Renowned actor Winston Duke, famous for his role as M’baku in the ‘Black Panther’ movie, has been granted Rwandan citizenship. Duke made headlines recently as one of the namers at the 19th Kwita Izina gorilla naming ceremony.
During this event, he named a baby gorilla “Intarumikwa,” which means “Resilient Giant,” in honor of his late mother’s conservation values. He stated that he chose this name not for himself but as a tribute to his mother, who passed away last year and taught him the meaning of resilience.
“I am proud and grateful for Rwanda’s work in gorilla conservation. To me, all of you and this beautiful country are also Intarumikwa. You are all shining examples from your history to the work that you are doing today and will continue to do. You are all resilient giants,” he said.
Duke’s character in Black Panther, according to Marvel, possessed superhuman strength, size, endurance, agility, and durability. His fighting style resembled that of a gorilla.
In a special meeting held on September 2 at Village Urugwiro, President Kagame welcomed Duke, who also serves as a Partners in Health Global Ambassador, along with his co-star Danai Gurira, an actress and UN Women Goodwill Ambassador.
Winston Duke, born on November 15, 1986, in Argyle, Saint Paul, Trinidad and Tobago, spent his early years in Brooklyn, New York, where his family moved when he was nine. He has received acclaim for his roles in blockbuster films like ‘Black Panther,’ ‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,’ ‘Us,’ ‘Avengers: Endgame,’ and ‘Avengers: Infinity War,’ among others. He also contributed his voice and talent to ‘Batman Unburied,’ a scripted podcast produced by Spotify featuring iconic DC characters.
Duke’s educational journey took him to the University at Buffalo, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in theatre. Later, he pursued a Master of Fine Arts in acting at Yale School of Drama and graduated in 2013.