Black Panther has been in theaters a little less than a month at this point, and it's already piled up two things in massive quantities: Box office records and internet tributes. Ever since the film's opening night fans have been posting everything from loving essays to cosplay to video re-enactments to show their love for the film, and the last of these recently gave birth to what's become known as The M'Baku Challenge.
The challenge, named for the leader of the Jabari Tribe played by Winston Duke, involves Black Panther fans filming themselves re-enacting the scene in which M'Baku arrives to challenge T'Challa (Chadwick Boseman) for the throne of Wakanda. Usually the videos simply involve fans reciting the lines from the scenes, perhaps with a Wakandan accent attached, but some fans take it further.
Among them is Jordan Bascombe-Ralph, a seven-year-old from Florida who won the challenge when a video taken by his mother — showing Jordan re-enacting the scene in costume and makeup — went viral last week. The video gained so much attention that Jordan and his mother, Brittni Rae Bascombe, were invited onto Good Morning America Monday to talk about the massive online reaction and their love of Black Panther.
“As soon as we watched it, he wanted to go back and see it again,” Bascombe said of her son. “He normally doesn’t even stay awake through two-and-a-half-hour movies, so I knew that something was different about this movie.”
Jordan, for his part, is a little camera-shy, offering short and quiet answers to the questions posed by the GMA hosts. Until, that is, they ask him to re-enact his video. That's when Jordan, clad in purple-tinged Panther armor, stands up and delivers another perfect rendition of M'Baku's introduction.
Then, to cap everything off, co-host Michael Strahan reveals that, in addition to a collection of Black Panther toys, the show has worked up another surprise for Jordan: A thank-you video from Duke himself.
“I, M’Baku, leader of the Jabari, wish to make you an honorary member of my tribe,” Duke said. “Thank you for killing the M’Baku Challenge. You are amazing. I love you. You’re amazing. Thank you for participating. Thank you for making such an amazing video. I couldn’t have done it better myself. You did [co-star Forest Whitaker's voice]. You did everyone’s voice. So cool. Thank you, thank your family. You guys are awesome.”
Jordan's initial video was a reminder of Black Panther's impact, and of the love fans have for a film that touched them so deeply. This greeting from one of the film's stars, who took the time to say thank you, is a reminder that the people who made the film want to keep giving the love right back. Check out the full segment above.