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Thandie Newton Reclaims Her Original Name 'Thandiwe'

Actress Thandie Newton Reclaims Her Original Name 'Thandiwe'

British-Zimbabwean actress Thandie Newton will revert to her original name 'Thandiwe' in what she describes as 'taking back' what is rightfully hers.

British-Zimbabwean actress Thandie Newton has revealed that she will be taking on a name change. Newton will reportedly revert to her original Zulu name "Thandiwe" which was misspelled in a crediting error dating back to her first feature film in 1991. Newton, born to a British father and Zimbabwean mother of Shona royalty, revealed her intentions in a recent interview with British Vogue saying "That's my name. It's always been my name. I'm taking back what's mine."


READ: Thandie Newton - 100 OKAYAFRICA'S 100 WOMEN

In 1991, the fresh-faced Newton starred in Flirting, her first feature film starring alongside Nicole Kidman and Noah Taylor. However, the film's credits misspelt Newton's name by omitting the "w". Thereafter, the actress went on to use the altered version of her name for the next three decades in a number of major roles including The Pursuit of Happyness, Half of a Yellow Sun, 2012, For Colored Girls and a myriad others.

The phenomenon of misspelt or even mispronounced names, especially among celebrities, is nothing new. Perhaps one of the most popular instances of the latter is that of was television producer and mogul Oprah Winfrey. Winfrey was originally named "Orpah" after a Biblical character by her aunt. However, the rest of her family reportedly pronounced the name as "Oprah" although the change was never made on the actual birth certificate.

Music

6 Samples From 'Éthiopiques' in Hip-Hop

A brief history of Ethio-jazz cultural exchange featuring songs by Nas & Damian Marley, K'naan, Madlib and more.

This article was originally published on OkayAfrica in March, 2017. We're republishing it here for our Crossroads series.

It's 2000 something. I'm holed up in my bedroom searching for samples to chop up on Fruity Loops. While deep into the free-market jungle of Amazon's suggested music section, I stumble across a compilation of Ethiopian music with faded pictures of nine guys jamming in white suit jackets. I press play on the 30 second sample.

My mind races with the opportunities these breakbeats offered a budding beat maker. Catchy organs, swinging horns, funky guitar riffs, soulful melodies and grainy and pained vocalists swoon over love lost and gained. Sung in my mother tongue—Amharic—this was a far cry from the corny synthesizer music of the 1990s that my parents played on Saturday mornings. I could actually sample this shit.

The next day, I burn a CD and pop it into my dad's car. His eyes light up when the first notes ooze out of the speakers. “Where did you get this?" He asks puzzlingly. “The internet," I respond smiling.

In the 1970s my dad was one of thousands of high school students in Addis Ababa protesting the monarchy. The protests eventually created instability which lead to a coup d'état. The monarchy was overthrown and a Marxist styled military junta composed of low ranking officers called the Derg came to power. The new regime subsequently banned music they deemed to be counter revolutionary. When the Derg came into power, Amha Eshete, a pioneering record producer and founder of Ahma Records, fled to the US and the master recordings of his label's tracks somehow ended up in a warehouse in Greece.

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