TT actor Winston Duke has paid tribute to his friend and Black Panther co-star Chadwick Boseman, who died on Friday. The 43-year-old endured a four-year-battle with stage-three colon cancer which progressed to stage four.
After the news broke on social media on Friday night, fans, friends and celebrities – including co-stars of the Marvel film – began paying tribute.
Duke played M’baku, leader of the Jabari Tribe, in the film.
In an Instagram post on Monday, Duke asked, “How do I start to honour a man who I saw as a giant in many ways; with whom I thought I had so much more time?”
He said he not only lost a friend but a hero.
“Through seeing Chad’s work, I was able to say, ‘I could be just like you one day,’ and when I saw you in person for the first time at my audition for Black Panther, you acknowledged me and my dream by saying, ‘He’s ready!’ Man, your words that day made me feel like my dream was finally real!
“I knew I belonged because I could see myself in you. That’s what heroes do – they seem familiar because they make it possible for us to see our potential best selves demonstrated through them.”
He said every day on set, Boseman showed everyone “what it was to be a leading man…not only through his work but by how he welcomed and created a space for all of us to feel safe, open and bold.
"You even worked with me one on one, on our scenes, so that we could get it right, well before the day of the filming.”
He thanked the late star, calling him “the best,” adding that his “calm confidence was inspiring and exemplary.
“I feel sick. I’m in pain and I can’t believe he’s gone. Chadwick was a lightning rod for me. He gave me direction...
“Thanks for sharing with me. You go ahead. You did your job and did it well! You will NEVER be forgotten. Your heroism is now legend. We’ll carry the load and honour your legacy the rest of the way! Bless King! #chadwickboseman #wakandaforever.”
Boseman’s death was announced on his social media pages by his family.
It read, “It was the honour of his career to bring King T’Challa to life in Black Panther.
“He died in his home, with his wife and family by his side. The family thanks you for your love and prayers, and asks that you continue to respect their privacy during this difficult time.”