M’Baku who? Get to know Black Panther’s Winston Duke

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As Black Panther breaks official box office records after only being out for a week in the UK, a new fan favourite has emerged as actor Winston Duke makes a real impression in his first feature film.

Duke plays the headstrong Jabari mountain tribe leader M’Baku. It is not hard to believe that a handsome six-foot-five character with an incredibly strong beard game has become a new favourite amongst fans.


But who is Winston Duke?

Pride is here with SEVEN need-to-know facts about the 31-year-old actor…

1. From the Caribbean to Wakanda – Duke was born and raised in Tobago, in a village called Argyle. However, at the age of nine, his mother sold their restaurant – where Duke helped out – and moved him and his sister to Brooklyn, New York to support Duke’s older sister in her dreams to become a doctor.

2. His acting debut – In tenth grade, Duke’s Spanish teacher realised his potential during class presentations, which led her signing him up for the school play – and he has been acting ever since.

3. His inspiration – At age 10, an episode of Frasier – Season 8, episode 12, “The Show Must Go Off” to be exact – changed young Duke’s life forever as he watched British actor Derek Jacobi mock himself by doing a over-sentimental rendition of Hamlet. Duke told ‘Vanity Fair’, that after seeing that episode he ‘ran around the house performing the bad Hamlet for a long time’.

4. Started from the bottom… Duke attended the Yale School of Drama at the same time as co-star Lupita Nyong’o and they have been good friends ever since. 

5. Where you’ve seen this face before – Duke has made features in many popular hit shows such as Modern Family, Person of Interest and Law and Order.

6. A lover of bold fashion – Duke loves loud, bright colours, due to the fact they look nice against his dark skin. His favourite colours being greens, blues and yellows.

7. THAT Black Panther bodyTo get that great physique that has had us all shook, Duke spent five days a week doing fight training alongside six days of the week doing lifting in preparation the superhero film.

Words by Ngina Mwendo

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