An orphan Wakandan, N’Yami grows up to study Vibranium and create technology with it to help reduce people’s pain. Her advancements lead her to become the chief scientist of Wakanda and catch the attention and affection of the country’s King T’Chaka, AKA Black Panther.
Wakandan at her Core
When N’Yami’s family dies in a tribal war, she leaves her hidden home country of Wakanda to escape her grief, though Wakanda draws her back. Seeing the country’s precious resource, Vibranium, as the future, N’Yami uses the ore to create rings and anklets to stamp out aches and pains. When word gets around about her technological prowess, King T’Chaka contacts her, and they soon fell for each other. Though she resists marriage at first because of the expectations on her to provide a line of succession, though she eventually agrees to marry him. She becomes the chief scientist of Wakanda and, moving into the palace, continues to study the mysterious metallic ore.
As Wakanda’s chief scientist, N’Yami, who has a knack for science and engineering, attempts to understand its resource Vibranium. Learning from extraction masters who knew her parents, she tests the ore and discovers that it absorbs energy and stores it. She also suggests using Vibranium as shielding on her country’s outer space rockets to avoid detection from America and Russia. Her assistants and king implement her innovative ideas.
Whether choosing to become queen or solving the county’s problems, N’Yami makes measured and thoughtful decisions, weighing all the risks and outcomes.
Despite tribal wars taking her parents’ lives, N’Yami remains an optimist and believes in the people of Wakanda. She does acknowledge the threats that outsiders pose, especially those who would destroy their land and way of life for access to Vibranium, like Hydra and Baron Wolfgang von Strucker, AKA Baron Strucker.
N’Yami is most closely allied to her country and family. Her love and husband, King T’Chaka, lovingly nicknames her “Smarty Yam” on account of her intelligence. Together, they adopt a young orphan who survives a plane crash in the northern part of their country, a white child named Hunter, AKA White Wolf.
While she is highly intelligent, excelling in science and engineering, she’s also humble and remains connected to the people of Wakanda rather than removed.
N’Yami and T’Chaka eventually have a son, T’Challa, though N’Yami dies a week after childbirth. T’Challa grows up to inherit the throne and, like his father before him, becomes Wakanda’s protector, the Black Panther.
When N’Yami moved into the palace, the regulars there weren’t sure what to make of her and gossiped behind her back. She overheard said gossip, but their opinions didn’t bother her since she had already spent much of her life alone.
She works closely with her assistant Takami in the palace labs late into the night. During the day, she greets her future subjects with her betrothed, believing that no Wakandan is common, and recognizes how much they can accomplish when they combine their strengths.
Though she didn’t believe in the Goddess Bast, AKA Panther God, who Wakandans believed watched over their realm, she believed in their belief. As it turned out, Bast blessed their union, and they had a glorious wedding.
When N’Yami first witnessed her husband’s annual Challenge Day—where the king takes on the fiercest warriors to prove he should remain the country’s leader—she wept when she saw his wounds. Meanwhile, she fought her own battles that involved snobbery and harsh words.
N’Yami and T’Chaka tried to have children for years and they were both thrilled when it finally happened. During her pregnancy, a citizen unhappy with the rulers betrayed Wakanda’s secrecy and exposed it to the terrorist organization Hydra and one of its leaders, Baron Strucker. As Black Panther, T’Chaka defeated the enemies thanks to N’Yami’s understanding of Vibranium, which was implemented into their weaponry.
After the victory, N’yami fainted, and when doctors and herbalists attended to her, they discovered that she had a rare autoimmune disease. T’Chaka reached out to industrialist and inventor Howard Stark to help with a treatment in exchange for Vibranium. Though as the medicine was on its way, the unhappy Wakandan citizen and a Hydra agent destroyed the transport ship.
Facing death’s door, N’Yami held out as long as she could to bring her son into this world, and when he arrived, they named him T’Challa. A week after she gave birth, she died quietly in her sleep.