Is what the twittosphere think of Will Smith Nigerian accent in Concussion. Will Smith is starring as Dr Bennet Omalu a Nigerian neurologist who first discovered CTE or chronic traumatic encephalopathy football related brain trauma. As he studies the pathology of the disease on two former football players, he also brings awareness to the world of this degenerative disease.
We all love Will Smith, but why did he have to have a so called « African accent » I mean Nigerian accent.
It brings me back to Michel Leeb a white French humorist known for his infamous “African accent”. He used to make impersonation of what he perceives as an African; a smiling cannibalistic monkey or make himself look like a fool depending on how you want to look at it.
Africa is a continent we are talking about 54 different countries with an estimated 2000 to 3000 different languages with possibly as many as 8000 dialects. And you still want to talk about an African Accent?
We are so proud each and every time the life of an African is depicted on the big screen. When you see a big name such as Will Smith that we have seen in countless movies, you expect quality. He‘s charming and seldom disappoints and can pulls out almost any character, but then ABOMINATION (Nigerian accent LOL) when you hear and listen to the man.
Like Tomilola said for 360nobs. “We are not sure how hard it was for the Producers to cast a Nigerian (seeing as there are numerous talented Nigerians in Hollywood) in this role, but what we are sure of is it is quite hard for Will Smith to understand that we do not sound like a caveman coming to America for the first time”
I know Will, is not the only one gulity of this on the bench are Denzel Washington in Cry freedom, Don Cheadle in Hotel Rwanda, and of course Idriss Elba in Mandela. No recedivist !
Unfortunately, Hollywood is not the only industry to do this. Samba is a French movie that came out last year starring Omar Sy. Samba Cissé is a migrant from Senegal who lives in Paris, but who is ordered to leave country. With the help of his social worker he fights to stay in France. In the trailer only poor Samba has 3 to 4 different accents, which are all supposedly African of course. He’s African, so its only normal for him to be able do an “African accent”, right?!
I know Chiwetel Ejiofor, Djimoun Hounsou, Adewolle Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Peter Mensah just to name a few cannot play in every single movie where an African has a lead role but, I wonder if sometimes these filmmakers know how painful it is to sit and watch one of your favorite actor faking an accent for whole hour and a half!
Without even doing it purposely Hollywood is forcing a stereotypical representation of African like Michel Leeb used to do in the sake of comedy….
Should the message be jeopardized over an inadequate accent you’ll be the judge…?
Want to find out Dr Omalu’s accent⇓