Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie [left], Lupita Nyong’o [right] in Lagos at the weekend/Photo: Lupita Nyong’o/Twitter

Kenyan Hollywood star Lupita Nyong’o visits Nigeria, praises Chimamanda Adichie’s novel

Kenyan Hollywood actress Lupita Nyong’o paid a short visit to Nigeria at the weekend to attend an event organised by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, the award-winning Nigerian writer.

The purpose of the event was for the Oscar-winning actress to intimate the Nigerian creative community with her screen-adaptation of Americanah, a novel by Adichie.

HBO Max, a division of Warner Media Entertainment, had in September last year announced a straight-to-series order for a 10-episode adaptation of the novel.

Nyong’o, famous for her roles in critically-acclaimed movies such as 12 Years a Slave and Black Panther, is to star and also act as Executive Producer of the show. 

Nyong’o who is set to play a major role in the screen adaptation of the novel explained that she fell in love with the book because of Chimamanda’s unique ability to bring the characters to life.

“I was awestruck by her ability to capture such exquisite character in a way that made me laugh but also made me feel seen,” the actress said on Saturday, while addressing an audience in Lagos, Nigeria.

“I remember finishing the book and falling madly in love with Obinze… at this point, he’s like the standard man that I’m still looking for, but I just felt like this is a character that I would love to embody on screen because what I do is act and her characters were just so actable”.

Speaking further, Nyong’o noted that one of the things she feels privileged to do is to bring specificity to the African story.

For her, the vague and generalised representations of Africa is a trend she hopes to see less of and that’s one of the reasons she’s excited to be among the cast of Americanah, as it is expected to be set in Nigeria.

“So, I’m here (in Lagos) to immerse myself and learn as much as I can in order to do the story justice,” she added.

The Black Panther actress said she “appreciates the warm welcome” so far in the country, among other things.

She was also excited to share some of the Igbo Language and Pidgin she had picked up in the course of her brief stay.

“Daalu o” (meaning thank you) .. she said, expressing her gratitude as the audience cheered her on.

The actress cum writer emerged winner of the ‘Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture’ category for her role in ‘Us’ — a horror thriller. She also won the ‘Outstanding Literary Work- Children’ category for ‘Sulwe’, her novel.

Kola Tella

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