Cape Town — Just imagine appearing on the biggest movie in the world right now, and then someone digs into your past... This is exactly what happened to U.S. based actor Patrick Shumba who became a national hero after he featured in the box office hit, Black Panther.
Patrick Shumba moved from becoming a movie hero to an object of ridicule after old images and videos of him acting in a gay porn movie were leaked. Shumba featured in the hit movie, Black Panther, as a dialect coach and tribes warrior. His Zambian fans - some of whom are conservative, and dare we say, displaying homophobic behaviour - have not been very forgiving.
They have expressed "disgust" and "disappointment" after the revelation. According to the BBC, "the images have caused a huge storm in Zambia. Some have accused the actor of being 'evil and satanic', while others branded his critics as 'hypocrites' who wanted to act 'holier' than others."
Shumba has penned a poetic apology on his Facebook account:
Silence. It's what's fills the air when I call for help. Not a word of encouragement. Deafening negative vibes echoing through space, magnified by hate and conditional love. Words, sharper than a chef's knife, piercing through my ear canal. I play deaf, but I'm listening. God hears and knows my path.
Shame. It's what running through my blood as I try to run away from the truth. The truth that I made a mistake. A mistake I can never fix, even if I tried. So, I hang my head low and pray it all comes to pass. Time stands still and it doesn't pass fast enough. I'm emotionally constipated. Trapped inside the belly of a fish, I can't run from my destiny.
Regret. It's what's left of what was once a heart full of beautiful songs. Feeling low. Listening to blues, but not for too long because there's beauty in all this mess: lessons to be learned and self-loathing to get rid of. I did 99 things right, and one regrettable thing…and for that I will not crucify myself. I take comfort in knowing that a great multitude still love and embrace me in the good and worse.
An apology. It's the only thing I have left to offer. No fancy words, no excuses. Apology to the people hurt by my past mistakes. I can promise you, I am far removed from that man. New path, new choices, new directions, renewed faith.
The actor's publicist, Larrissa Long, has also released a statement denying allegations that Shumba is gay, though she acknowledged the authenticity of the pictures and video.