“How do you honor a king? Reeling from the loss of my colleague, my friend, my brother. Struggling for words. Nothing feels adequate. I always marveled at how special Chadwick was. Such a pure-hearted, profoundly generous, regal, fun guy,” Gurira wrote in a statement shared on Instagram and Twitter on Sunday.
Gurira played Okoye, General of the Dora Milaje — fierce leader of T’Challa’s Wakandan army.
“My entire job as Okoye was to respect and protect a king. Honor his leadership. Chadwick made that job profoundly easy. He was the epitome of kindness, elegance, diligence and grace. On many an occasion I would think how thankful I was that he was the leading man I was working closely with,” Gurira continued. “A true class act. And so perfectly equipped to take on the responsibility of leading the franchise that changed everything for Black representation.”
“It was meant to be for Chadwick and me to be connected, for us to be family,” Bassett wrote. “But what many don’t know is our story began long before his historic turn as Black Panther. During the premiere party for Black Panther, Chadwick reminded me of something. He whispered that when I received my honorary degree from Howard University, his alma mater, he was the student assigned to escort me that day.”