Being raised as heir to the throne of an isolationist country has made T'Challa an especially thoughtful, introspective young man. He is respectful of other people, their customs, and the traditions that they hold dear. Even for being untried and inexperienced, he understands already the importance of considering the consequences of his actions and the responsibilities that come with his role as a cultural leader. He is charismatic and has good intentions, yet is encumbered by expectations, and full of doubt that he will make a good king in his father's stead as the world changes so quickly around them. He is smart, but he is more concerned with behaving wisely. He can fight well, but he would prefer to negotiate. He is often calm and collected, yet in an attentive and entirely earnest manner rather than being haughty or aloof. He's easily able to make or take a joke but is careful with his words. T'Challa is first and foremost a son of Wakanda, proud and protective of his people, but he does not want that pride and protection to blind him to the ways of the world beyond Wakanda's borders.
Like the panther that has become his namesake, T'Challa has inherited super-human strength, speed, durability, agility, stamina, and reflexes, all of which make him capable of amazing physical feats.
Multi-lingual. (Fluent in Xhosa, Igbo, Hausa, Swahili, and English. Knows Arabic, French and a smattering of Portuguese. Wakanda also has its own pictorial-based written language.) T'Challa is trained in various forms of etiquette, and is skilled as a diplomat and negotiator, even for his young age. He is an exceptional athlete and enjoys good exercise, though he has rarely had the opportunity to play in group sports. He has hand-to-hand combat training and a basic understanding of military weapons and strategy. He is no scientist or engineer, but he has a better understanding of those subjects than most by virtue of being Wakandan.
Politics, civics, history, science and technology, arts and culture. Enjoys sports (especially football - as in soccer) and strategy games such as chess and go. He likes to read but prefers to learn by being taught by another person.
Born as Prince to the Kingdom of Wakanda, T'Challa is King T'Chaka and Queen Ramonda's oldest child and their only son, immediate heir to the throne. Raised beside his younger sister Shuri, they were well-taught about the wider world, but from a distance. The Kingdom of Wakanda (commonly simply referred to as 'Wakanda') has historically been a small isolationist East-African country populated by five unified tribes, with a diverse climate surrounded by mountain ranges and a thick forest. As crown prince of Wakanda, T'Challa is also the heir to the mantle of a legendary warrior known as the Black Panther, in the tradition of the first king of Wakanda who was given the gift of the heart-shaped herb by the panther goddess Bast. The sacred and devoutly protected heart-shaped herb has always been restricted for only the king's personal use, capable of enhancing a body's physical abilities well beyond what would be possible for an unadulterated human. While T'Chaka is still king, he has also grown older and his health is not what it used to be, and so he has allowed his son to act as the Black Panther when his people have need of him. It has only recently been confirmed that there are mutants in the Wakandan royal line - including T'Challa. That T'Challa and his sister are mutants is a secret known only by a precious few Wakandans, and the world at large (as with so many things about Wakanda) remains ignorant of the fact.
Almost entirely overlooked by the rest of the world, Wakanda is perceived as a third-world country populated largely by farmers and goat herders, that has managed to sustain themselves by producing beautiful textiles. Much more well-informed observers of Wakanda would know that millions of years ago, a meteorite made of vibranium, the strongest substance in the universe, struck the future site of Wakanda. Wakanda is subsequently the only known source of the metal scientists call vibranium (aka its Wakandan name, 'ishipho'). Vibranium is 'stronger than steel and a third of the weight,' while being 'completely vibration absorbent.' These properties have made vibranium Wakanda's most commercially viable natural asset, but the obscene value of such a rare material on the open market makes it a potentially dangerous commodity to maintain control over. While hiding this asset from outsiders for many generations, Wakanda has quietly become the most technologically advanced country in the world, estimated to be at least several decades of progress ahead of anywhere else on Earth. Wakanda has used this superior technology to hide its true nature from the world to this day.
Shuri and T'Challa were tutored from childhood by some of the world's brightest minds and with access to incredible resources. Despite the isolationist politics of their country, they were encouraged to meet people from all walks of life and visit other countries to see how the rest of the world lived. Much like their father, they learned to be warm and earnest in their personal dealings, but the safety and security of Wakanda would always come first in their lives. They were raised to defend Wakanda not only with words and policies but by fighting firsthand using martial arts and advanced weaponry if necessary. Where T'Challa showed himself to be a natural born leader, warrior, and diplomat, Shuri's brilliance shone in an affinity for technology and innovative design. Despite these advantages, the royal siblings are sometimes surprised by the things they still don't know, particularly in coming to America.