Genevieve Nnaji Says Hollywood Saw Her As A Commodity

Mayowa Akintoye By Mayowa Akintoye
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Following the success of her 2018 film LionHeart, actress Genevieve Nnaji has disclosed that she felt like a commodity when looking for partnerships in Hollywood.

During a panel discussion at the 2024 AfriCaribbean Trade and Investment Forum/Afreximbank Annual Meetings, the actress expressed that Hollywood desired to utilize her to tell their own stories instead of real African stories.

Genevieve Nnaji said: “For the first time, I realised I was a commodity. I thought, you know, given what I had done with Lionheart, and all of that, I was going to have an opportunity to do more. Getting there and having the kind of support that obviously CANEX is bringing on board, but I thought I could find it in Hollywood. That was not quite the case.

“They wanted what I had but for their benefit. It was all about their story. It was all about how, even if it was our story, I could make it more authentic to their own understanding of whatever Africa is because they did have a lot of literature in their archives.”

Genevieve stated that rather than pursuing possibilities in Hollywood, she made the decision to remain in Nigeria and support the development of the movie industry.

She said: “But I am Nollywood. I could have gone to Hollywood a long time if I wanted to. But I had a dream to build an industry in Nigeria that could rival it. That’s because I’ve always believed in that. I have always believed that we were capable of actually owning an industry like that, that told our story for our people. I wanted that. I respect what Hollywood is doing. I respect what Bollywood is doing and I felt like Nollywood had an equal chance at it.

“So when I found it wasn’t quite what they had in mind I was like I’m just going to wait this out and the Covid happened and the worlds switched at that point and Africa sort of became it.”

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Akintoye Mayowa is an adept writer with more than 5 years of prolific experience in writing articles ranging from entertainment, fashion, and movie reviews. He loves writing, listening to music, and watching movies. He is a highly-skilled, enthusiastic, selfmotivated professional writer.
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