Jada Pinkett Smith pays tribute to Afeni Shakur
Tupac Shakur's close friend Jada Pinkett Smith has paid tribute to his mother Afeni Shakur following her death on Monday (02May16).
The actress was close friends with the rapper and his family for years after they were classmates at Baltimore School for the Arts, and she took to Facebook on Tuesday (03May16) to share her memories of Afeni and Tupac's family after hearing about Afeni's death.
"My first thought was of Sekyiwa (Tupac's half-sister) and the entire clan that loved Afeni," she wrote. "Then I remembered that I was in NY to attend a Mother's Day event named after a song written about Afeni, Dear Mama. My heart tightened and then all kinds of memories flooded in. I quickly remembered how calm Afeni was especially during any crisis. She always had a way of making me believe all would be well."
She recalls her best memory of Afeni was when they had an intimate chat following Tupac's death in 1996, aged 25, and Jada could see where her friend had got his "passion" and "depth of thinking".
"Afeni was a giant in her own right," she continues. "Today she is reunited with her son and Sekyiwa has two majestic angels to look after her. One for each shoulder. Rest in peace Afeni, and give Pac a hug and a kiss from me."
Police were called to Afeni's home in California on Monday over reports of a possible cardiac arrest, and she subsequently passed away, aged 69, in a nearby hospital. Her cause of death is being investigated.
She had managed Tupac's estate for years and, according to TMZ.com, she had all the paperwork in place to protect his legacy at her time of death. She had reportedly set up a trust to control his music rights and named Tom Whalley, former head of Warner Bros. Records, as executor of Tupac's music catalogue.
Money from the trust will reportedly go to selected charities and family members. Afeni is survived by her sister Gloria and her daughter Sekyiwa. Her estranged husband Gust Davis is unlikely to get any money from the estate during his divorce from Afeni, according to the report.
Meanwhile, an upcoming Tupac biopic, All Eyez on Me, will explore the rapper's life, with The Vampire Diaries actress Kat Graham playing Jada and The Walking Dead's Danai Gurira playing Afeni in the project.
- Cover Media