British actress Thandie Newton has been cast to play an Igbo woman in the film adaptation of Ngozi Adichie’s award-winning novel Half Of A Yellow Sun, the story of the Nigerian-Biafran War.
According to Clutch Magazine Newton is set to play one of the main roles along side fellow British actor Chiwetel Ejiofor. But the casting of Newton who is mixed race (mother is from Zimbabwe and father is English) has caused major upset and an online petition has been set up demanding that an Igbo actress is cast in the role.
Half of a Yellow Sun is a novel written by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. The novel chronicles the lives of several characters during the course of the Biafran War that took place in Nigeria from 1967 to 1970. Tribal conflicts between the Hausa and the Igbo initiated this Nigerian Civil War, which led to the genocide and starvation of over 3 million people. The main characters in this book are Igbo. Igbo people are one of the largest ethnic groups in Nigeria, and they were also the main victims of this horrifying war. Upon hearing that Half of a Yellow Sun, a wonderfully written book, would be adapted for the big screen, I like other Igbos were extremely excited. However, I am disturbed by the casting of Thandie Newton as an Igbo woman.
Igbo people, like any other people range in physical characteristics as well as complexion. However, the majority of Igbos are dark brown in complexion. Igbo people do not look like the bi-racial Thandie Newton. Thandie Newton is an accomplished and talented actress in her own right. However, she is not Igbo, she is not Nigerian, and she does not physically resemble Igbo women in the slightest.
Another typical Hollywood move. I doubt those studio executives thought that deeply about the casting of this particular role. They just went with the first “acceptable” actress of colour that came to mind.
Your thoughts please….
Categories: UK News