S'Yan is the former head of the Wakandan Design Group.
In 2009, S'Yan and the Wakandan Design Group were tasked by T'Challa to track down a pair of mercenaries who kidnapped Wakandan citizens. Refining a piece of the gold that the group used to pay the mercenaries and crosschecking all the possible operatives, S'Yan identified the two as Zanda and Douglas Scott. S'Yan advised T'Challa to be cautious of Zanda and told him that the two were last seen in Paraguay.
- In the comics, S'Yan was the brother of T'Chaka. After the death of his brother, he inherited the title of King and Black Panther until his nephew T'Challa was ready for the throne, and remained at his side as a counselor. In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, N'Jobu takes the role of T'Chaka's brother.