Emmanuel Xavier reminices:
"Willi recently stepped forward as yet another one of our most legendary ballroom figures living with HIV, lovingly referred to as "The Grandfather of Vogue." I've known Willi since I was barely legal and surviving at the West Side Highway piers as a hustler. They were just filming the documentary "Paris Is Burning" which would introduce the world to voguing and launch his career as a talented performer. Besides being amazing to watch on the dance floor, Willi Ninja remains one of the most beautiful and gifted souls of our community. He has reached so many people with his love and laughter. Willi was one of the very first people to support my dreams and ambitions as a writer and with the founding of the House of Xavier. Of course, I am simply one of many lives he has touched."
He also send out an excerpt from his poem "Legendary"
so black, so fierce,
so brown, so beautiful,
their time on earth may be as oppressive as ignorance
limited to the demons flowing in their blood
but after safely passing over back to the clouds
the wind will still carry their auras and prophecies
their bones will still beat drums for their children to dance'
the phoenix will still rise from the flames of
Over on Willi Ninja's MySpace.com page, someone called Aimee posted a message on the 24th that simply says: "[Willi] asked me to let his friends and fans know that he is sorry for not getting back to anyone that has emailed him but he hurt his back and is resting. He will answer you as soon as he feels better. Thank you again for your love and support. Have a wonderful day & God Bless."
Let's hope he does get better.
- UPDATE: Willi Ninja, rest in peace (Blabbeando, September 2, 2006)