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Photo Credit: Youtube screenshot
Photo Credit: Youtube screenshot
Photo Credit: Youtube screenshot
Photo Credit: Youtube screenshot

Chadwick Boseman remembered for inspiring speech about God's purpose after passing away, aged 43

by Tola Mbakwe

Tributes have poured in for Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman, following his death at the age of 43.

In a shock statement on Friday, Boseman's family announced he had died surrounded by his loved ones following a four-year battle with colon cancer.

He had never discussed the disease publicly and had worked on blockbuster films throughout his treatment, the family said.

"A true fighter, Chadwick persevered through it all, and brought you many of the films you have come to love so much," a statement added.

His death stunned Hollywood and tributes have flooded in from across the entertainment industry and beyond, with Boseman's Marvel co-stars leading the way.

Chris Pratt, another Marvel star, said: "My prayers go out to Chadwick's family and loved ones. The world will miss his tremendous talent. God rest his soul."

Along with tributes, people have been remembering Boseman for his inspiring message to Howard University's graduating class of 2018. 

He began his 34 minute message by "first, giving honour to the Creator". In the middle of the speech he shared the story of his rocky road to success and how he had to have faith in God during the difficult time. 

Boseman explained that he was chosen for a role on a soap opera, but it came with playing the role of a stereotypical black man whose father was absent and mum was on heroin. 

After questioning producers on the character's background he was let go from the job. Although he said it was very disappointing, he was willing to lose the gig if it paved the way for better roles. 

He then quoted 1 Corinthians 3:6: "As the Scripture says, I planted the seed, and Apollos watered it. But God kept growing-God kept it growing," Boseman said. 

"Yet and still, when you invest in a seed, watching it grow without you, that is a bitter pill to swallow."
He added: "Sometimes you need to feel the pain and sting of defeat to activate the real passion and purpose that God predestined inside of you.

"God says in Jeremiah, I know the plans I have for you. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you hope and a future graduating class. Hear me well on this day. When you hit this day when you have reached the hilltop and you are deciding on next jobs, next steps, careers, further education, you would rather find purpose than a job or career.

"Purpose crosses disciplines. Purpose is an essential element of you. It is the reason you are on the planet at this particular time in history. Your very existence is wrapped up in the things you are here to fulfil.

"Whatever you choose for career path, remember the struggles along the way are only meant to shape you for your purpose. When I dare to challenge the system that would relegate us to victims and stereotypes with no clear historical backgrounds, no hopes, talents, when I questioned that method of portrayal, a different path opened up for me."
Boseman's portrayal of Marvel superhero Black Panther was lauded as an important landmark in the fight for wider representation in Hollywood.

The NAACP, one of the leading civil rights groups in the US, said: "For showing us how to conquer adversity with grace… For showing us how to "Say it Loud!"… For show us how to walk as a King, without losing the common touch…. For showing us just how powerful we are… Thank you #ChadwickBoseman #RestInPower #BlackPantherForever."

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