The limited series Americanah, based on the novel of the same name by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, will no longer be going forward due to Lupita Nyong’o leaving the project.
Although this was a longtime project of Nyong’o’s, the oscar winner had to drop out due to scheduling issues.
The adaptation was slated for a ten-episode, straight-to series order on HBO Max last year. It had already been fully cast, but the outbreak of Coronavirus shut production down in March. These delays had jumbled the schedules of the stars involved, eventually leading to Nyong’o dropping out. Nyong’o was also going to produce while Black Panther co-star, Danai Gurira.
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Americanah tells the story of Ifemelu (who Lupita Nyong’o was set to star as), a confident and beautiful young woman from Nigeria who falls in love with a classmate named Obinze. To escape their military ruled country, they each turn to the west. Ifemelu goes to study in America and, while academically successful, grapples with race and identity for the first time. Obinze wants to reunite with her but, post 9/11, the United States are closed off to him. Instead, he is forced to pursue an undocumented life in London. Fifteen years later, Nigeria is now democratically led and the two return. When they finally reunite, their passion is rekindled.
Uzo Aduba, Corey Hawkins, Zackary Momoh, and Tireni Oyenusi were also set to star in the adaptation.
When Noah was born in South Africa in 1987, the very fact of his birth was a crime. His mother Patricia Nombuyiselo Noah was imprisoned and fined, due to the fact that she was black and Noah’s father, Robert was white. Robert moved back to his native Switzerland, and Patricia subsequently had two relationships, both of which were abusive. The second relationship ended in her estranged husband shooting her in the head, an attack which she miraculously survived.
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Trevor Noah will produce the film along with Norman Aladjem, Derek Van Pelt, and Sanaz Yamin of Mainstay Entertainment, and Lupita Nyong’o.
Noah’s book was released in 2016 and has won the James Thurber Prize for American Humor as well as two NAACP Image Awards. His follow-up memoir will be released this coming November.
Lupita Nyong’o is also attached to an upcoming adaptation of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s book Americanah, which Nyong’o will produce and star in.
Oscar-winning actress Lupita Nyong’o is set to pen a children’s book which will be published next January by Simon & Schuster. The book, entitled Sulwe, will be aimed at children aged five to seven. It is not yet known who will illustrate the book, which follows a little girl named Sulwe, which means star in Nyong’o’s native language of Luo.
Sulwe’s skin is darker than her family members’ and she is determined to find a way to lighten it. “As the story unfolds, Sulwe embarks on a whimsical adventure in the night sky that, coupled with advice from her mother, helps her see beauty differently.”
Nyong’o has spoken candidly about her own experiences with self-acceptance and how she struggled as a child being compared with her lighter-skinned sister. Her acceptance speech at the 2014 Oscars, which subsequently went viral due to its heartfelt and important message, focused on her hope for the future of representation in Hollywood, and the importance of representation for young people. She said:
I hope that my presence on your screens and in magazines may lead you, young girl, on a similar journey. That you will feel validation of your external beauty, but also, get to the deeper business of being beautiful inside
Nyong’o has said that the book is aimed at children in the five to seven age bracket because that is the time in which “you learn all the things that you spend the rest of your life trying to unlearn.”
The book sounds absolutely gorgeous and extremely important. Congratulations to Lupita Nyong’o for using her platform for good in so many different ways.