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Monday, October 10, 2022


Here’s everything we know about her character!

The jaw-dropping new trailer for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever sent Marvel fans into a frenzy earlier this week, and now Michaela Coel is giving LGBTQ+ fans another reason to cheer.

Coel, writer, director, and star of the controversial yet beloved series I May Destroy You is joining the cinematic universe as Aneka in the upcoming film, a character who has a romantic relationship with a woman.

This relationship lives in the Black Panther comics and was rumored to premiere in the 2018 film. Queer fans were disappointed when it seemed like the moment was scrapped but now, our patience has paid off!

According to Coel’s stunning new Vogue feature, “Aneka is a captain and combat instructor in the Dora Milaje, the fearless all-female crew of warriors who protect the kingdom of Wakanda. As the story goes, she falls in love with her warrior colleague Ayo, played by Florence Kasumba, and their forbidden affair causes disruption in the ranks.”

Coel says Aneka’s sexuality is what sold her on the role. “I thought: I like that, I want to show that to Ghana.” The African country has antigay laws that are more than just conservative, and Coel hopes that the story can combat some of the homophobia. Right now, the parliament is trying to pass a bill that would sentence people who identified as gay, and even their allies, to prison for five years. Coel is well aware of the country’s politics and history: both of her parents are Ghanaian.

“People say, ‘Oh, it’s fine, it’s just politics.’ But I don’t think it is just politics when it affects how people get to live their daily lives,” she said. “That’s why it felt important for me to step in and do that role because I know just by my being Ghanaian, Ghanaians will come.”

Hopefully, Aneka’s story and Coel’s portrayal can change some minds. It seems like director Ryan Coogler thinks so. “Aneka, the character Michaela plays, is kind of a rebel,” he told Vogue. “It made a lot of meta sense with Michaela being someone who is pushing the industry forward and carving out her own space.”

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever premieres November 11 in theaters. You can catch glimpses of Aneka in the latest trailer, which you can watch below.


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