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Lupita Nyong'o Shares New Audio Book Adaptation for 'Sulwe'

Lupita Nyong'o has recently released the audio version of her successful book 'Sulwe' which is also being adapted into an animated musical.

Kenyan-Mexican actress Lupita Nyong'o recently announced that her successful children's book Sulwe will be available in an audio version. This comes after the children's book was first published in 2019 and received praise for its theme on colourism. Nyong'o reportedly shared on the behind the scenes of recording the Sulwe audiobook and the production for the animated musical.


Read: Lupita Nyong'o Releases Debut Children's Book 'Sulwe,' an Ode to Dark-Skinned Kids

The Oscar award-winning actress reportedly shared with Good Morning America (GMA) that the inspiration for the audio version came after she heard Spanish actress, Penelope Cruz, read it out loud for her daughter. Nyong'o revealed to GMA that Cruz's emotional response to Sulwe's experience of discrimination moved her to add voices to the characters to create a fitting mood. Nyong'o not only narrates the book but also lends her voice to each character in the book. The success of Sulwe has resulted in the works of the highly anticipated, upcoming animated musical which Nyong'o was tight lipped about except that she is part of the production team.

Sulwe is inspired by Nyong'o's own experience with colourism especially as she grew up with a sister with a skin complexion much lighter than hers. Colourism has been spotlighted over the years especially in Hollywood where light-skinned Black actors reportedly get more roles but also across the world in the Black diaspora. A year after Nyong'o released Sulwe, British-Nigerian actress, Beverly Naya, released the Netflix documentary Skin which focused particularly on Nigeria's widespread skin bleaching practice.

Nyong'o also shared that despite shooting for Black Panther 2, she had been active in the theatre scene acting in the role of Juliet in the Spanish version of Romeo and Juliet. Sulwe is available now on Audible.

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#EndSARS: 1 Year Later And It's Business As Usual For The Nigerian Government

Thousands filled the streets of Nigeria to remember those slain in The #LekkiTollGateMassacre...while the government insists it didn't happen.

This week marks 1 year since Nigerians began protests against police brutality and demanded an end to the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS). The #EndSARS protests took the world by storm as we witnessed Nigerian forces abuse, harass and murder those fighting for a free nation. Reports of illegal detention, profiling, extortion, and extrajudicial killings followed the special task force's existence, forcing the government to demolish the unit on October 11th, 2020. However, protestors remained angered and desperate to be heard. It wasn't until October 20th, when soldiers opened fire on demonstrators at Lekki tollgate in the country's capital, Lagos, that the protests came to a fatal end. More than 56 deaths from across the country were reported, while hundreds more were traumatized as the Nigerian government continued to rule by force. The incident sparked global outrage as the Nigerian army refused to acknowledge or admit to firing shots at unarmed protesters in the dead of night.

It's a year later, and nothing has changed.

Young Nigerians claim to still face unnecessary and violent interactions with the police and none of the demands towards systemic changes have been met. Fisayo Soyombo the founder of the Foundation for Investigative Journalism, told Al Jazeera, "Yes, there has not been any reform. Police brutality exists till today," while maintaining that his organization has reported "scores" of cases of police brutality over this past year.

During October 2020's protests, Nigerian authorities turned a blind eye and insisted that the youth-led movement was anti-government and intended to overthrow the administration of current President Muhammadu Buhari. During a press conference on Wednesday, in an attempt to discredit the protests, Minister of Information and Culture Lai Mohammed hailed the Nigerian army and police forces for the role they played in the #EndSARS protests, going as far as to say that the Lekki Toll Massacre was a "phantom massacre with no bodies." These brazen claims came while protesters continued to gather in several major cities across the country. The minister even went on to shame CNN, Nigerian favorite DJ Switch as well as Amnesty International, for reporting deaths at Lekki. Mohammed pushed even further by saying, "The six soldiers and 37 policemen who died during the EndSARS protests are human beings with families, even though the human rights organizations and CNN simply ignored their deaths, choosing instead to trumpet a phantom massacre."

With the reports of abuse still coming out of the West African nation, an end to the struggle is not in sight. During Wednesday's protest, a journalist for the Daily Post was detained by Nigerian forces while covering the demonstrations.

According to the BBC, additional police units have been set up in the place of SARS, though some resurfacing SARS officers and allies claim to still be around.

Young Nigerians relied heavily on social media during the protests and returned this year to voice their opinions around the first anniversary of an experience that few will be lucky enough to forget.



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