“Today I woke up to the news that Afeni had passed,” wrote Smith. “My first thought was of [Tupac’s sister] Sekyiwa and the entire clan that loved Afeni. 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,” Jada continued. “She always had a way of making me believe all would be well. But my fondest memories of Afeni was spending time with her at Jasmine Guy’s house as Jasmine was writing Afeni’s book. Tupac had passed, and now I was a business woman, wife, and a mother and we could talk real and I mean really real.”
Smith praised Afeni for being a remarkable woman, whose traits reflected in her son. “I got to see where Pac got his passion, his ideals for equality and justice but most of all his depth of thinking,” she added. “Afeni was a giant in her own right. 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.”
Afeni was a Black Panther activist and a philanthropist throughout her life. She raised Pac, and then was in charge of his estate after his death in 1996. She was also, as Jada noted, the inspiration for “Dear Mama.”
Following her passing, Tupac’s estate issued a statement. “Afeni embodied strength, resilience, wisdom, and love. She was a pioneer for social change and was committed to building a more peaceful world,” it reads. “Afeni was a deeply devoted mother, grandmother, and sister. Her spirit will forever inspire all of those who had the honor and privilege of knowing her.”
Many other celebrities have also mourned Shakur’s death, including Jhené Aiko, Eve, and Keyshia Cole.