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ideas have consequences

You are here:Home>>Strategic Research & Analysis>>Chiwetel Ejiofor - “I am Igbo and I ‘m Proud to be a Nigerian”
Sunday, 13 April 2014 18:43

Chiwetel Ejiofor - “I am Igbo and I ‘m Proud to be a Nigerian”

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‘Of course, I am Nigerian-British, But I Was Born In London’- Chiwetelu Ejiofor


Chiwetel Ejiofor, the Oscar nominated international movie star and Hollywood rising dramatic actor was in Lagos, Nigeria for the premier of his most recent movie, Half of a Yellow Sun.  The movie was adaptation of the New York best seller book written by Nigeria’s Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. It was centered on a love story and romance that took place during the Biafran-Nigerian Civil War that took place from 1967 to 1970.



In the adaptation of the Adichie’s  Orange Prize-winning and acclaimed novel, Chiwetelu Ejiofor played the protagonist role of the revolutionary Igbo professor named Odenigbo while his major co-stars Thandie Newton and Anika Noni Rose were sisters in the movie.


'Half of a Yellow Sun' movie which came out of Nollywood, also featured many Nollywood stars including Geneieve Nnaji,  Onyeka Onwenu , Zack Orji, OC Ukeje, and Wale Ojo.   Together with award winning artist D'Banj producing the sound track, the movie has became a major breakthrough for Nollywood actorsand Nigerian movies.


BellaNaija Half of a Yellow Sun - April 2014 - BellaNaija - 036

BellaNaija Half of a Yellow Sun - April 2014 - BellaNaija - 034


Since the nomination of Chiwetel Ejiofor for Oscar/academy award for his principal role in the movie, ‘12 years a Slave,’ both Britain and Nigeria are laying claim on him as their own. It is quite easy to understand for although  Ejiofor was born in London, both of his parents were Igbo-Nigerians.


Therefore as he premiered his new movie in Lagos, Nigerian fans and Nigeria’s entertainment journalists were busy waiting for him to confirm to the world that he is truly a Nigeria and true  son of the soil. Ejiofor during the press conference made it clear that he was proud to be a Nigerian and that he had never the intention to mislead anybody otherwise.


Ejiofor in his words:

“During the period of publicizing “Twelve Years a Slave”, I was asked where I was originally from.

“I suppose I was trying to give an honest answer about where I was born, and so, I said London, which is where I was born.

“And to me, it was a surprising reaction that people then concluded that I didn’t identify as Nigerian.

“Of course, I am Nigerian-British, but if they ask me where I was born, I can’t say Enugu, because I wasn’t born in Enugu, but, it doesn’t mean that I don’t identify as Nigerian.

“I am proud of being Nigerian that I am extraordinarily happy to be here to make this film.

“We wanted to make a film in Nigeria for several years, maybe 20 years.

“Several years we talked about making a film in Nigeria, internationalize the market, we know there is so much, there’s a handful of energy and ability in Nigeria.

“And, for those of us that were born overseas, we want to get back into all of that and try to work together and make films and internationalize what is a wonderful market community.”


Half of a Yellow Sun is in Nigeria, Austria, China and UK cinemas now.



















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