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Like many of you, the news of the passing away of Chadwick Boseman, the actor who is renowned for being King T’Challa in the Black Panther; as well as his roles in other hit movies, came to me in a state of total shock. I couldn't process it instantly as I learnt about it a few minutes after his family announced it via his Instagram handle 2 weeks ago.
It was not until the next morning when I worked up that it hit me! The Black Panther is gone! Really gone. He died of colon cancer, after having battled it since 2016. Yet those last 4 years of his life were lived with passion, purpose and epitome of grace, kindness and black excellence.
He inspired millions of black boys and girls worldwide by being their superhero. He inspired us their aunties, uncles, parents, by giving us the glory and joy of Wakanda, as Meera Estrada rightfully shared on global news.
Chadwick Boseman died without a single outer of discomfort despite privately battling with so much pain cancer must have caused him. He starred in some of his best movies that demanded physical strength and mental fortitude that is unimaginable, with all the chemotherapy he had to do in between.
The drive and ambition with which he lived those last 4 years of his life despite battling with cancer, is one that will continue to have a long-lasting impact on the lives of millions of people around the world. He put himself in service of positively redefining and retelling the African and Black narrative on-screen; creating a movement of Futuristic Pan Africanist and a spirit of Black Excellence that is unprecedented.
The drive and ambition with which he lived those last 4 years of his life since his diagnosis with the highest level of humility, service, grace, courage, truth and pursuits of a life of tremendous impact.
Boseman despite his struggles, managed to tell our story from a place of courage, strength and. He gave us hope, showed us what black excellence meant, inspired the diaspora to reconnect with their ancestral roots, taught us all the importance of self-determination, encourage us to take charge of creating our own reality, and reminded us to see beyond our reality and envision a world of freedom, opportunity and limitless possibility. He taught us to dream again and envision Africa and the Black world, we all desire and know is possible.
His life has taught us so much, especially as Black and Brown people the world over. So today, I want to invite you to take a moment to discover these 7 lessons we can learn from his life and things you can inculcate in your daily lives to honour his life as you blaze your own legacy:
Define what a purposeful life means to you and begin to live it
Purpose! Yes, that is the most important element of your existence. As Chadwick puts it, it is better to have a purpose than a career or a job. Many people are unsure what their purpose is, for starters, my good friend Dee of Well Worn Heels shared these three things one is supposed to consider in finding his/her purpose:
𝘞𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘢𝘳𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘯𝘨𝘴 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘤𝘢𝘯’𝘵 𝘴𝘵𝘰𝘱 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘯𝘬𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘢𝘣𝘰𝘶𝘵
𝘞𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘢𝘳𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘯𝘨𝘴 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘤𝘢𝘳𝘦 𝘥𝘦𝘦𝘱𝘭𝘺 𝘢𝘣𝘰𝘶𝘵 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘢𝘭𝘮𝘰𝘴𝘵 𝘴𝘦𝘦𝘮 𝘣𝘪𝘨𝘨𝘦𝘳 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘯 𝘺𝘰𝘶
𝘞𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘢𝘳𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘰𝘴𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘯𝘨𝘴 𝘺𝘰𝘶 ha𝘷𝘦 𝘮𝘢𝘺𝘣𝘦 𝘵𝘳𝘪𝘦𝘥 𝘵𝘰 𝘢𝘷𝘰𝘪𝘥 𝘣𝘶𝘵 𝘬𝘦𝘦𝘱 𝘳𝘦𝘴𝘶𝘳𝘧𝘢𝘤𝘪𝘯𝘨
Today, I challenge you to step into your curiosity and focus on those things for starters. As she rightly points out 𝐏𝐮𝐫𝐩𝐨𝐬𝐞 𝐛𝐞𝐜𝐨𝐦𝐞𝐬 𝐜𝐥𝐞𝐚𝐫𝐞𝐫 𝐢𝐧 𝐚𝐜𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧. For those who are a step further, in defining and beginning to live in alignment with your purpose, consider answering these questions: What does success mean to you? What mission do you want to accomplish? Who do you want to serve? What stories do you want to change? What cause do you want to advance? And more importantly than anything else, what can you start doing today to fulfil that purpose?
2. Define and create a set of values and principles to live by
The life of Chadwick Boseman was one that amplifies purpose-driven courage and strength. It is one that showed he lived with a high level of kindness, honour, human dignity, love, mutual respect, gratitude; concern for his community and selflessness in service to others; in pursuit of social change, justice and the redefining black representation in film.