Goodnight, Hero Chadwick

Monday, August 31, 2020


As I sat in my seat, watching other new wigs cross the stage; as I joined the queue for my turn to approach the stage, and even up to when my name was called, I had no idea that I was going to do what I did.

 

Maybe it was the heightened applause, as the first black person in what had been a looooooooooooong sea of white faces. Maybe it was my cray-cray (but absolutely adorable!) family members in the crowd who shook the hall with their screams and applause that propelled me to it.

 

But in that moment, as I stepped forward into the light, there seemed only one reasonable response to the applause from the crowd:

 

The Wakanda sign.

 

(Followed by a small dance to receive my certificate)

 

Suffice to say that the hall went beserk… in a really good and wholesome way. I mean, what was a call to the bar of a Nigerian in Canada, without a little something to shake things up? πŸ˜‰

 

[Read It takes a village to break into a dance]

 

 

To put things in perspective, it was the year 2018 a.k.a the year of the Black Panther.

 

Months earlier, we’d been blessed with the first super-hero movie to have an all-black cast. After months of gracing cinema halls with jollof and chicken, proudly spotting African attire at events and throwing the Wakanda sign all over the world, we still were not over it.

 

I personally was still not over it.

 

That was the power of Black Panther. That feel-good wholesomeness, normalizing people of similar skin colour doing mind-bending things on TV. Things that did not entail breaking their backs while picking cotton, and sorrowfully singing Freedom songs, which was what we had mostly been relegated to in screen time.

 

[Read: Why we love Black Panther]

 

Rather, reflecting what is obtainable in real life: that black people were just as capable as others, of doing ‘cool’ stuff, and being super-heroes.

 

This was the gift that the Chadwick Boseman-led cast blessed us with. To learn years later, that Chadwick had been fighting a terminal ailment, while giving life to our fantasies and tearing a lid which can never be sealed again makes it even clearer that in real life, he was indeed a super-hero.

 

Our very own hero.

 

It would be unfair to limit the sum of Chadwick’s achievements to Black Panther and the MCU. With roles like James Brown in Get on Up and Andre Davis in 21 Bridges, Chadwick shared with us the range of his gift for acting.

 

Both on and off-screen, he typefied the disciplined, hardworking and respectable human which a lot of us can identify with our fathers and brothers at home, but seldom on television for black men.

 

Perhaps, the reason the most of his accolades is tied with Black Panther is due to his refusal to be content with not rocking the boat; instead, going above and beyond in bringing the titular character to life. Rather than going the easy route of retaining his American accent or adopting a British one, taking the time to master an ‘African’ accent.

 

(Although, we Africans still tease that accent, as being a hilarious juxtaposition of South African, Ghanaian and Rwandan accent)

 

Whatever the case is, Chadwick will forever remain a super-hero to the most of us, and not even death can take this away.

 

We find solace in the faith he practiced both in Black Panther and in real life; that life does not end here. There is a better place we all will meet.  

 

Although your watch on earth is now ended, for you, it is not goodbye.

 

It is Goodnight, Chadwick.

 

Meg.


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1 comments

  1. The tale of his greatness will surely be told for generations to come. Nice piece MegπŸ™…πŸ½

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