BY FREEMAN MAKOPA
HOLLYWOOD-BASED Zimbabwean actress Sibongile Mlambo has paid an emotional tribute to the late Black Panther actor Chadwick Boseman, describing him as a gracious and humble person.
Boseman died on Thursday last week at his home in Los Angeles with his wife, Taylor Simone Ledward, and family by his side.
He had been diagnosed with bowel cancer four years ago and was undergoing treatment while filming hit movies including Avengers Endgame, 21 Bridges and Spike Lee’s Da 5 Bloods and worked together with Mlambo on the set of Message from the King.
Mlambo told NewsDay Life & Style that she was grateful of featuring alongside Chadwick and also having an opportunity to share a brief conversation with him.
“I worked with Chadwick Boseman on the set of Message From the King. The film, directed by Fabrice du Welz, is about a mysterious outsider who travels to Los Angeles to bring those responsible for his younger sister’s disappearance to justice. I was cast in the role of his sister, Bianca,” she said.
“I flew to Los Angeles from South Africa for the shoot and was unaware of the current affairs in Hollywood at that time. Chadwick had just been announced as Black Panther and I remember congratulating him at lunch with no idea of the magnitude of what that meant. He was gracious, he was humble, and we shared a brief conversation. I can’t help but be tremendously grateful for that time. He was a king among us and his legacy will live on for generations to come. May he rest in everlasting peace.”
She previous disclosed to NewsDay Life & Style that working with the late star added a lot of experience to her career.
“I think one of the best ways to stand out in Hollywood is by being yourself and embracing what makes you unique. The first film I booked in Los Angeles was as a girl from Cape Town, Bianca, who gets murdered in LA. Her brother, played by Boseman, comes from South Africa to find out what happened to her. When I auditioned for the film, I was visiting Los Angeles for a week and would be flying back to Cape Town the next day. I made the script my own by adding some words in Xhosa that I knew Americans probably didn’t know. I think that brought more authenticity to the role and in the end, after weeks of agonising, I booked it,” she said.
The actress has stood as one of the best among a list of Zimbabweans breaking boundaries and cementing her feet in this world through making own history by being the first black mermaid on United States television as Donna on Siren.