It’s a sad day indeed, my friends. Real Housewives of Potomac star T’Challa Samuels was everything viewers didn’t know they needed in a “friend of” dynamic. He joined Monique Samuels and her family two years ago and quickly became an honorary member of the esteemed RHOP cast.
T’Challa bonded with Monique and provided much support during some pretty rough times. He was light within darkness and laughter amongst tears. His favorite Auntie, Karen Huger, enjoyed hilarious banter with T’Challa and he visited her home on several occasions. We’ll never forget T’Challa taking flight, directly towards Dr. Wendy Osefo’s face, in a glorious moment preserved for an eternity on film. Today, we are devastated to learn some horrible news about our favorite avian friend. T’Challa has flown to the Rainbow Bridge.
Full disclosure, I am the proud mom of an African Grey I’ve had for 16 years. When I write to you guys, he chills out on my shoulder. For “bird people” in particular, having T’Challa featured so heavily for a “pet” on RHOP was a hoot. Not for nothing, you could tell production also got a kick out of him, given his provided subtitles when he would “read” someone. Even folks who celebrated Monique’s departure silently lamented the loss of T’Challa on the show.
Monique loved that bird, she was filmed interacting more with him than her human family during her final season. That’s why it’s shocking to find out Monique lost her BFF and Bravo lost an icon. Monique shared the tragic news on Instagram. She wrote, “On July 1st around 5pm my entire world was rocked. My @tchallasamuels was killed in a freak accident. For those who love their animals, I know you feel my pain. The pain is intense and I’m just completely baffled, overwhelmed and cannot stop the emotional rollercoaster I am on right now. My children keep breaking down which makes the pain even worse”.
Perhaps you’re wondering about the “freak accident”. My first guess is the dreaded ceiling fan. Caring for these fragile animals is no joke and more or less means bird-proofing your entire existence. Monique declined to state the nature of the accident, which many began to question.
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She added, “Almost a year ago he flew away and came back to me the next day. T’Challa was put in our life 2 years ago and I thought he would out live me! He was on my shoulder as I endured some of the toughest moments of my life. He was literally a part of our entire family and has left such a huge mark on us. My house is too quiet. My shoulder is too light. My mornings preparing coffee while he sits on my shoulder will forever be altered. I don’t know why you had to leave us forever but I’m so grateful for being blessed to experience such an amazing creature.”
T’Challa’s absence is surely palpable. African Greys are notorious talkers, mine sings the The Golden Girls theme song 86 times a day and the goddamned Final Countdown by Europe. Sometimes I want to jump off my roof but when it’s gone, you feel it. Monique obviously adored T’Challa and she wasn’t alone. His inclusion on the show immediately rendered him a fan favorite. T’Challa had memes dedicated to his one-liners and even won over the Grand Dame as no one has before, though they continue to try. I’m halfway surprised Bravo didn’t send him a contract of his own.
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In closing, Monique shared, “Some people say that an animal will sacrifice itself to save a family member if the death angel comes near. Who knows if it’s true but I’m forever grateful for T’Challa and how he changed my life and my family’s life. Rest my beautiful baby”. I’m not sure T’Challa exactly sacrificed himself for anything, but we’ll leave a tender moment alone. Reality Tea would like to extend condolences to Monique over her loss. Rest In Flight, little buddy.
TELL US- PLEASE FEEL FREE TO SHARE YOUR FAVORITE MEMORIES OF T’CHALLA