The world is still mourning the loss to colon cancer of the highly accomplished actor Chadwick Boseman — who portrayed Black Panther in the box office record-breaking Marvel superhero movie.
To many people of Afro descent globe-wide, Boseman was a real-life hero, a black icon that brought Afro Diaspora together.
A few Kenyans share their reflections on the profound positive impact the actor’s work and international media visibility had on the collective Afro culture around the world.
Grace Kahaki, a Kenyan director at Insignia Production cannot hold back her emotion, “I feel like we have suffered such a great loss because we were so proud, we were so proud to have this superhero come out and represent us as black people and you are like oh wow all of a sudden everybody is happy, embracing their Africanness and embracing their blackness and I don’t think that any other actor would have been able to embrace that role apart from Chadwick Boseman.”
Patrick Wanjohi, a Kenyan filmmaker gives insight into how visual representation matters, “I would say he is a symbol of a positive African story. Chadwick accepted the role of T’challa in the Black Panther which changed the narrative that African stories were always negative.”
Boseman did justice to the on-screen depictions of other key black figures — such as James Brown and Jackie Robinson, both setting an example and leaving a legacy for Afro people worldwide who celebrate him to emulate going forward.