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BN Exclusive: Award Winning Nigerian Actress Genevieve Nnaji to Star Alongside Thandie Newton, Chiwetel Ejiofor & Anika Noni Rose in a Movie Adaption of Chimamanda Adichie’s Best Selling Novel “Half Of A Yellow Sun”



Yes you heard it here first and only on, acclaimed Nigerian actress Genevieve Nnaji announced today that she has secured a role in the film adaptation of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie‘s best selling Novel “Half of A Yellow Sun“.

The star actress who was named one of Forbes “Most Powerful African Celebrities” joins the star-studded cast of Chiwetel EjioforAnika Noni Rose and Thandie Newton in the highly anticipated movie. Genny will play the role of Ms Adebayo, another professor who develops a flirtatious relationship with her colleague Mr Odenigbo, played by Chiwetel Ejiofor.

The movie will be produced by Andrea Calderwood, the BAFTA winning producer of The Last King of Scotland and Gail Egan whose The Constant Gardener drew Oscar claim. Nigerian playwright Biyi Bandele, who has had a number of successful features on the London stage, including his adaptation of seminal post-colonial novel “Things Fall Apart” is making his directorial debut with this project. Yewande Sadiku and Muhtar Bakare of Shareman Media are both executive producers of the movie. Filming will commence next month and is currently scheduled for general release in 2013.

This is the second major role landed by Genevieve who recently confirmed a role in the Tony Abulu produced movie “Doctor Bello”, which will see her feature alongside US actor Isaiah Washington, Vivica A Fox and Jimmy Jean-Louis and is set for a summer 2012 release.

The novel, which won the Orange Prize for fiction is set during the Nigerian-Biafran War of 1967 – 1970 and explores the impact of this conflict through the twisting story of a University Professor (Ejiofor) and his lover (Newton) her sister, a British ex-pat and a young houseboy.

Fingers crossed people, this movie could be Africa’s first ever Oscar nominated movie. We patiently wait in anticipation!

Credits: Vannessa Amadi PR


  1. partyrider

    April 27, 2012 at 11:34 am

    i’m so excited and happy for Genny..great news.
    also looking forward to doctor bello..i had to even follow them on twitter to keep up with the latest.

  2. Oluwasayo Awe

    April 27, 2012 at 11:34 am

    Lovely. Genevieve is really going places. Kudos to her

  3. lala

    April 27, 2012 at 11:35 am

    i must really commend this their Pr agent ooo

    • Yinka Adekunle

      April 27, 2012 at 11:35 pm

      Yes! This Vanessa Amadi PR is really doing a great job!

  4. Gidi

    April 27, 2012 at 11:36 am

    “Fingers crossed people, this movie could be Africa’s first ever Oscar nominated movie. We patiently wait in anticipation!”

    It depends on the category you are referring to.
    Tsotsi won an Oscar a few years back.

    • Dee-USA

      April 27, 2012 at 5:26 pm

      Thank you jare. I was gonna say whatever happened to Tsotsi?

      And while we are at it, The Last King of Scotland also “drew Oscar claim,” with Forest Whitaker winning the best actor role. If you’re gonna give credit to one, then might as well give the other.

  5. mumagee

    April 27, 2012 at 11:41 am

    loool at the hype and serious Alist name dropping.
    good luck to the girl sha.

  6. dbaby

    April 27, 2012 at 11:52 am

    Genvieve i gbadun u

  7. PD

    April 27, 2012 at 11:55 am

    i cant wait for the release….am gonna start crying all over again!!!!

  8. Nma

    April 27, 2012 at 12:03 pm

    WTH! Please these people should not mess up this book for me. Why are we supporting this? How can gene play adebayo when she can play kainene or Olanma?! Why is thandie or anika made to play those roles?! Thandie doesn’t fit either physical descriptions and their accents wont justify the roles. I know they want a world wide block buster, but pls…Genevieve and perhaps Rita Dominic could’ve done a great job as Kainene and Olanma! I don’t see this going well….just like every other movie they have employed “others” to portray African characters, and they end up doing no justice to it. I am saddened honestly cos i take this book so personal.

    • faithm

      April 27, 2012 at 12:15 pm

      u are very correct,but i guess they want a wider range of audience so they are looking at the bigger picture….i don’t know why genevieve’s accomplishments always make me smile,like i know her personally,i’m proud of you girl!

    • deka

      April 27, 2012 at 1:02 pm

      me too…I feel like when genny wins ..I win…shes my friend/sister…. CONGRATS GENNY …..u inspire me

    • lolly

      April 27, 2012 at 4:35 pm

      if i could only hit the “like” button on Deka’s comment, i would. Iv got the same feeling. Big ups to Genny!

    • Chichi

      April 27, 2012 at 7:14 pm

      I TOTALLY agree! I was disappointed when I saw she would be playing Ms Adeboye….I have a feeling they are soooooo going to ruin this book for me! Im so deflated…there really is nothing to be excited about. Thandie Newton is an English actress, wonderful but English and will not do the role justice.

    • ol's network

      April 28, 2012 at 5:36 pm

      I totally agree with you, the one of the few things thats working for us, they go and bring a yankee person, after all all the harry potter casts were british, can’t it be the same, except for the exotic characters in the book. SMH, Geneview should have taken the lead role jo

    • Nwanne

      January 27, 2013 at 1:08 am

      I Support your first statement,but unless they want names,Gene has no role in ‘HALF OF A YELLOW SUN’.She is too beautiful to play Kainene,does not fit the description of Olanna,and never Miss Adebayo.I Shiver at the thought of someone who is not fluent in Igbo taking the role of Olanna.I agree,no one should mess up the novel for us.

  9. Diva

    April 27, 2012 at 12:05 pm

    Nice! i love Gen..she’s a good actress and very real/down to earth girl! Thats good news…

  10. Ready

    April 27, 2012 at 12:09 pm

    Gidi, point taken. *fingers crossed with eyes squeezed tightly shut*

  11. moi

    April 27, 2012 at 12:14 pm

    @Nma, Rita Dominic would have ruined the movie for sure, trust me. Genevieve as light skinned as Olanna so thats a no-no.
    I dont know why we are kicking up a fuss about this; i’m pretty sure the stakeholders wanted a great movie and that is why they didnt cast our nollywood ‘stars’. I’m excited about the movie and so happy for Genevieve!

  12. Triangle

    April 27, 2012 at 12:17 pm

    Nma u just spoke my mind verbatim! There’s nothing to be excited here about. How can Gene play Mrs Adebayo, an obscure character in the book. Had to think real hard to remember her role again. For goodness sake. I’m sad too cos i take that book too personal. Gene should have been made to play Kainene. This isn’t worth celebrating, in d scheme of things,it is a waka pass role.

    • Gidi

      April 27, 2012 at 1:27 pm

      You guys need to take a chill pill.
      The producers of the movie can choose to cast whoever they so choose. It is their project and their money. If the author of the book is comfortable enough to sell the rights without complaints, then the viewing public can only vote with their pockets and bums in the cinema.

    • Bewi

      April 27, 2012 at 2:40 pm

      and you too can like to take a chill pill because people are entitled to feel the way they feel about the casting decisions.

      It really is a catch 22.They need Hollywood names to make the movie gain worldwide recognition and become a blockbuster but we know those actors will murder the accent.It is always so annoying seeing these people play African roles with an American-Jamaican -Malaysian-African accent.Genny was an addition to the cast, in order to appease Nigerians.
      Regarding the other movie, good for Gene even though Isaiah Washington, Vivica A Fox and Jimmy Jean-Louis are D -listers,at least she can add that to her resume.

  13. popo

    April 27, 2012 at 12:18 pm

    i hope the director of this movie know that ibo language was used as anoda language in this book becos me i dont knw how thandie newton and anika noni wants to speak the kind of ibo that was used in that book… the shud sha not turn the book upside down sha

  14. Bella Noire

    April 27, 2012 at 12:20 pm

    Fantastic news! I was hoping they wouldn’t give her the Amala role. I wonder who’s gonna play that.

    • Triangle

      April 27, 2012 at 12:33 pm

      remind me that part of the book again?

    • curious observer

      April 27, 2012 at 12:38 pm

      amala was the chic that may have been trying to snatch Odenigbo when they were living in a one room apartment in Umuahia abi? Hmmmm… wondering if that wouldnt have been a poignant role for Genny

    • Bella Noire

      April 27, 2012 at 5:22 pm

      Yes, Amala was the girl that was planted by Odenigbo’s mother to break up his relationship with Olanna. She doesn’t do much talking in the book, if I remember correctly. I think Ms. Adebayo might be better. Hey, Viola Davis got her first Oscar nomination for like a one-minute scene in some movie.

    • obinnna

      April 27, 2012 at 10:33 pm

      Wrong, that was Alice; Amala was the girl brought by his mum from the village, whom he knocked up.

    • Nwanne

      January 27, 2013 at 1:23 am

      @curious observer,point of corrction.Amala is avictim of circumstances beyond her.Read the novel again!

    • fokasibe

      April 28, 2012 at 9:07 am

      @ Bella Noire, that movie was doubt…….

  15. defjam

    April 27, 2012 at 12:21 pm

    she is one to watch out for, she sure is going places – i feel her moves. Good PR choice, hope they stick together

  16. faith

    April 27, 2012 at 12:40 pm

    Waiting patiently…lol

  17. Qmbee

    April 27, 2012 at 12:41 pm

    Well, my simple question is, is Chiwetal married now? can this movie be the start of ‘sumtin’ between these two igbo peops?…jes sayin

    • Londoner

      April 27, 2012 at 5:49 pm

      He’s not looking for an ‘after one’ pls. Leave my home boy alone. Hook your Genny up with another person. Chiwetal still has the scar from his accident on the eastern road from way back.

    • feyi

      April 30, 2012 at 8:53 am

      what do you mean by he is not looking for an after one? his so called girlfriends in the past radha mitchel & co was a bad taste. mstchew!!!

    • Bee

      April 27, 2012 at 6:30 pm

      He’s involved 🙁

    • Gidi

      April 30, 2012 at 11:31 am

      Are we all not involved?

  18. Asiasands

    April 27, 2012 at 12:45 pm

    this is a tad confusing… its great for Thandie Newton, she gets to diversify her acting skills… but I agree its a side swipe for Genny. She deserves a more prominent role. I dont know who Anika Noni is…

  19. hephzibah

    April 27, 2012 at 12:55 pm

    Yaaaaaaaay! I’m almost bursting with excitement! At least she landed a role( though not one I was rooting for). I did sign the petition for a ‘nollywood act’ to take that role of Olanma instead o Thandie. Ohh well..go Genny Go Genny!! I’m loving you more. Such an inspiration.

  20. christy

    April 27, 2012 at 12:59 pm

    I feel like screaming 2 d world.I luv d novel 2 death,have read it like five times and am stil reading it,reading chinua achebe book,s a rebirth 2 chimamamda book. To be able 2 have a real interpretatn of dat book realy need a real genius 2 be able 2 dramatise d book,and stil wonderin who can actualy play d Role of *master,olanna, kainene ugwu* Genny s a good actress, how can she merely act as mrs Adebayo? Dis should be a slap on her face.pple who are excited abt ds, am sure dey dey have nt read d sad!

  21. Yvonne

    April 27, 2012 at 1:09 pm

    I hav always loved Genny. Its ok if its nt a major role. The most important fin is dat her name & face is out there. One day the very major roles wil come!

  22. opeyemi

    April 27, 2012 at 1:09 pm

    cant wait!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  23. sammy

    April 27, 2012 at 1:11 pm

    i’m so happy dat genny gets to star in dis movie….bt d role she’s bin give is more lyk a waka pass role…*fingers crossed*

  24. Lamozinda

    April 27, 2012 at 1:15 pm

    wow! am happy for you Genny. Keep the flag flying…. bravo!!!!!

  25. Sese

    April 27, 2012 at 1:33 pm

    Seems more like Genny was given the role to appease the Nigerian public. Cos really… Ms Adebayo?

  26. cledges

    April 27, 2012 at 1:33 pm

    I think everyone needs to pay their dues , True talent cannot be hidden and I know my Girl Gennys has got it plenty. Her time will come. This is just a start, after all before Genny won our hearts in Najia, it took a process. Lets celebrate this very small success bcos it is a journey to something much bigger. Keep the flag up Genny. Big Ups

  27. Ndidi

    April 27, 2012 at 1:45 pm

    I’m beginning to wonder if Anika Noni Rose is African or of African descent, but doesn’t know it. What I mean is, there are many American born children of African fathers, whose fathers left them, and their American mothers, while the children were very young. Almost every few months, I run into an African-American with a very distinctive Igbo name and they don’t know they are Igbo or Nigerian for that matter. When I tell them the meaning of their name, they are clueless. Long story short, Anika Noni Rose is a well-known Broadway star here in the US. If find it interesting to see that she has been cast or will be cast in African-based movies. She was also cast for the mini-series set in Botswana based on the book series, The #1 Ladies Detective Series. Her name, Anika Noni has a very African flavor. Just wondering. If anyone knows, please share. Thx.

  28. abi

    April 27, 2012 at 1:56 pm

    Oh so excited!!!! I have read the book but will read it again in anticipation of the movie.

    My dearest Genny :-), well done babes- you rock! Yep the big roles will come- be patient. Make sure you give it your best performance cos we’re rooting for you, sweets ….

  29. LS

    April 27, 2012 at 1:59 pm

    I can’t wait

  30. Seun

    April 27, 2012 at 2:06 pm

    people! kainene was ugly and olanma tall & fair. please how does Genny fit into these desciptions?

    u pple shld read d book b4 u start yarning jur

    • Ngozi

      April 27, 2012 at 6:46 pm

      THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!! I must say, as much as I am pleased with Genevieve Nnaji landing a role in this production. Why Mrs Adebayo? I believe she would have intepreted the lead role in a much more convincing way. THE BOOK IS ABOUT NIGERIA! SHE IS NIGERIAN!!

  31. Deee

    April 27, 2012 at 2:16 pm

    There are no small roles only small actors! Even if she acts for 5mins its what she makes of it that matters.

    • Partyrider

      April 27, 2012 at 3:26 pm

      You have sense!

    • ceo

      April 29, 2012 at 5:12 pm

      GBAM!!! Congrats Genny. We’re proud of u!

  32. Bimby

    April 27, 2012 at 2:24 pm

    Go Genny!!! I’m proud of u girl. Half of a Yellow Sun is a masterpiece lierary work. I need to read it once more.

  33. DR

    April 27, 2012 at 2:25 pm

    I saw a guy reading this book on the bus last weekend, He had is head glued to the book, he almost missed his stop…lool!!!! That happened to me 2 years ago, I was even crying on the bus…lool!!!. I don’t read novels but I read “half of a yellow sun”. I couldn’t get anything done till I finished the novel and I must admit, Chimamanda, You are a great writer. You did an amazing job and this movie should be nothing but great. I love the characters, they are really good at whatever role they play, I hope they do an amazing job but I would have loved to see likes of Genevieve, Nse Etim and Joke silva.
    Looking forward to it Still.

  34. christy

    April 27, 2012 at 2:30 pm

    I laugh more wen sumbody suggest Rita Dominic to star as olanna,like seriously? Neider her nor Genieve can fit into her shoe,can’t even tink of any Nigerian actress.I doubt if ….

    • annie

      April 27, 2012 at 3:07 pm

      Believe u me mercy johnson would totally kill dat role.It’s a FACT!!!

    • Gimmer

      April 27, 2012 at 11:42 pm

      You for Kim’s crry tonto dikeh join gbaam put. No be only mercy Johnson

    • The Kinkster

      April 30, 2012 at 11:49 am

      Mercy gini???? WTF? Have you people read the book at all?

  35. Janet

    April 27, 2012 at 2:40 pm

    I AM SOOOOO HAPPY!!!!!! I remeber reading the book and falling in love with! It is beautifully written and everyone should read it of they can get their hands on it. As an aspiring actress I would have loved to be in this film but who better to represent me than one of my acting inspirations!!!! GENNY is going to be amazing, I would have prefEred if they cast her as olanna as I think she is better suited to that role than thandie newton but either way I am totally estatic for her! I know she’ll make us proud. This film will take her worldwide, I’m sure of it! X

  36. nene

    April 27, 2012 at 2:49 pm

    no offence to genevieve but TONY ABULU is a crappy filmmaker. he did a film with a video vixen called Crazy like a Fox.

    • SensepastKing

      April 30, 2012 at 12:22 am

      Actually, the movie was well done, its the actors that were just so horrible!!!

  37. Nkiru Nelson

    April 27, 2012 at 2:50 pm

    I wonder who will play Ugwu. He really was the main protagonist.

  38. frivolities

    April 27, 2012 at 2:57 pm

    what are people getting angry over? From the minute I heard the rights had been sold to a non-Nollywood group, I knew there weren’t going to be that many nollywood acts in it.
    Genevieve getting a role no matter how small is well deserved. As for the person who said Rita Dominic should have been in it, I shake my head for you. Rita Dominic? seriously?
    Even that petition thing that was going on some months I knew it wouldn’t last. This is not a strictly-for-Naija-and-other-interested-African-countries project. Maybe next time a good book is written, good nollywood producers will be quick in securing the rights.
    Genevieve and Nse are the best we have in nollywood, and I’m really hoping for the best for them. I know they’ll make it.

    • Partyrider

      April 27, 2012 at 3:14 pm

      Your head is there!! Genevieve and Nse #thatisall they are best right now in Nollywood. Also pray more more success for both of them

  39. clara

    April 27, 2012 at 3:03 pm

    happy for her…i guess they did this to shut Nigerians up! lol….oh well ….goodluck…with the description and all,I would have prefared an OMOTOLA . this is a seasoned dedicated actress who does accents well… watched her in Ties tht bind and i was blown away….oh well to each….

    • bibi

      April 27, 2012 at 4:13 pm

      #GBAM omotola has dat true african accent which u’ll immediately detect dat she’s African but who ever is choosen as far as Africa is beign represented esp nollywood

    • Gimmer

      April 27, 2012 at 11:39 pm

      Why not ask them to pick tonto dikeh? Mscheewwwwww. Nonsense

  40. annie

    April 27, 2012 at 3:06 pm

    Why are y’ll complaining abt genny’s role in dat movie.If she felt that role was small for her she would have rejected the script but she felt comfortable with the script.Evn if it’s 2 scenes dat alone can land u a greater hollywood role.Hollywood directors and producers look at ur acting powess frm leadrole to wakapass just do ur best.What has status got to do with role,genny big or not has accepted the role though se was added so as to appease the Nigerian audience(WHICH IS NOT FAIR).The deed has already been done,geny has accepted the script.

  41. T.S.

    April 27, 2012 at 3:18 pm

    Good for Genevieve. To those complaining, remember the movie Selena. People complained about Jennifer Lopez ( a puerto rican) play the role of Selena (a mexican). In hindsight, Jennifer Lopez was outstanding in the role of Selena. What is most important is the best person that can really bring that character to life. We all know genevieve is a good actress but maybe Thandie Newton is a better actress for the role.

  42. Dee

    April 27, 2012 at 3:22 pm

    I’m happy 4 genny but I’m sooo not in support of thandie newton playin d role of olanna. She doesn’t fit d profile. Olanna was tall, light-skinned and beautiful. @ Seun, Kainene wasn’t ugly. Her beauty was being compared 2 olanna’s beauty since they were twins. It was said in the book that she was attractive in her own way. But I totally agree wit ur point about genny not fitting any of the descriptions. So genny shud stick 2 playing mrs adebayo, although mrs adebayo’s character is a very boisterious one n I don’t see genny that way either.

  43. Miss Pepeye

    April 27, 2012 at 3:31 pm

    @ Annie,.. abi oh!!! Genevieve has accepted the script, yet people are complaining its too small a role. If she felt the so-called “small role” was good enough for her, then so be it. Its not that easy to break into hollywood and even waka-pass roles might be step to something better in future.

  44. Dee

    April 27, 2012 at 3:32 pm

    If the movie executives really need to use a foreigner for the role of olanna, then I think that Megalyn Echikunwoke for the part of olanna won’t be a bad idea. By the way doesn’t thandie newton look abit too old 4 the role of olanna?. Just a thot

  45. bbim

    April 27, 2012 at 3:34 pm

    I agree with christy. Is genny seasoned enuf to play a major role in a hollywood movie that needs a wide appeal? Thandie is perfect for d role of olanna- she fits d description of d xter. Genny has mass appeal in naija but to get on d interantional scene, she needs to hone her acting skills. Stephanie okereke will be more sutabl for kaine if they must use a nigerian, not genny. Ms adebayo might seem like a little role, the babystep is ok for her and will gradually prepare her for a higher standard.

    • lolly

      April 27, 2012 at 4:41 pm

      how is stephanie better please? O_o

  46. M,,,S

    April 27, 2012 at 3:40 pm

    Well done Queen of Nollywood ,,,more greez to ur elbow,,,well done my angel

  47. Hope

    April 27, 2012 at 3:41 pm

    Congrats Gene,,,God is all for u


    April 27, 2012 at 3:49 pm

    Wow! Dis is really good news. I hope she plays d part of Kayinne. I biliv she’ll interpret d role well cos dats my favorite character in d book.

  49. rita moses

    April 27, 2012 at 4:08 pm

    Congratulations Genny

  50. *ajalahtravel*

    April 27, 2012 at 4:25 pm

    Genny is there to teach accents and pronounciations. She’s going to be the go to girl on set when they have trouble pronouncing words and names.
    That’s her real job on set.
    I preferred purple hibsicus to half a yellow son. Ugwu’s naivety was just too annoying to bear.

  51. *ajalahtravel*

    April 27, 2012 at 4:26 pm

    Genny is there to teach accents and pronounciations. She’s going to be the go to girl on set when they have trouble pronouncing words and names.
    That’s her real job on set.
    I preferred purple hibsicus to half a yellow son. Ugwu’s naivety was just too annoying to bear. Btw, Thandiwe is half zimbabwean.

  52. *ajalahtravel*

    April 27, 2012 at 4:27 pm

    Half of a yellow sun***

  53. Beverly

    April 27, 2012 at 4:42 pm

    Olanna was light skinned, NOT bi-racial. Kainene was fit and strong kinda like a a slimmer/taller? Angela Basset or Viola Davis. Anika Noni Rose does not annoy me as much as Thandie Newton. You all are sleeping while the whitewashing of Africa continues. You will look up 20 years from now and your BLACK children will ask what happened. Oh, I forgot, you are Nigerians, a highly color-struck nation. White is right, if not white the closest thing to it.

    I am more annoyed with Chimamanda – she writes such a fantastic book only to be sacrificed at the altar of the hollyweird machine. And I can talk since I paid for 3 of her books twice as well as ‘Proverbs for the people’ – just for her short story in it.

    P.s. I love Genevieve, I think she could do so much better. She is one of the best restrained actors we have so far. She could have carried Kainene well. If by this time with all her trips abroad she has not carved out time for acting classes then shame on her. And this goes for the rest of them, I hope they are not just going abroad to shop and take pictures.

    • Nnenna

      May 7, 2012 at 9:01 am

      I agree with you on the Genevieve comment. I think the reason she isn’t being cast in a lead role in this movie is because they probably feel her acting skills are not quite there yet. I do hope she actually goes to drama or theatre school to refine her acting skills so she can take it to the next level. And possibly star in bigger movies that are not just Nigerian films.

      On a lighter note, I am soooo jealous that she gets to play alongside Chiwetel “Chewie” Ejiofor. I have a sick obsession with that young man. I think I shall just go and put up his picture as my blackberry dp. 🙂

  54. yeahisaidit!

    April 27, 2012 at 4:47 pm

    Genevieve lacks the talent to play all but the most minor of roles in any non-Nollywood production. This is the TRUTH and quite frankly her army of clearly deluded “STANS” are the reason why Nigerian movies will never attain a respectful level of quality and so-called actors will not strive to improve themselves! Tcheeew! I have seen a bunch of her movies and she is so poor!

    • beatrice

      April 27, 2012 at 5:22 pm

      I knw many people would call this comment hating but it’s d FACT.Nse and mercy johnson are much more of a better actress dan genny.In summary what yeahisaidit is saying is she is overrated.She is not verstaile evn the adebayo role is a boisterous character and genny cant pull it off at all.She is stiff and y’ll are complaining dem manage give her small role.We are calling acting skills here and not popularity.If it were nse and mercy johnson i would totally oppose to it.Genny wasn’t even meant to be in d movie,her PR helped her to get the role so why wont dey give such minor role.If she was d first choice i bet she would have hijacked the kainene role.It’s like dey did her a favour and she’ll return it by teaching words pronunciation on set.Is she God dat even if she doesnt fit in a role she must interprete it.

    • feyi

      April 27, 2012 at 6:44 pm

      who is nse when genevieve is mentioned in acting? nse is good but she needs a lot of improvement. i have watched some alaba movie she did and she was so blah in them unlike genevieve who shines with bad script. never compare nse to genevieve, she has a loooong way to go. mercy is good but she needs experience. she has immersed herself in the local way of making films and unless she comes out of it a lot of people won’t take her serious. she needs to stop doing alaba films entirely if she wants to be consider for roles.

      no need for all this arguements, film critics around the world will watch genny’s performance and i bet you naysayers this day that no one will call her a bad actress or one without talent. let’s all wait and see. no need for plenty yarn

    • feyi

      April 27, 2012 at 6:48 pm

      who is nse when genevieve is mentioned in acting? nse is good but she still needs a lot of improvement. i have watched some alaba movie she did and she was so blah in them unlike genevieve who shines with bad script. never compare nse to genevieve, she has a loooong way to go. mercy is good but she needs experience…. she has immersed herself in the local way of making films and unless she comes out of it a lot of people won’t take her serious. she needs to stop doing alaba films entirely if she wants to be consider for roles.

      no need for all this arguements, film critics around the world will watch genny’s performance and i bet you nay sayers this day that no one will call her a bad actress or one without talent. let’s all wait and see. no need for plenty yarn and stop giving yourselves headache. if she is bad, she will never get another role in hollywood. opari

    • Gimmer

      April 27, 2012 at 11:33 pm

      You obviously don’t get it Beatrice. When you look at full packaging, mercy johnson Is still a bush girl who is not ready for Hollywood. She Is overweight and her lace wigs alone are rather too cosmetically unappealing. She can’t handle LA much less hollywood right now unlike genny who over the years has groomed herself, managed her reputation well, scandal free, speaks good english, toned body, etc…she is mor eprepared for nollywood than the local champions u mentioned

    • Cheesey

      April 28, 2012 at 4:50 am

      Aww Beatrice you really are saddened by this news aren’t you? Pele my dyaaa, you’ll get over it. Nse is no where near Genny’s toe nails in acting nooooowwww, you know it, Nse knows it, EVERYONE KNOWS IT!! It is not by english or speaking with a pout all the time naaa like….where do y’all get off???!!!! *bb confused smiley*. Look, I suggest you and the rest of her PR agents go and hustle and Lobby for the next blog buster that is coming to Nollywood like “Genny’s did”, since in your ignorance and daftness you believe that a movie of this magnitude would cast based on sentiments. Lmao!!! What a joker you are. FYI an audition was held for that “tiny, little role that you see and your brilliant Nse didn’t make the cut. If you can’t celebrate someone else’s success how in the world do you think you will get one of your own?? Karma is a bitch and she don’t play; now that’s why Genny continues to rise cause all you haters ever want to do is stop her shine or deviate it somewhere else. WHY????!!!!
      Maybe Genny should be thankful for haters in the end.

    • feyi

      April 27, 2012 at 6:34 pm

      did you read what you wrote? you sound very sound and seem depressed by this news. its only someone that has lost their mind that will say genevieve doesn’t have a talent. she is by far one of the most natural actresses in nollywood. stay there and be talking bullocks

  55. jennietobbie

    April 27, 2012 at 4:57 pm

    Congrats, my darling!!! This is just the beginning 🙂

  56. Gemma

    April 27, 2012 at 5:10 pm

    Congrats Genny!
    Like someone wisely said, there are no small roles, only small actors. A 10 minute appearance can land you an Oscar nomination or even an Oscar; e.g. Judi Dench in Elizabeth and Viola Davis in Doubt. It’s how well you interpret the character that matters, not the amount of on-screen time you get.
    The problem with Nigerians is that we don’t like to tell ourselves the truth. There’s absolutely no way on earth any Nollywood actress or actor would have been given the lead role in such a movie with wide international appeal. They’re simply not there yet. Naturally the producers have to make their money. Who wants their name to be linked to a bad movie? Of course they’ll pull out all the stops to make sure the movie is a critical and box office success; and that involves hiring the best actors. All those crying foul should please get over it. Or better yet, go and read the book and educate yourselves. It’s obvious that those saying Genevieve Nnaji or Mercy Johnson should have been cast as Olanna are sniffing expired glue.

  57. Naz

    April 27, 2012 at 5:10 pm

    y is Gene not playing Ola again???

  58. chuchusweets

    April 27, 2012 at 5:38 pm

    Why will she play such an unpopular character as Ms Adebayo? she wasnt in the book for long enough abeg. They should try and push her (Genny* not that i care much) up there, after all the writer is one of our own sha. oh well good for her

  59. Iyosi

    April 27, 2012 at 5:41 pm

    For those saying Gene lacks the talent to play the leading role…sounds like inferiority complex to me–why?…Is it because she is an “African” actress? Tell me, who else besides a native Nigerian, and most famed actress in all of Africa could be more perfect for this role?

  60. Iyosi

    April 27, 2012 at 5:45 pm

    Nonetheless, I’m glad that Nigerians are also making a splash behind the scenes as Directors and Executive producers 🙂

  61. Dee-USA

    April 27, 2012 at 6:03 pm

    Personally, I would have preferred Sophie Okonedo to Thandie Newton. She already has chemistry with Chiwetel as well from Dirty Pretty Things and the movie on the Tsunami in Asia (I forget the name now.) And she’s played an African pretty well in both Hotel Rwanda and Skin.

    I’m with a lot of others who say no matter how small the role is, it’s up to the actor to make an impression of it. Some of the biggest stars in Hollywood made their names from small parts. Jaleel White (Steve Urkel in Family Matters) was supposed to a guest on the show for an episode. He was so memorable that he became a recurring character, then the star of the show.

    Even Chiwetel Ejiofor got his big break playing the interpreter to Djimon Hounsou’s character in Amistad (remember that?) So you never know what could happen to Genevieve. Even if she ends up playing small supporting roles in Hollywood, that would be the biggest accomplishment since Olu Jacobs and Joke Silva were acting in stage plays in London.

    • Obi

      April 28, 2012 at 1:10 am

      Thank you for mentioning Sophie Okonedo. I must remind myself that film roles/ casting is not always on merit, but it atimes is a game played just like politics. Who knows, maybe they couldn’t get Sophie. Secondly, lets see how Genevieve does on this one. Practice makes perfect. She is a good actress, but can only get better with practice. I think Nse Ikpe is another wonderful actress. Newer and probably unheard of by some people. But I must remind myself again that this isn’t about Nse or Sophie. It’s about Genevieive, and I have to be happy for my Nigerian Sister. Good fortune is worth celebrating.

  62. Janded

    April 27, 2012 at 6:17 pm

    Really happy for Genny. hopefully she will get bigger roles

  63. Bee

    April 27, 2012 at 6:27 pm

    Cool news, Africa’s first nominated movie I think was Tsotsi though.

  64. kreamy

    April 27, 2012 at 6:37 pm

    Beatrice, serzly??? You r comparing genny 2 mercy johnson. Mchewwwww abeg go n sleep jor. Rili cnt wait 2 see d movie. Go Genny.

  65. feyi

    April 27, 2012 at 6:51 pm

    congrats genevieve darling. although i would have wanted a meatier role for you…. I know you will deliver

  66. dat Chick

    April 27, 2012 at 8:02 pm

    My Verdict
    Odenigbo maybe Mike Tyson,or Wiz Khalifa..
    Ugwu..Aki or Pawpaw…
    Olana they shd beg Bianca Onoh (and even pay for acting classes for her) cos she embodies that character ,
    Kainene …Eucharia Anunobi or Venus/Serena William,
    The soldier don’t rem his name …shd be Idris Alba
    P:S on a serious note love Chiwetal as Odenigbo d man looks strong , can’t wait for the scene where he gives it to olana (laid d pipes 🙂

    • partyrider

      April 27, 2012 at 9:10 pm

      Lmao..this is hilarious

  67. NikkyJay

    April 27, 2012 at 8:59 pm

    Am so proud of you GENEVIEVE! Keep on Shining, God shall see you through . . .

  68. Africanbeauty

    April 27, 2012 at 9:05 pm

    Sophie Okonedo is a better actress than Thandie. Chiwetal is a brilliant actor. Genny and Nse are the best actresses in Nollywood. Anika has that African vibe about her that I think she will do well in an African movie.

  69. KikuyuChic

    April 27, 2012 at 9:39 pm

    One word… A-MAZING!!

  70. Layo

    April 27, 2012 at 10:19 pm

    Dayo Okeniyi is playing Ugwu..whoop! Ps so much sentiment up in here, at the end of the day I just want the final result to be awesome.


    April 27, 2012 at 11:54 pm

    reading all dis crp ppl are writing bout newton nt bein igbo i’m fraking boiling! dnt knw y dem idiots are complaining bout her nt bein igbo, d guy playing d house boy is YORUBA. d chap dt played d last king of Scotland isn’t frm dt country. d chap dt starred in hotel rowanda isn’t frm rowanda!!Nnija is igbo playing a yoruba…….Newton is half African we shuld always support our OWN!!!!!!

  72. gbebs

    April 28, 2012 at 12:06 am

    becos nollywood kept shoving genevieve in our face and we had no choice but to watch the terrible acting does not mean she is the best in Nigeria IMO I think she is overrated and no I am not hating, I rem the days of genny and ramsey, when we had like 5 films weekly with just these two, such cheesy acting, so if you ask does she have what it takes to break into hollywood, I will say no, plus she’s a 34 year old black woman(yeah I said it, those ppl are racists) . BN pls post my comment thx.

    • feyi

      April 30, 2012 at 9:28 am

      look genny will be 33 in 3days not 34 and the age limit in hollywood is 35. racism o, gender inequality o, genny will make it in hollywood, opari. if she no fit act who come fit for your eyes? abi all the hollywood actors no fit? mstchew!!! abeg abeg abeg throway yourself inside a canal jare. na bad belle de worry you

    • feyi

      April 30, 2012 at 9:46 am

      all the nollywood actors****

  73. Hilda

    April 28, 2012 at 12:19 am

    I love the book like everyone else. I just hope like other book adaptations I.e John Grisham books Hollywood always ruin, they don’t ruin this. Now for thandie and ejiofor, after their both successful portrayal of African American accent in four brothers, and thandie in Tyler perry for colored girls, I have hope they will not disappoint. Thandie was exceptional in for colored girls, you wouldn’t tell the difference she’s English and not AA. Finger crossed for 2013.
    Shout out to Genny. The sky is never your limit. Fire on.

  74. NNENNE

    April 28, 2012 at 1:10 am

    Can’t wait!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  75. mimi

    April 28, 2012 at 1:32 am

    I would have prefered mercy Johnson or omotola

  76. newbie

    April 28, 2012 at 11:22 am

    BN, you’ve just made my morning. My fave Nigerian actress starring in a movie adaptation of one of my fave novels of all time. I have lost count of how many of those books I have bought as pressies, especially for my oyibo friends.

    The cast is exciting too… I must confess, I don’t particularly remember Ms Adebayo in the book, but it’s all about interpretation jor and I have no doubt that my girl Genny will deliver. Like many of you above, I love that girl, and I love the fact that she just gets better and better. Haters, sorry o, but she’s better than Omotola and Rita D put together, and did someone mention a certain Stephanie that can like to force accent? mcheeeeeew! Don’t even go there…

    And oh, about the foreign actresses, oh well – if the movie was full of ‘unknown’ nollywoders, I doubt that it would get the kind of International exposure it deserves, so we can ‘manage’ them. But true true, Sophie Okonedo would have interpreted the Olanna role better than Thandie Newton; but who knows, check out Jill Scott in the #1 Ladies Detective Agency – to my mind, she did the Bostwana accent perfectly. It’s called learning (not forcing) an accent, and it can be done. Yet, she probably didn’t do it perfectly- only a native can easily distinguish some of these lexical nuances; in other words, it is totally lost on the rest of the world so Hollywood won’t care if you are sitting there in Ojuelegba, kissing your teeth because Thandie Newton didn’t get your Nigerian accent perfectly. If they can get a known name to play it, and it’s close enough for their target audience to believe, it will do.

    Chiwetel will totally ‘kill the role of Master….

    On the whole, totally looking forward to it. Roll on 2013, who knows, hopefully I can get to go to a premiere 🙂

    • clara

      April 28, 2012 at 7:46 pm

      DONT GO THERE MISSY!!! OMOTOLA is a better and more varsatile actress than genevieve anyday!

  77. tos tos

    April 28, 2012 at 1:44 pm

    couldn’t be more proud!!!

  78. miss blues

    April 28, 2012 at 11:25 pm

    @Beverly: you completely took words out of my mouth! Chiewetel as odenigbo is super but thandie skinny and light skinned but still wont eat so white people can cast me is just wrong. chimamanda why!!!!!this book is gold. pure african gold. you might as well cast rhianna. nonsense. soo angry. olanna was light skinned but not skinny and with european features. Why dont ya’ll call beyonce too. just in case casting real africans offends the audience.

  79. feyi

    April 29, 2012 at 2:15 am

    BN i don’t know if you will post what am about to write…. anyway, i would proceed. while reading chimamanda’s facebook wall i stumbled on the below comment by one, onyeka nwelue, CEO of blue and hills. He started by saying;

    “Of course, Genevieve Nnaji got this role when Nigeria intervened and screamed her name, because of Thandie Newton. Now, Biyi Bandele decides to ‘appease’ the gods of Ms Nnaji. But please, believe me, Ms Nnaji hasn’t read Chimamanda Adichie’s book. She has not read. We only got her the role with our petition.”

    in that post he tagged genevieve, biyi and chimamanda facebook fanpage. i got curious then check his facebook timeline to see him comment further;

    “For despite the dispersive nod given to Nollywood, it is obvious that Ms Nnaji is an opportunist, glaringly fighting her way through Nollywood by making sure that everything is in the news. If she is able to bring an impressive personality onscreen, that is because she is obviously fighting another battle to get the attention of Hollywood, which she dreams about all the time and that is the reason why she used the power of the media to deceive us last time that she would be starring in a James Bond movie. What a dream for a young soul!”

    what amuses me is the person in question writing this happens to be Amaa’s boy, particularly peace anyiam-osigwe boy. i noticed that half of nollywood practitioners is very unpleased that genevieve clinched this role. we all know one of the things causing stunted grwoth for nollywood is beef but the next comment was more than i could bear and that is why i decide to share it;

    “Her past is haunting her. Her unfussy acting skill is making her feel inadequate. Not like she is the only one in Nollywood who tries to use the media to paint themselves beautifully; the unfortunate thing here is that Ms Nnaji is not worthy of the minor role she has been ‘gifted’ in Half of a Yellow Sun. Personally, I will advice her to leave it for better actresses like Rita Dominic. She should rightly feel insulted. If she goes ahead to accept such role, I will stop respecting her, because this goes to show the little respect the casting director of the film has for her.”

    first, this boy is only 24yrs old. he must have been primary school when genevieve started acting so its obvious he is being fed with most of what he wrote up there. i won’t be surprised to hear some people in nollywood are protesting against her joining this film as we speak. but please BN reader, who compares rita dominic to genevieve nnaji???? sighs. he went further to post the below which he also left on his twitter account;

    “At stake here, is that strange feeling that Ms Nnaji hasn’t read Ms Adichie’s Half of a Yellow Sun and the script was ‘gifted’ to her, because we protested that Nollywood should be honored with a role. I have no idea if Ms Nnaji went for all the series of auditions that took place on the island, which I know of. I also have no idea if Ms Nnaji has read the book and knows anything about the minor character they’ve given her. But I am very certain and sure that she is very happy – there are too many wonderful actresses out there I know personally that read.”

    how did this boy know genevieve has not read the book??? how??? am scared for genevieve’s life now. i never knew she was hated like this and if something happens to her i will assissinate that onyeka boy first. what wickedness.

    • Ginika

      May 2, 2012 at 12:38 pm

      Well written and something to think about.
      But, are you stalking this guy? *sideeye*, just kidding ooo!

    • Dozie

      May 7, 2012 at 12:59 am

      Feyi if you remember very well that same onyeka guy accused obi emelonye, saying he stole his story,his reason osita iheme was casted in the production. trust me that guy onyeka is an opportunist, always looking for important people to tag him self with for press purpose, what a waste of human little goat, his my age mate i cant challenge genevieve or obi cos i know what it takes to be where they are, b4 i forget he accused chimanda as well, little devil looking for attention genny ignore him, like obi n chimanda did

  80. fediben gal

    April 29, 2012 at 5:34 pm

    totally pathetic. the only one with any credence is Chiewetel.
    thandie and the other american lady are pushing 40 for goodness sake and the twins in the book were in their mid 20’s. they should have had an open audition in london where there are a lot of british nigerians afterall the twins did school here so they may speak with a little phone. Is there going to be igbo spoken in the movie? how will Thandie cope. pls thandie newton do the riight thing, save your career and pull out.

  81. Berry Choco-Latte

    April 29, 2012 at 10:21 pm

    YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Someone took my advice to adapt the novel into a movie! FUN TIMES! I’m sooooo watching when it comes out.

  82. Amber

    May 1, 2012 at 9:23 am

    O boy.genny is going places o,this and dr bello.she must be set to make millions

  83. Regy

    May 1, 2012 at 11:09 am

    glad to be in d middle of all the action.

  84. thenigerianexperience

    May 3, 2012 at 11:24 am

    yay! cant wait for the movie to come out 🙂 Love this book!

  85. bislly

    May 3, 2012 at 12:54 pm

    Nigerians make my day when I read their comments. Really!
    They comment exactly the way they relate to each other. Words like opari and msheew.I cannot laugh o but ROTF.
    On a side not Genny may not be d best actress out there but She is still Africas best export in Nollywood.She has studied the art of rebranding and honbed it to perfection by carefully controlling the public perception of her and rebranding herself to an actress that Hollywood can appreciate.All those photoshoots in London,making sure her pic appeared in Ok magazine in a fashion show,d pics with Christian Loubiton and Rosario Dawson,Appearance on Oprahs show and d listing in Forbes,careful selection of movies that meet international standards show that she knows what she is doing.
    And dats d major difference btwn her and alaba actresses. Sure she did that a long while ago,But she doesn’t do that any more.And that’s a lesson Omotola,Rita and Mercy had to learn the hard way.
    In my opinion Genevieve,Nse Ekpe Etim and d one who did Anchor baby are d ones eligible for Hollywood.Chikena

  86. lebo

    May 11, 2012 at 7:55 am

    its good to see africans get roles like these i support all the way *waiting patiently*

  87. R.aseli

    June 12, 2012 at 10:04 am

    Hi genny,i hope u will give it ur best as usual.

  88. The White List

    June 26, 2012 at 12:49 pm

    Wow! That’s such amazing news! Nice to Nigerian’s at the forefront of the arts community! Really looking forward to this.

  89. Carol

    August 25, 2012 at 5:27 pm

    The accolade for the first African movie to not only be nominated for an Oscar but to also win one has already been given to Tsotsi a South African movie that one an Oscar. It had no famous American actors and featured a lot of unknown SA actors and actresses.

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