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Chadwick Boseman, ‘Black Panther’ star dies at 43 after four-year cancer battle

Chadwick Boseman played the role of the king of Wakanda in ‘Black Panther’.
Image: Marvel Studios 2018

Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman has died at the age of 43 after a four-year battle with colon cancer.

The news was confirmed in a post on the star’s social media pages on Saturday morning.

“It is with immeasurable grief that we confirm the passing of Chadwick Boseman. It was the honour of his life to bring King T’Challa to life in Black Panther,” it said.

He passed away at his home in the Los Angeles area, with his wife and family at his side.

The star had been battling stage-three colon cancer since 2016, which later progressed to stage four.

“A true fighter, Chadwick persevered through it all,” the statement added.

Boseman was perhaps best known to local audiences for his role as King T’Challa on Black Panther but also stole the spotlight as Jackie Robinson in 42 and James Brown in Get on Up.

In 2018, he gave a passionate speech at Howard University in Washington, DC, encouraging graduates to never give up on their dreams, no matter the barriers they faced.

“Rather find purpose than a job or a career,” he said. “Purpose crosses disciplines; it is an essential element of you. It is the reason you are on this planet at this particular time in history. Your very existence is wrapped up in the things you are here to fulfil.

“When I dare to challenge the system that would relegate us to victims and stereotypes, with no clear historical background, no hopes or talent … when I questioned that method of portrayal, a different path opened up for me. The path to my destiny. When God has something for you, it doesn’t matter who stands against it.”

His death has shocked fans across the world and in SA. Tributes to the star flooded social media.

Media personality Maps Maponyane said: “The fact that Chadwick Boseman battled colon cancer for four years while putting out so many great movies is remarkable … makes you think that he just might have been a superhero in real life too. What a man.”

The Queen star Vuyolwethu Ngcukana labelled Boseman’s death “unbelievable”.

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