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Lupita Nyong'o and John Boyega to Narrate Upcoming Wildlife Series 'Serengeti'

Cool or cliché?

Discovery and BBC Studios new natural history series Serengeti is in on its way and none other than two of the biggest actors of African descent are set to narrate it.

Lupita Nyong'o and John Boyega, who will soon reprise their roles in Star Wars: Episode IX, are set to narrate the U.S. and UK versions of the series, respectively, according to a Deadline report. The dramatized series will follow the lives of several species of wildlife in the famous region of northern Tanzania.


Here's a synopsis of the series via Deadline:

The six-part series, which is set to air later this year on BBC One and Discovery Channel, follows the interconnected stories of a cast of savannah animals over one year, in a bold new format. From warthogs to lions, mongoose to cheetahs, a cast of our favourite African animal characters will be filmed closer and more intimately than ever before, using groundbreaking filming techniques and pioneering technology, including drone technology and the use of multiple stabilised camera systems.

While we're willing to give the series a chance, based off the strength of the talent involved, we can't help but notice that it comes off at least slightly cliché to have two actors from the continent narrate a documentary about African wildlife.

Nonetheless, Nyong'o has shared her excitement over the upcoming project, calling it a "stunning and unique testament to a place that I have always loved."

"These beautiful creatures' stories are universal," she told Deadline. "And I am honored to help take the audience on their journey."

The series, produced by American Idol creator Simon Fuller's XIX Entertainment and John Downer Productions, will premiere later this year. We'll share further details as we learn more.

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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