First teased about half a decade ago, it’s now official: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s award-winning novel, Americanah is being made into a mini-series, starring and executive produced by Oscar-winning actress, Lupita Nyong’o.
Helping Nyong’o bring Adichie’s acclaimed words to the small screen is Tony-nominated actress and playwright, Danai Gurira, who recently visited Nigeria, along with Nyong’o and Adichie herself, to better understand the book she is adapting.
Since Americanah follows the complicated love story of two young Nigerian immigrants, Ifemelu and Obinze, many fans of the book wondered if Danai Gurira, who is of Zimbabwean descent, was really the right fit for the job.
In a recent interview with Net-A-Porter, Guriria explained why she feels uniquely qualified:
“Funnily, me and Chimamanda have these interesting parallels. We were both raised by academics, either near or on an African university campus.
We saw our countries go through various things when we were growing up. And we came back to America for school. Lupita, too.”
Not only does Gurira share parallels with the book’s creator, but she also does with the book’s protagonist. Just like Ifemelu, while Gurira was still a young woman — alternating between Zimbabwe and America — she found herself struggling with her identity.
About how she saw herself then and how she sees herself now, she concluded:
“When I moved to Africa as a girl, I thought I was American. Then when I came back, I realized how African I was. I am definitely a strong meshing of both worlds”
You can read the rest of her interview right here.
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