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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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(Photo by Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images)

Chinonye Chukwu Will Direct the First Two Episodes of HBO Max's Upcoming 'Americanah' Series

Here's the latest news surrounding the highly-anticipated limited series, starring Lupita Nyong'o, Uzo Aduba and more.

Nigerian-American director Chinonye Chukwu is set to helm the first two episodes of the upcoming limited series Americanah, starring Lupita Nyong'o.

Chukwu is the award-winning filmmaker, behind the critically-acclaimed film Clemency, which won the 2019 Sundance Grand Jury Prize, making her the first Black woman to win the award.

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Photo by Michael Kovac/Champagne Collet for Getty Images.

Cynthia Erivo Responds to Stephen King's Tweet on Diversity

The British-Nigerian actress begs to differ with the veteran author's tweet on diversity and 'quality' in this year's Oscar nominations.

British-Nigerian actress Cynthia Erivo has responded to veteran author Stephen King's recent tweets on the issue of diversity and this year's Oscar nominations.

King has been subject to considerable backlash since his controversial tweet about how he would "never consider diversity" when it comes to evaluating art of awards citing that, "It seems to me that to do otherwise would be wrong."

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Interview
Photo courtesy of CSA Global.

In Conversation with Congolese NBA Player Emmanuel Mudiay: 'I want more African players in the NBA.'

The Utah Jazz player talks about being African in the NBA, supporting basketball in the DRC and how 'everybody knows about Burna Boy'.

Inspired by his basketball-playing older brothers, by second grade, Emmanuel Mudiay already knew that he wanted to play in the American National Basketball Association. Then in 2001 his family, fleeing the war in Democratic Republic of Congo, sought asylum in the United States.

In America, Mudiay saw basketball as a way for him to improve his situation. After impressive high school and college careers, he moved to China to play pro ball. Picked 7th overall in the 2015 NBA draft, the now 23-year-old guard has made a name for himself this season coming off the bench for the Utah Jazz.

Mudiay attests to the sport having changed not only his life but that of his siblings. Basketball gave them all a chance at a good education and the opportunity to dream without conditions. Now he wants to see other talented African players make it too.

We caught up with him to talk about his experience as an African player in the NBA, his hopes for basketball on the African continent and who he and his teammates jam out to in their locker rooms.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

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University lecturer and activist Doctor Stella Nyanzi (L) reacts in court as she attends a trial to face charges for cyber-harassment and offensives communication, in Kampala, on April 10, 2017. (Photo by GAEL GRILHOT/AFP via Getty Images)

Jailed Ugandan Activist, Stella Nyanzi, Wins PEN Prize for Freedom of Expression

The outspoken activist, who is currently serving a prison sentence for a poem she wrote about the president's mother's vagina, won for her resistance "in front of a regime that is trying to suppress her."

Stella Nyanzi, the Ugandan academic, activist, and vocal critic of President Yoweri Museveni has been awarded the 2020 Oxfam Novib/PEN International award for freedom of expression, given to writers who "continue to work for freedom of expression in the face of persecution."

Nyanzi is currently serving a 15 month sentence for "cyber harassment" after she published a poem in which she wrote that she wished "the acidic pus flooding Esiteri's (the president's mother) vaginal canal had burn up your unborn fetus. Burn you up as badly as you have corroded all morality and professionalism out of our public institutions in Uganda."

According to the director of PEN International, Carles Torner, her unfiltered outspokenness around the issues facing her country is what earned her the award. "For her, writing is a permanent form of resistance in front of a regime that is trying to suppress her," said Torner at the award ceremony.

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