in memoriam

Danai Gurira Remembers the Late Chadwick Boseman: ‘How Do You Honor a King?’

Photo: Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images

Following the death of Chadwick Boseman on Friday, after his four-year battle with colon cancer, the actor’s friends, colleagues, and fans took to social media to memorialize his personal integrity and artistic acumen. On Sunday, Boseman’s Black Panther co-star, actress and playwright Danai Gurira, posted a personal tribute to the Marvel star on Twitter, one that asks, “How do you honor a king?” Writes Gurira, “Reeling from the loss of my colleague, my friend, my brother. Struggling for words. Nothing feels adequate.”

“I always marveled at how special Chadwick was,” penned the Avengers: Endgame actress, who starred across from Boseman as Dora Milaje member Okoye, protector of T’Challa. “Such a pure hearted, profoundly generous, regal, fun guy. My entire job as Okoye was to respect and protect a king. Honor his leadership. Chadwick made that job profoundly easy. He was the epitome of kindness, elegance, diligence and grace. On many an occasion I would think of how thankful I was that he was the leading man I was working closely with. A true class act. And so perfectly equipped to take on the responsibility of leading the franchise that changed everything for Black representation.”

“He made everyone feel loved, heard and seen,” Gurira continues. “He played great, iconic roles because he possessed inside of himself that connection to greatness to be able to so richly bring them to life. He had a heroic spirit, and marched to the beat of his own drum; hence his excellence as an artist and the incredible courage and determination and he faced life’s challenges; while still guiding us all.”

“He was zen and sweet and funny (with the very best laugh), attentive and truly, truly good,” she writes. “I can’t even wrap my mind around this loss. A loss resonating in my own heart as well as around the globe. The children he inspired, my heart aches for them to lose their hero just as they finally found him. I am so thankful to have taken the Black Panther journey with him. To have known him, spent time in his light and leadership and to call him forever a friend.” Gurira concludes her tribute in Xhosa. “Lala Ngoxolo Kumkani,” she writes, a phrase that translates in English to “Sleep in peace, O King.”

Danai Gurira On Chadwick Boseman: ‘How Do You Honor a King?’