Actor Chadwick Boseman lost his private, four-year battle with colon cancer on August 28 at the age of 43. Since then, tributes and fond memories of the star have been pouring in, and on Tuesday, Lupita Nyong’o posted her own statement and tribute to her friend and co-star via Instagram.
“I write these words from a place of hopelessness, to honor a man who had great hope,” the actress wrote in her post. “I am struggling to think and speak about my friend Chadwick Boseman in the past tense. It doesn’t make sense.” Her words were featured in several slides accompanying a photo of herself and Boseman embracing and laughing.
The Oscar-winner, who worked alongside Boseman in Black Panther as King T’Challa’s love interest Nakia, said that while she only knew Boseman for a short time, he left a “profound effect” and impact on her life.
“When we came together to make Black Panther, I remember being struck by his quiet, powerful presence,” she continued. “He had no airs about him, but there was a higher frequency that he seemed to operate from.” Nyong’o also applauded Boseman for taking his time when it came to anything, and “[commanding] his time with ease.” She also recalled his generous spirit, and that he always led by example, not ego.
“He was impeccable with his word,” she added. “I never heard him complain—and there were definitely some things worth complaining about! I think he understood the power of words and chose to manifest power through his word. He used his mouth to build, to edify, never to break.” She also humorously noted that he used his mouth to “tell some regrettably lame dad jokes.”
Nyong’o concluded that he “made damn sure that his life meant something,” and that he always cared about making sure Black people felt the same pride he felt for his community.
“We are all charged by his work as a result, by his presence in our lives,” she wrote before sending her condolences to his wife, family and friends. “His power lives on and will reverberate for generations to come. He used his life force to tell meaningful stories. And now we tell his.” Her post was punctuated by the hashtag #TakeYourTimeButDontWasteYourTime.
Boseman’s Black Panther co-stars Letitia Wright, Michael B. Jordan and Angela Bassett have all posted tributes on social media, and director Ryan Coogler also sent his condolences to Boseman’s family.
As far as the future of the Black Panther sequel is concerned, Disney and Marvel Studios are still working to figure out how to continue the film without Boseman. According to The Hollywood Reporter, there are a few options for the film, which is slated for a 2022 release as of now. One of them would be to replace Boseman, who portrays the film’s titular character, and the other is to make T’Challa’s sister Shuri the new Black Panther, which aligns with events in the Black Panther comic book series.