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Nigerians Rant Over Lupita’s Igbo Role In Americanah Series

Lupita Nyong'o. [PHOTO/ COURTESY]

The news of award-winning actress Lupita Nyong’o staring on a limited series ‘Americanah’, which is based on Nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s best-selling novel of the same name, has elicited mixed reactions on the internet.

This is following a Friday announcement by HBO Max that it had made a 10-episode adaptation order of the novel from Lupita’s longtime passion project.

The actress, with a Luo descent, is a daughter to Kisumu Governor Anyang Nyong’o. She was born in Mexico where her father was teaching. However, she was raised in Kenya before proceeding to the United State to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Film and theater at Hampshire College.

In the series, American actress, Danai Gurira, who starred together with Lupita in the blockbuster Marvel film “Black Panther.” will write the pilot and serve as showrunner.

‘Americanah’ tells the story of Ifemelu (Nyong’o), a young, beautiful, self-assured woman raised in Nigeria, who as a teenager falls in love with her classmate Obinze.

Living in a military-ruled country, they each depart for the west, with Ifemelu heading for America, where, despite her academic success, she is forced to grapple for the first time with what it means to be black.

Read: Oscar Award Helped Me Land US Green Card – Lupita Nyong’o

Obinze, son of a professor, had hoped to join her in US, but with post-9/11 in America, he is denied a visa. He goes to London, eventually becoming an undocumented immigrant after his visa expires.

According to a section of Nigerian critics, Lupita should not have been featured in the production.

They argue that there are so many talented actresses in the country who should have taken the role.

“Why tf is Lupita in this if she’s not Igbo or Nigerian? This is literally like having a Japanese person play a Korean person..makes no sense, ” Halimee reacted.

she added, “The whole point is that there are a lot of Nigerian actors who would have PERFECTLY executed the role and Lupita being cast just shows that the story isn’t respected enough bc they just gave the role to their go-to “African” girl…

“The story is of Nigeria and a Nigerian, was written by a Nigerian and it’s only right to honour the author by portraying the story the closest they can to the book.”

Another tweep wrote, “How bout Yvonne orji? Since she actually igbo and Nigerian why can’t she play it? SMH”

Read Also: Janelle Monae, Lupita Fuel Dating Rumours As They Grind Up On Each Other (Video)

Donis said, “Seriously? Use an Igbo actress dammit I can’t deal,I feel the forced Igbo accent already.”

“But we have a whole Nigerian actress who speaks the Igbo language and has the actual accent. We LOVE Lupita, but please give @GenevieveNnaji1 this role. Thank you, ” Nena said.

However, some Kenyans and other netizens, who reacted to the conversation noted that Lupita’s prowess earned her the role.

“Someone needs some schooling. An actor can play any role. Moreover @Lupita_Nyongo
is the best there is out there. Shouldn’t you be proud that it’s even an real African who has gotten that role? In most cases it’s African American who finds it hard getting the accent right, ” Peet Home wrote.

Read Also: Tanzanians Now Claim Lupita Nyong’o, Say Kenyans Have Always Claimed Mount Kilimanjaro

Dave opined, “If your Naija actors in Hollywood who have had a 20 year career cant do better to earn themselves an oscar let  @Lupita_Nyongo do it,,,,just sit down and be humble.”

Some argued that Lupita will feature in the series not as a Kenyan but an African actress, further, adding that the bashing and community profiling is behind xenophobic attacks in South Africa that needed to stop.

“This nonsense is the big cause of xenophobia. Ya’ll can’t appreciate each other as Africans. If Lupita appears in a Hollywood , she represents Africa and not some region. We are one, ” Kariuki tweeted.

Here are more of the reactions.

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