Movies

Chadwick Boseman: A legend’s imprint lives on

Honestly, I was going to skip these Chadwick Boseman RIP because dude is gone. I didn’t even know him but it hurts, and nothing will bring him back. But I realised I couldn’t.

My first cinema experience was Black Panther. Thank you, Isaiah, for that; because of you, I got to see such a work.

A lot of people didn’t like the movie, talking about how it wasn’t really Africa but missing the point of how Africa could be. Vibranuim was Wakanda’s secret, their mineral, and they used it to do great things in their country. Telling you that even without borrowing we could somehow find ways to harness our powers (all the God-given minerals we have) and make ourselves a great country.

With good leadership of course. The Black Panther was their leadership. A leader who was loved not because he brided people or gave them false hope but truly made them the witness of how far he was ready to go to protect them and give them what they truly deserve and not what he thought they deserve.

You may have not liked the movie but you cannot deny the positive impact it had on a lot of black people; if not anyone, the African-American. Since studying literature, I always say that the best of works are always not those with big English and hidden meanings.

The simple ones that seem unimpressive at first glance are always the ones to look out for. They will rip your heart with their subtext and meaning. Kofi Awoonor’s The Cathedral, Emmet Till, and a lot more. I put Black Panther in that category.
A young prince ready to take on a throne after his father’s death but not until he deals with a dark past and learns to be a good leader.

Honestly, a lot of youth who watch this movie can pick a lot of things from it. If you are looking to be a future leader of an African country, there is a lot of literature for you to read (From Third World to First – being one of them) and a lot more. But be sure to see the steps to the Black Panther and understand why even when he decided to make a lot of changes to his country his people (even those who wanted to resist his reign) trusted him to make their lives better.

After Black Panther, I realised I have seen Chadwick in a lot of movies I just did not know it was him until I re-watched some of the old movies and looked forward to new ones that were equally great. He put so much effort into his roles that even characters who you could not picture him play (mine was James Brown) he did so well.

For actors in our country so obsessed with fame, monitor the steps of Chadwick, appreciate his craft and use that and more (lessons from actors and filmmakers) as a guide to making your craft better. Then, fame will chase you like it did Lupita Nyongo who was once a Kenyan girl you saw on Shuga.

Da 5 Bloods (2020), Marshall, 21 Bridges, Black Panther, Endgame, Civil War, Infinity War – people loved these movies and Chadwick helped bring them to life even after being diagnosed with colon cancer. I may have not known him but from my first cinematic experience but I loved him and adored him for being a great actor who could in a subtle or not so subtle way have a great influence on me with just a role.

Black Panther lastly served as a great reminder to many especially the African American community that superheroes could have their skin colour too. It gave kids a new face to look up to and adults a hope that may have been lost. I cant imagine impacting lives any bigger than this.

I started this as something small for my status but what to do when the words keep pouring out and my eyes would not stop leaking salty water.

A huge thanks to Denzel Washington for paying the fees of Chadwick even though he did not know him. That generous act blessed the world with screen God.

Whether it is with his movies, his life, his speeches or his struggle with cancer and his ability to fight it while putting smiles on other people’s faces, there is a lesson to be picked from this great actor.

We plan but God plans and His plans are always the best.