There has been outrage on social media following the announcement that Lupita Nyong’o, Kenyan-Mexican actress, would play the role ‘Ifemelu’, the main protagonist, in HBO Max’s movie adaptation of the novel ‘Americanah’.


‘Americanah’, authored by Chimamanda Adichie, Nigerian writer, follows the story of ‘Ifemelu’, a young self-assured Nigerian woman who falls in love with her classmate as they depart for the west only for her to grapple with realities of being black.

Following the announcement, some Nigerians took to social media platforms, especially Twitter, to air their divided opinions on why the Oscar-winning actress should play the role of an “Igbo lady” in the movie adaptation in place of indigenous Nollywood actresses from the east.

A segment of users also accepted the decision, saying that she “bought the rights to play the role in the 10-episode adaptation of Adichie’s novel


“Accent will be Lupita’s ONLY problem, if there’s a problem. Everything, maybe except accent, will be the problem if it’s a Nigerian actress,” a Twitter user wrote.

“They need to stop doing this. We have fine actresses from Nigeria who can play these roles better. Lupita is good but try other people who are Nigerians. What, she’s going to be told or taught how to speak Half-baked Igbo instead of A real Nigerian?,” said another user.

“When you can, you would go for the best. Lupita playing that role will suffer one thing and one thing alone: The Igbo accent. But, if we can put that aside, we would all agree that she will interpret the character perfectly,” said a Nigerian.


Here is what some Nigerians had to say:

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