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"I am proud to be Nigerian"- Oscar nominee, Chiwetel Ejiofor

published on Friday, 11 April 2014

British-Nigerian actor, Chiwetel Ejiofor is in Nigeria and was today present at a press conference held at the Wheatbaker Hotel in Ikoyi, Lagos in preparation for the official Nigerian premiere of the movie.Chiwetel plays the role of Odenigbo in the movie, acting as the son of singer, Onyeka Onwenu and husband to Thandie Newton, who plays the role of Olanna.“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, internationalise 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 internationalise what is a wonderful market community.”The Oscar nominee declared his love for Nigeria and pride in his Nigerian roots refuting claims that he had tried to deny his link to the country in an interview with American talk show host, Ellen DeGeneres.Chiwetel added that he is proud of his Nigerian roots and did not mean any disrespect to Nigerians when he said he was from Britain as he was only stating the land of his birth.Half of a Yellow Sun will premiere in cinemas nationwide on April 25.

-BN