and the person shall pay a fee that the Board may determine.

The National Folklore Board, is mandated to: (a) administer, monitor and register expressions of folklore on behalf of the Republic, (b) maintain a register of expressions of folklore at the Copyright Office, (c) preserve and monitor the use of expressions of folklore in the Republic, (d)  provide members of the public with information and advice on matters relating to folklore, (e)    promote activities which will increase public awareness on the activities of the Board, and (f)       promote activities for the dissemination of expressions of folklore within the Republic and abroad.

Miss Adobea gave another interesting revelation of how the Maasai people of Kenya had compensation for “a cloth that is peculiar to them” which was used without their consent. “Serious and bigger brands started using the cloth. The Maasai people of Kenya succeeded in getting compensation” she added.

Ending, she also disclosed that the board is about to follow up on 50 more cases involving the use of Ghana’s folkloric works by foreigners without permission from the state as well as compensation to the good people of Ghana.

Presspeep.com intends getting an official response from Marvel Studios on this very story. Stick and stay with us – and remember to SHARE or POST our stories.