Wauconda isn’t Wakanda, but ‘Black Panther’ fans don’t care

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Black Panther’s country of Wakanda | ©Marvel Studios 2018

Well, it had to happen.

On Tuesday, Wauconda village hall got its first phone call from somebody yelling “Wakanda Forever.”

It’s the thrilling battle cry from the smash hit movie “Black Panther,” which opened over the weekend.

“We had a guy call and [he] was shouting that. I was a little confused,” said Alise Homola, who works at the village hall in the far northwest suburb.


“He was joking around about it,’’ she said. “He just said that ‘I was searching the Wakanda from the movie, and your village came up, so I thought I’d call you and give you a hard time.’ ”


She also received a couple of emails she thinks are related to the film.

To be clear, Wauconda is not the futuristic vibranium-filled African utopia of “Black Panther.”It’s a town in Lake County with a landmark nature bog.

But that hasn’t stopped comic book geeks and fans from joking on social media that the smash hit film about Wakanda might make Wauconda seem cooler than it is.

In the Marvel universe, Wakanda is a fictional kingdom ruled by T’Challa, aka the Black Panther, played by Chadwick Boseman. He and Wakanda are threatened by baddie Erik Killmonger, portrayed by Michael B. Jordan.

Or, as one Twitter commenter said, “Do u know how it feels to hear Wauconda (wakanda) fall from the sweet lips of Michael B Jordan”?


But fans apparently were already posting a month ago on the Instagram page for Wauconda’s Bulldogs Grill, which features lots of juicy burger photos.

“Somebody said, ‘This must be Black Panther’s favorite burger joint,’ ” said general manager Tony Vazquez.

CTA spokesman Steve Mayberry tweeted about the connection. “I was thinking to myself, how cool would it be to throw on a dashiki and go and watch ‘Black Panther’ in Wauconda.”

Other tweets about Wauconda/Wakanda include: “I have a feeling that Wauconda, Illinois is about to enjoy a sudden spike in tourism. #BlackPanther #Wakanda”

“Just tickled by the Wauconda/Wakanda of it all,” said another.

Wauconda was named for a Native American chief, according to the village website, “who is buried somewhere on the southern bank of Bangs Lake, back of the Town Hall. The word translated from its Indian language means ‘Spirit Water.’ ”

Still, it’s hard for it to compete with Wakanda, with its exuberant celebration of pan-African culture, spaceships, miraculous medical technology, Amazonian soldiers, war rhinoceri and gorgeous threads. On Facebook, people have been making comments like, “If only Wauconda, IL was Wakanda.”

And, “When any ‘Black Panther’ actor mentions Wakanda, I giggle because Wauconda, IL is anything but a noble land worth protecting.”

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