News Brief

British-Nigerian Actress Deborah Ayorinde Will Star in Lena Waithe's Horror Series 'Them'

The actress will take on the lead role in the Amazon Studios series.

Last week, Emmy award-winning writer and producer Lena Waithe signed a massive deal with Amazon Studios that will see her creating and executive producing original content for the production house. Them, is an upcoming horror series that will be just one of many projects she'll be working on over the course of her two-year deal with Amazon, according to Deadline. British-Nigerian actress, Deborah Ayorinde, has been cast as the lead role alongside Ashley Thomas from the Netflix series, Top Boy.


Ayorinde is perhaps best known for her role in Girls' Trip, the 2017 box-office hit which starred Jada Pinkett-Smith, Queen Latifah, Tiffany Haddish and Regina Hall. The actress also joined the cast of HBO's True Detective series in its third season and acted alongside Oscar winner Mahershala Ali last year. Additionally, Ayorinde featured in Marvel's Luke Cage back in 2016. The talented actress is also set to star in the biopic of Harriet Tubman alongside Cynthia Erivo.

Them is a horror series that follows the story of a Black family that moves from North Carolina to an all-White neighborhood in Los Angeles. There, the family is met with supernatural forces that want to destroy it. Waithe describes it saying, "The first season will speak to how frightening it was to be Black in 1953," and adds that, "This anthology series will examine the cultural divides among all of us and explore us vs them in a way we've never seen before."

Speaking about Waithe's upcoming series, Jennifer Salke, head of Amazon Studios said that, "Our upcoming series Them is the result of her rare ability to cultivate brilliant voices like Little Marvin and bring his wholly original and compelling vision to Amazon." Salke went on to add that, "We look forward to collaborating with Lena and her team for years to come."

Interview

A Candid Conversation With Olamide & Fireboy DML

We talk to the Nigerian stars about the hardest lessons they've learned, best advice they've ever been given and what Nigeria means to them.

Olamide and Fireboy DML have been working together for three years, but the first time they sit down to do an interview together is hours after they arrive in New York City on a promo tour.

It's Fireboy's first time in the Big Apple — and in the US — and the rain that's pouring outside his hotel doesn't hinder his gratitude. "It's such a relief to be here, it's long overdue," he tells OkayAfrica. "I was supposed to be here last year, but Covid stopped that. This is a time to reflect and refresh. It's a reset button for me."

Olamide looks on, smiling assuredly. Since signing Fireboy to his YBNL Nation label in 2018, he's watched the soulful young singer rise to become one of Nigeria's most talked-about artists — from his breakout single, "Jealous," to his debut album Laughter, Tears & Goosebumps, hit collabs with D.Smoke and Cuppy, and his sophomore release, Apollo, last year.

Even while he shares his own latest record, UY Scuti, with the world, Olamide nurtures Fireboy's career with as much care and attention as he does his own, oscillating between his two roles of artist and label exec seamlessly. His 2020 album Carpe Diem is the most streamed album ever by an African rap artist, according to Audiomack, hitting over 140 million streams. When Olamide signed a joint venture with US-based record label and distribution company, Empire, in February last year he did so through his label, bringing Fireboy and any other artist he decides to sign along for the ride, and establishing one of the most noteworthy deals on the continent.

Below, Olamide & Fireboy DML speak to OkayAfrica about their mutual admiration for each other, what makes them get up in the morning and how they switch off.

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