Welcome to this week’s installment of Geek Girl Authority Crush of the Week, wherein we shine a spotlight on strong women who inspire us. Each week, we will highlight a favorite female character or creator of geeky media. These ladies are a prime example of female empowerment and how crucial it is for young girls to have said example to follow.
Born and raised in Wakanda, Okoye (played by Danai Gurira) is the General of the Dora Milaje and a good friend to King T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman). Okoye is always ready for a fight, carrying a sonic spear and sharp tongue. She is loyal to Wakanda and will protect the country at all costs, even if that means standing against her friends. She is also married to W’Kabi (Daniel Kaluuya), head of security at the Border Tribe of Wakanda. Okoye is very aware of her duties and will maintain Wakandan traditions even in the face of tyranny and war.
The Real Deal:
The Dora Milaje are made up of women recruited from every tribe in Wakanda. They protect the King and his family as well as the country. Okoye, as their leader, is always by T’Challa’s side. She is not afraid to speak her mind in matters that concern the safety of the country. Okoye is a traditionalist, always following the old ways of protecting her people. The old ways are challenged in Marvel’s Black Panther, as T’Challa considers revealing the real Wakanda to the world.
Tensions rise when Erik Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan) challenges T’Challa to take the throne and tests Okoye’s loyalty. Killmonger wins the fight and T’Challa is assumed to be dead. Even though T’Challa was her friend, she must serve her new king. Killmonger plans to arm the oppressed African descendants with Wakanda technology and weapons. Okoye disagrees, but must serve as she has sworn to do. When T’Challa returns to finish the challenge, Okoye and the Dora Milaje are quick to side with T’Challa. They turn on Killmonger and some of their countrymen who backed him for the throne. This includes Okoye’s husband W’Kabi. Okoye did not hesitate to let him know that she would kill him before allowing him to disturb the peace of Wakanda. The country’s short lived civil war ended with T’Challa back on the throne.
Okoye also fought for Wakanda and the world in Avengers: Infinity War. T’Challa took a stand with Captain America/Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) and his allies. He called on all of Wakanda to stand with them against the Black Order. Okoye proudly fought alongside Natasha Romanov (Scarlett Johanson) against Proxima Midnight (Carrie Coon) to protect her comrades, specifically Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen). That fight was the most exciting of the film as the two bada** women showed the world that you don’t need superpowers to stand against aliens.
Why She Matters:
Have you seen this woman fight? Okoye has skills unlike any other general in the world. She is the first to jump into a fight and always emerges unscathed. She also keeps a level head about her, knowing when to talk things through. Okoye represents the rich tradition and values of Wakanda. She also displays her ability to adapt to new ideas, but cautiously. She survived the war with Thanos, however, her king was not so fortunate. It’s up to her to see that her country moves forward and continues to uphold their grace and prestige.