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Lupita Nyong'o Will Star in the HBO Max Series Based on Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's 'Americanah'

Danai Gurira will executive produce the series.

Oscar winner Lupita Nyong'o is set to take on the lead role in the HBO Max series based on Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's novel, Americanah. The 10-episode series will be executive produced by Tony Award-winning actress, Danai Gurira.


According to the Warner Media Pressroom, head of HBO Max original content, Sarah Aubrey said that, "Americanah has sparked a cultural phenomenon and is revered by fans around the world. It has affected me deeply as one of the most moving, socially relevant and romantic stories of our time." Aubrey added that, "With exceptional talent like Lupita and Danai in front of and behind the camera, this series will give viewers a uniquely heartfelt and unforgettable experience."

Americanah 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 lives the difficult life that comes with being undocumented.

While fans of Americanah are excited by the prospect of it coming to their screens, a social media war recently erupted between Kenyans and Nigerians on Twitter with the latter criticizing Nyongo's appointment as Ifemelu⁠—a Nigerian character. One of the major concerns has been whether the Kenyan-Mexican actress will be able to convincingly perform the roles using an "authentic" Nigerian accent. While some have emphasized that the series should have just cast a capable Nigerian actress, others have dismissed the argument entirely citing that Nyong'o is a good fit for the role.

HBO Max has not yet announced when the series will begin with production or when it will eventually air.

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