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The Story Of Chadwick Boseman, The Brave ‘Black Panther’ Who Starred In 9 Movies While Hiding Cancer Battle

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While Boseman was fighting villains on-screen, what fans of the famed and idolized superhero character never knew was that the man behind the black mask was also waging a very real battle in his personal life and edging closer to his death,. 

Chadwick Boseman

Chadwick Boseman

Long before the advent of ‘Black Panther’, Marvel’s 2018 superhero film, which had starred the now regrettably deceased Chadwick Boseman as its lead character, many would argue out the prejudices among US filmmakers regarding the diversity of their movie casts and the descriptions for roles often accorded people of African descent.

But, with Boseman having adorned himself in that daredevil costume that later saw him change the narrative for the directorial choices pertaining to movie roles by African-Americans as well as the cinematic response to such films, a newfound movement that would almost guarantee the success of subsequent movies of this sort was initiated, with many unique African stories waiting to be told.

Yet, tragedy — a deep tragedy that would defy description among wordsmiths — lurked around. Black Panther would later go-ahead to change history — becoming a huge step forward for African cinema, grossing over $1.3 billion worldwide, and breaking numerous box office records including the highest-grossing film by a black director. It is even among the ten highest-grossing films of all time.

But while Boseman was fighting villains on-screen, what fans of the famed and idolized superhero character never knew was that the man behind the black mask was also waging a very real battle in his personal life and edging closer to his death, having been diagnosed with stage three colon cancer back in 2016. Boseman had not publicly spoken about his illness before his death. In April, fans had expressed concerns over the Marvel star’s health after he was pictured with drastic weight loss. The film star, who appeared visibly thin and sporting a beard, however, did not engage fans with questions.

He eventually breathed his last on Friday evening while at home with his family.

Battled cancer while on ‘Black Panther’ set, eight other movies!

Born and raised in Anderson, South Carolina, he got his start in the movie industry in an episode of ‘Third Watch’ in 2003 and then featured on ‘Law and Order’, ‘ER’ and ‘CSI’ before getting his breakout role as Jackie Robinson in ’42’. It was his act in ’42’ that led directly to his role as T’Challa/Black Panther, the fictional leader of Wakanda — a character that first appeared in the ‘Captain America: Civil War’.

Boseman gives ‘Wakanda Forever’ salute at Howard graduation (Washington Post)

Over the last four years, even as he was on surgeries and chemotherapies, Boseman took up several roles across blockbuster films.
The year after his diagnosis, he filmed and appeared in ‘Gods of Egypt’ (2016), ‘Captain America: Civil War’ (2016), and ‘Message From The King’ (2016). Chadwick then took the role of ‘Thurgood Marshall’, the first black Supreme Court Justice, in 2017’s ‘Marshall’ before the famed ‘Black Panther’ (2018). He also played the same role in other Marvel films such as ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ (2018) and ‘Avengers: Endgame’ (2019). He starred in Spike Lee’s 2020 film ‘Da 5 Bloods’ as ‘Stormin’ and August Wilson’s upcoming ‘Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom’. In 2019, Boseman had noted that the film changed what it meant to be “young, gifted and black.”

For his biggest role in ‘Black Panther’ and its many fight scenes, the star was said to have trained rigorously to get in shape and learned Angolan capoeira, Dambe boxing, Zulu stick fighting, karate, kung-fu and jiu-jitsu. According to his family, many of Boseman’s movies got filmed amid his “countless surgeries and chemotherapy” even as his cancer diagnosis was not publicly known.

“Chadwick was diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer in 2016, battled it…as it progressed to stage 5. A true fighter, Chadwick persevered through it all, and brought you so many of the films you have come to love so much. From Marshall to Da 5 Bloods, August Wilson’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, and several more, all were filmed between countless surgeries and chemotherapy,” the family said.

DNA test showed he’s of Nigeria, Sierra Leon ancestry

Raised in the United States, the deceased actor had revealed that his DNA test indicated that his ancestors were Krio people from Sierra Leone, Yoruba people from Nigeria, and Limba people from Sierra Leone. His mum was a nurse while his dad worked at a textile firm, managing an upholstery business as well. As for him, he initially sought to become a leading movie director and executive.
Boseman graduated from T.L. Hanna High School in 1995. In his junior year, he wrote what turned out to be his first play ‘Crossroads’ and staged it at the school after a classmate was shot and killed. Boseman also attended Howard University in Washington, D.C., graduating in 2000 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in directing., with one of his teachers Phylicia Rashad becoming his mentor.

She was said to have helped raise funds so that Boseman and some classmates attended the Oxford Mid-Summer Program of the British American Drama Academy in London, the United Kingdom to which they had been accepted as Boseman wanted to write and direct, and initially began studying acting to learn how to relate to actors. He thereafter returned to the United States, where graduated from New York City’s Digital Film Academy.

Being a firm believer in social justice, the actor had severally spoken against racism, having lived in Brooklyn as a black man at the start of his career. Boseman worked as the drama instructor in the Schomburg Junior Scholars Program, housed at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem, New York. In 2008, he moved to Los Angeles to finally pursue an acting career.

Social justice advocate; backed student protest amid surgeries, chemos

After news of his death broke, Howard University tweeted a tribute, where Wayne Fredrick, the school’s president said, “It is with profound sadness that we mourn the loss of alumnus Chadwick Boseman who passed away this evening. His incredible talent will forever be immortalized through his characters and through his own personal journey from student to superhero! Rest in Power!”
Even the institution will hardly forget the deceased star’s moving speech, which was made after he returned in 2018 to his alma mater on an invitation to deliver the main address at the school’s historic 150th commencement ceremony. There, he praised student protesters who had taken a stand a month earlier, and he charged graduates to find purpose in their lives and not simply a job.

“When you are deciding on next steps, next jobs, next careers, further education, you should rather find purpose than a job or a career. Purpose crosses disciplines. The purpose is an essential element of you. It is the reason you are on the planet at this particular time in history,” he said while addressing the graduates.

“Many of you will leave Howard and enter systems and institutions that have a history of discrimination and marginalization. The fact that you have struggled with this university you love is a sign that you can use your education to improve the world you’re entering.”

Tributes have been pouring in for the late movie star as words of his death spread.

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Source: TheCable

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5 Takeaways from “UY Scuti” by Olamide

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18th June was the chosen day set aside by Olamide to bless the ears of fans, music lovers and critics with his unambiguous 11th studio album – UY Scuti. In less than an hour after its release, congratulations and reviews started pouring in like a heavy downpour of rain, safe to say, majority of them (if not all) happened to fall on the good side. Without a doubt, Olamide Adedeji once again proved why he is so much critically and commercially acclaimed as one of the finest musicians to ever come out of Nigeria, Africa and the world at large.

This is not a “review” write-up, that should be of note but just I (Olumide, the writer), pointing out major takeaways from UY Scuti as a body of work, a musical project, that is. Enough said folks, here they are:

1. Evolution:

In 2015 on “Local Rappers”, Olamide said and I quote “. . .punchline o jawo mo” but not until some six years later, did it take him to really actualise those words in their entirety on a music project. Let me explain: since 2011 when Olamide dropped his breakthrough single – “Eni Duro” followed by his debut album, “Rapsody”, never has he released a complete album (solo or joint) or EP without the predominant genre being Hip-Hop/Rap.

With UY Scuti Olamide’s full blown evolution is copacetic, a clear one at that! From rapping about early childhood sufferings and trauma in the early stages of his career before blending upbeat production with Rap and street slangs, creating a groundbreaking genre, now known as Street-Hop to hopping on Afrobeat, Pop and any other type of production thrown his way (which he killed as usual) to UY Scuti, a group of mellow, soft rhythm and a few Reggae/Dancehall infused records, Olamide’s versatile discography is brought to life on UY Scuti, a Pop predominant album, with R&B and Reggae/Dancehall acting as the sub-genre but even at that, not one of the 10 songs on the album gives listeners an ounce of doubt at Olamide’s musical prowess. Once you press play, you would be moved to finish the album without skipping a track.

2. Co-sign:

Apart from music, another thing Olamide is synonymous with is putting other talents at the forefront of success, giving them that push required for them to garner some mainstream recognition, hence more or less a headstart for their musical career/journey to blossom. One word for all the ‘big boy’ grammar written is – co-sign.

Acts like Lil Kesh, Pheelz, Adekunle Gold, Young John, Fireboy DML, P-Priime are testimonies to the co-sign Olamide offers through his many albums and record label.

With UY Scuti, Olamide continues to scout for newer talents instead of resting on his oasis, sucking for the A-list (perhaps B-list) artistes to feature – a likely revenue for making a commercial hit song; on UY Scuti, Olamide once again showed us why they call him “Baddo”, always being aware of the ‘baddest’ newest music talent in town—Jaywillz, Layydoe and Fave (appearing twice) are names with little to no recognition at the mainstream stage but with features on tracks 2, 5, 6&7 respectively, they’re sure to get some clout come their way.

Artistes are not the only ones recieving from Olamide’s care-package of co-sign as Eskeez who executively produced the album also got his shine, producing 9 out of the 10 songs except the first track on UY Scuti.

3. English as the Language of Choice:

If UY Scuti is Olamide’s way of proving critics and doubters wrong anytime they bring up discussions surrounding him not being able to make international hit songs due to the language barrier, then he did so easily in a fine manner.

Yourba is Olamide’s chosen language. Once we hear of Olamide being on a song, our minds immediately wander to him speaking Yourba so fluently, inventing new flows through speaking it but on UY Scuti, he chose the English language route and it paid off superbly.

For the first time on his album, Olamide sang in English on over 90% of the tracks, with “Cup of Tea” (track 8) containing more Yoruba words, lines and verses than the entire tracks on the album combined; ”Rock” (3rd song) being the next on the list, that says a lot as we all know Olamide had more (Pidgin) English words in it compared to Youruba.

Whether this is due to Olamide signing a distribution deal with international body—Empire—or him just being intentional about the next line of action regarding his evolving artistry, that remains something only him can answer.

4. Continued Bromance with Phyno:

On “Ghost Mode”, Olamide clearly stated: “Phyno and Olamide, we’re just getting started” and true to those words, the duo have remained close, making good music ever since. On his previous album, “Carpe Diem” and latest release, UY Scuti, Phyno appeared as the only A-list featured artiste. That itself proves the point, don’t it? Phyno is featured on “Somebody”.

5. Cool, Calm & Collected:

All previously released albums by Olamide have something in common – club records, ‘bangers’, Street-Hop (or simply street jams) but on UY Scuti, a newer side of his personality is explored, where we get introduced to the 3C’s, i.e cool, calm and collected characteristics of Olamide on a wider range and truth be told – I love it! We all love it!

Olamide’s use of softcore Pop and R&B/Soul genre blended with Reggae/Dancehall tunes with a little bit of Afrobeat production is very conspicuous. On UY Scuti, Olamide continues to draw from Carpe Diem‘s refined sound, almost (if not) bringing it a perfection.

Now is the time for you to listen to UY Scuti.

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Olamide’s 11th studio album “UY Scuti” hits the air waves

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Legendary musician and game changer rapper, Olamide lets loose his 11th music album to hit the air waves and bless ears of fans and all music lovers. The title – UY Scuti.

On UY Scuti, Olamide tends towards Pop, R&B and Reggae/Dancehall infused records compared to what he’s done predominantly his entire career, i.e, Hip-Hop/Rap (even blending it to create street jams) and Afrobeat songs.

UY Scuti shows a more relaxed side of Olamide where he creates smooth and laid-back tunes over a span of 28 minutes, a total of 10 songs, that is. The promotional record for the album—“Rock”—already alerted fans to the sound evolution Olamide was on and the song itself (which was released just over a month ago) is a stellar itself just like the title of the album suggests, staying on different charts ever since, generating very impressive stream numbers and always being played to our ears, thanks to the massive airplay country-wide.

Features on the album include Jaywillz (on “Jailer), Layydoe (on “Rough Up”), fast-rising Pop and R&B act – Fave makes a two-time appearance, back-to-back at that on track 6 (“Want”) and track 7 (“PonPon”) while longtime collaborator and fellow rapper, Phyno rounds up the list with “Somebody”.

Olamide on UY Scuti explores subjects giving off love and sensual feelings and not hard grimey or early life lessons learnt from the ghetto. UY Scuti is sure to be that album music lovers play at the end of a stressful day or while baby making.

Stream, download, listen to Olamide on UY Scuti.

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“I’m an authentic person and that’s what my brand stands for” – Olamide on why he does not lobby for international acclaim

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Olamide Adedeji, Olamide as he is professionally known; rapper, singer and label executive whose career has spanned over a decade and still continuing to blossom is one of the rare examples of Nigeria and African act whose music cuts across boarders despite very few or no feature(s) with an international act.

Olamide who had his big break musically in the early 2010s and since then have been churning hits after hits with albums after albums leading to him being one of the most respected music creators in the country, speaks with The Guardian on why he never lobbies for international features and acclaim despite being a top dog in the music industry, he says: “I’m never going to be desperate, or make funny moves because I’m trying to be successful”, furthering, “I’m an authentic person and that’s what my brand stands for.”

Read the full article written on Olamide by The Guardian.

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