If you’re a fan of Black Panther, you may have seen the memes of Chadwick Boseman’s less-than-enthusiastic Wakanda Forever salutes as of late. The ‘Wakanda Whatever’ meme has taken over, and the film’s star has finally given a reason as to why his powerful salute has fallen flat.
“[Fans] see me coming,” the actor who portrays King T’Challa told Stephen Colbert during his late-night show. “So, like, whereas before, you might recognize me 10 feet away, now it’s like you’re all the way down the street and they’re like, ‘That’s him, I know it’s him!'”
The fans don’t stop there when it comes to chasing the thespian. “…You’re even driving in your car and people are chasing you if they notice you,” he continued. “People have followed me just to do [the Wakanda salute].”
This incessancy could very well be the reason behind his recent meme-making appearance, in which the salute appears to be pretty lackluster.
“I thought that was funny,” laughed Boseman of ‘Wakanda Whatever.’ “Cause it’s a salute, you know? If I was in the military and I did this every day, I’m not gonna do it the same every time! Sometimes it’s more pedestrian than others. So that person, whoever I was doing it to at that moment, caught a casual one. But three minutes before that. I probably did one that was like, fully, yes!”
How did the iconic salute come about in the first place? According to Boseman, the film’s director Ryan Coogler wanted a way for the Dora Milaje warriors to salute their King. Turns out that the Wakanda salute was inspired by Egyptian Pharaohs. Watch his comments around the 2:12 mark.
chadwick boseman : an evolution pic.twitter.com/8GCyI5Q9Uz
— rene vs infinity war (@reneverse) May 13, 2018
“It’s been three months can I stop now.” pic.twitter.com/B96E2OzeuZ
— val’s twin sis 💫 (@nakiamnger) May 10, 2018
Chadwick went from Wakanda Forever to Wakanda, Whatever pic.twitter.com/sztLF5FWbC
— MisterBatfleck (@Mister_BatfIeck) May 11, 2018