How Kenyans And Nigerians Had A Twitter Battle Over Lupita’s Role In The ‘Americanah’ Movie

Lupita got named as the lead character for the movie adaptation of the bestselling book, Americanah which was written by the Nigerian author, Chimamanda Ngozi.

See Also: Lupita Nyongo To Play Lead Role In Movie Adaptation Of Chimamanda’s  ‘Americanah’ Novel

The Americanah novel follows the story of a young couple,  Ifemelu and Obinze. They promise their love to each other and depart military-ruled Nigeria for the West.

Beautiful, self-assured Ifemelu heads for America, where despite her academic success, she is forced to grapple with what it means to be black for the first time. Quiet, thoughtful Obinze had hoped to join her, but with post-9/11 America closed to him, he instead plunges into a dangerous, undocumented life in London.

Fifteen years later, they reunite in a newly democratic Nigeria and reignite their passion—for each other and for their homeland.

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The Americanah novel by Chimamanda (Photo credit:

The book has since it’s release, been published in 29 languages, and won several awards including earning a spot on the New York Times Book Review’s “Ten Best Books of 2013.”

The reviews all over the world have been amazing and Lupita Nyongo, the Kenyan actress expressed interest in the book, buying rights to the book for the movie.

‘Americanah’ has been a passion project for me since I read Chimamanda’s beautiful novel in 2013,” Nyong’o said

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Lupita Nyong’o (left) will play the lead in the movie adaptation of Americanah and Danai Gurira (right) will be the Director for the movie

This weekend, it was announced by the Warner media group, home of HBO, Warner Brothers, Adult Swim and more,  that the Nigerian author’s book, ‘Americanah’ will be turned into a 10 episode show on HBO and will star Lupita as the main character and her Black Panther co-star, Danai will help bring the book to life!

Now that’ a win for Nigeria right?

Well, Nigerians and Kenyans on Twitter had a mini-war over the choice of Lupita as the lead character in the movie.

Most Nigerians didn’t think a Kenyan would play the role of a Nigerian really well and they took to Twitter to express their displeasure!

Some thought Genevieve Nnaji was just the perfect person for this movie!

And it looked like the main problem the Nigerians had was…”What accent?”

Others felt Nigerians just had to shut up because they slacked and made a foreigner play smarter than them!

Of course, there were Nigerians who didn’t think this was even an issue worth debating!

But if it’s the accent Nigerians are worried about…

Kenyans on the other hand, wouldn’t let anyone dare hurt their Lupita and had some really great points raised!

And of course, they had to bring out their petty…

But at the end of it all, what is everyone’s problem any way?? Let women breathe!


For us, we are just excited! A movie based on an African boo, written by an African, acted and directed by Africans.

African women.

It’s a win for every African!

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