Thank You for the Love on “OFODU OKON OKOYE”

As I mentioned in the original project post, “Ofodu, Okon, Okoye–A Black Panther Tribute” was an original idea we had to re-create Danai’s Dora look for today, and demonstrate how juiced we were at seeing ourselves represented onscreen.

That decision to wrap aluminum wire around Joy Sunday‘s neck and bring Eva onboard ended up meaning way more for us (to the tune of 121,000+ engagements online and features in 100+ outlets), and more to the fans after they had the chance to see the movie!

We launched the shoot by strategically blogging and pitching Wednesday night (because who wants to fight Valentine’s Day posts?) and social sharing on FEB 15th, Wide Release day. Twitter (and BP costume designer Ruth E. Carter) gave us a very warm welcome.

That afternoon, I launched my ticket giveaway (until FEB 21) and shoot on my IG with the help of two friendly entertainment bloggers!

Excited to share the @JoyOfodu Instagram Black Panther OFODU OKON OKOYE contest #BlackPanther #joyofodu #Wakanda #Contest #Movie 1. Prize – Two (2) tickets to see Black Panther (Up to $25. Special events and 3D,4D, 70D do not apply). 2. Eligibility – Valid only for entrants 18+ in the continental United States who are following @joyofodu on Instagram 3. Duration – All entries are valid between Thursday, FEB 15 at time of posting (PST) until FEB 21 at 11:59PM PST 4. Entry – For valid entry, (1) Follow @joyofodu, (2) Like the Photo and (3) Comment and Tag one friend who you think would love to see Black Panther. 5. Winner Selection – Winners will be chosen via random lottery. Winner must be following @joyofodu at time of lottery drawing, with Comment still active and Like still active. Winner must confirm identity, age and theater within 24 hours of contact by @joyofodu or prize will be forfeited randomly to another winner. 6. Technical Issues – Duplicate tag comment entries will be deleted. A post failure (unforseen deletion, removal by IG etc.) will invalidate the contest. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Instagram. Instagram is thereby released by each entrant. Joy Ofodu From Joy to the World ᐧ

A post shared by Cherry Davis (@cherry_la) on

We love all of the #BlackPanther Tribute Photo Shoots! Especially this incredible one from Entertainment Industry Photographer @joyofodu 📸 ! 👏🏾👏🏾 👑 🔶 Featuring actress Joy “Sunday” Okon inspired by Danai Gurira’s portrayal of Marvel Studios/Marvel Comics’ #Okoye, photographer Joy Ofodu created a bold photoset of over 20 images showcasing their artistic interpretation of a modern-day Dora Milaje warrior. For the full project click the link in our bio and be sure to watch @blackpanther at midnight! #PhotoCredit📷 All Photos By @joyofodu 👑✨✨✨ #QueensInspireQueens #Tribute #PhotoShoot #WalkInYourRoyalty #WakandaForever #DoraMilaje #BlackGirlMagic #BreakTheBoxOffice #WeInHere #WeOnNow #BigShot #Wakanda #DanaiGurira #YoungBoldRegal

A post shared by Young, Bold, and Regal (@youngboldandregal) on

I paid $20.00 to promote the following post, which now has the most likes of any post on my IG, ever (830+)

The most important result to me was the love received from family, friends, co-workers and those I idolize in photography/artistic pursuits. Our immediate network was the primary intended audience. The world came next.


FEB 16 (Friday) was a big day. Thousands of fans had just seen the film ($25M box office Thursday) Thanks to a special article on Afropunk’s homepage, fans across the globe could read about our shoot in great detail.

READ: THE FIERCE DORA MILAJE OF WAKANDA GET MODERN-DAY REINTERPRETATION IN THIS PHOTO SERIES

Screen Shot 2018-02-15 at 11.10.24 AM.png

Back on social, the shoot picked up steam and support from figures like Matthee A. Cherry (director), Charles D. King (CEO & Co-Founder, MACRO) Van Jones (Political Correspondent) and Phoebe Robinson (2 Dope Queens Host)

That day, we were also featured in articles on Yahoo EntertainmentThe WrapSFGateSteve Harvey FMABC7 , NBC , FOX and iHeart Radio affiliates, amassing over 100 media hits.

Screen Shot 2018-02-19 at 3.19.17 AM.png


FEB 17th was kinda nuts. Thanks to four Instagram posts by @afropunk (841K), fans started flocking to our pages. I gained 600 IG followers overnight and Afropunk’s following jumped 2k+ and 98K likes.

I kept sharing, too:

Over 25 Instagram accounts that properly credited us (from fashion blogs to tech startups to cosplay pages to media outlets) used the key art from the shoot on their IG Feeds and Stories to react to Marvel Studios’ Black Panther.

Screen Shot 2018-02-19 at 2.54.18 AM.png

My work started to fill Explore feeds, and supportive, enthusiastic DMs from across the nation flooded into my inbox and Joy Sunday’s.

On Twitter, outlets like Kno Online used our work to promote their launches, products and services. Where credit was appropriately provided, I did not mind 🙂


On FEB 18th, The @afropunk surprised us again with four additional IG posts alongside another viral shoot from Looks Like Me UK! My photos are among their most Liked on IG. Their feed now looks like this:

Screen Shot 2018-02-19 at 2.48.46 AM.png

I continued to get heartwarming feedback from like-minded creatives and re-shares from verified Tweeters and aggregate IG accounts as the news of the film’s $218M domestic/$361M WW debut spread:

By Monday, February 19 at 4:00 AM PST:

TOTAL ENGAGEMENT 121,975
TOTAL LIKES/FAVORITES 120,773
TOTAL RE-SHARES 283
TOTAL COMMENTS/REPLIES 919
TOTAL MEDIA HITS 100+

Engagement: Likes, Favorites, Comments, Re-shares and Replies across Instagram and Twitter. WordPress, Facebook and web platforms not measured.
Likes/Favorites: Likes and Favorites across Instagram and Twitter
Re-Shares: Tagged Reposts and RTs/QTs across Instagram and Twitter
Comments/Replies: Comments across Instagram and Twitter
Media Hits: Appearances of “Ofodu Okon Okoye” project material on unique website addresses.

On FEB 28th – Unexpectedly, the ball keeps rolling thanks to Lupita Nyong’o’s posts!


I never could have imagined these results, and I am very grateful. Which reminds me to wholeheartedly thank:

  • Joy Sunday, the muse of the hour and subject of the shoot. Thank you for your faith and patience, and killer teeth
  • Eva Isakovic for donating your time and skill in slaying faces to this shoot
  • The Afropunk social team and featured article author Eye Candy. You’ve done more for me than you can possibly know!
  • The Wrap article author Shira Namvar for including our Tweet in an anthology that reached thousands
  • Joi, Riley, Quincy, Taylor, Haley, Amri, Amanda, Juice, Grace and all other friends, family and co-workers who have supported me through the creation, editing, pitching and sharing of this project to the world
  • Costume designer Ruth E. Carter for repeatedly showing love
  • Everyone at Marvel and Marvel Studios for delivering the Okoye character to us. I really, really needed her.

From Joy to the World,

signature sign

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