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(L-R) Danai Gurira and Lupita Nyong'o speak onstage during the 26th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on January 19, 2020 in Los Angeles, California

Lupita Nyong'o and Danai Gurira's 'Americanah' Series Axed Due to COVID-19

The 'Americanah' mini-series adaptation by Lupita Nyong'o and Danai Gurira has been axed by HBO Max due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and scheduling conflicts.

According to Variety, the adaptation of the popular Americanah novel into a series has been cancelled entirely. The news comes after shooting for the production at the beginning of the year was delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic. HBO Max has decided that the project will no longer go forward after years of adaptation talks which secured a 10-part series with the television giant. Lupita Nyong'o and Dania Gurira were set to headline the project as both writers and executive producers.


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Written by famed Nigerian author, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Americanah was set to be Adichie's first novel to be adapted into a series by an American television network. Nyong'o initially wanted to adapt the book into a film but in 2018, revealed that it would be turned into a series. Avid followers of Adichie's writing waited with anticipation for the Americanah series along with cinephiles hungry for more Black productions. Emmy award-winner Uzo Aduba and British-Nigerian actor Zackary Momo were set to join the cast and Nigerian-American director Chinonye Chukwu was set to helm the adaptation. The devastating news has dashed this stellar cast's dream of coming together and producing another potential cultural phenomenon.

Americanah is a 2013 Novel from award winning Adichie. It tells the story of Ifemelu, an opinionated young Nigerian woman who falls in love with her classmate, Obinze, when they're still in high school. As the military rule in Nigeria intensifies, Ifemelu heads to America to continue her studies. Obinze is set to follow but is denied entry following the 9/11 tragedy. He instead heads to London where he encounters the difficult life that comes with being an undocumented immigrant.

Nyong'o and Gurira met through Eclipse, a stage play written by Gurira and performed in 2016 in America. The duo, who are originally from Kenya and Zimbabwe respectively, have intimated on working on several passion projects that spotlight Black voices. Americanah is reportedly one of several female-led shows that have been cancelled. According to Vulture, Nyong'o apparently pulled out of the series due to scheduling conflicts early in the year before the coronavirus pandemic breakout.

Fans shared their views on the recent news on social media:





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Interview: Ranks ATM Makes ‘Substance Music’

South African hip-hop artist Ranks ATM on his latest EP 'Substance Music', working with Riky Rick and his crew African Trap Movement's new chapter.

Ranks ATM demands to be taken seriously. With every successive release, listeners are bound to pick up on both his personal and artistic growth. His latest EP, Substance Music, released towards the end of 2020, is an honest body of work that sees the artist divulge some aspects of his life while remaining playful and entertaining.

Young2unn, who produced a majority of the project, gave Ranks ATM beats that primarily consist of keys and strings cushioned by atmospheric pads and ethereal vocal samples panned for effect. The music is soulful enough for Ranks to tell his story and gritty enough to maintain his street aesthetic.

On Substance Music, the artist strikes the balance between playful banter and poignant expression of emotions. It's what makes his raps believable in general—he presents himself as a complete human who feels pain at times but also feels himself. Songs such as "Die For Me" and "How Could It Be" are laced with specific details that could have only been extracted from his life experiences, for instance, on the former, he raps, "You cheated on me with a gym freak, you did me dirty."

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