Danai Gurira Pays Touching Tribute to Chadwick Boseman: ‘How Do You Honor a King?’

“The children he inspired, my heart aches for them, to lose their hero just as they finally found him,” the “Black Panther” star writes in a lengthy tribute

Last Updated: August 30, 2020 @ 7:06 PM

Danai Gurira honored her “Black Panther” co-star Chadwick Boseman in a lengthy Instagram post on Sunday, calling him “a true class act. And so perfectly equipped to take on the responsibility of leading the franchise that changed everything for Black representation.”

Boseman, who was best known for playing Black Panther in four Marvel Cinematic Universe movies, died Friday after a four-year battle with colon cancer. He was just 43. His death came as a shock to his fans and colleagues, whose love for him poured out on social media across the world.

Gurira’s “Black Panther” character, Okoye, was always at Boseman’s King T’Challa’s side in respect and support. Their on-screen relationship carried over into real life, and his death, she said, has left her reeling.

“How do you honor a king? Reeling from the loss of my colleague, my friend, my brother. Struggling for words. Nothing feels adequate,” she wrote. “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 how thankful I was that he was the leading man I was working closely with.”

She went on to say, “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.”

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Chadwick Boseman and Danai Gurira (Getty Images)

Gurira signed her post “Lala Ngoxolo Kumkani,” which translated from Zulu means, “Sleep in peace, O king.”

Read Gurira’s moving tribute to Boseman below:

How do you honor a king? 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. 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 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. 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 as 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. 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.

Lala Ngoxolo Kumkani.