Actress Genevieve Nnaji: ‘How Hollywood Made Me Feel Like A Commodity’ (Video)

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Actress Genevieve Nnaji: ‘How Hollywood Made Me Feel Like A Commodity’ (Video)

Actress Genevieve Nnaji has opened up about her experience seeking partnerships in Hollywood following the success of her 2018 film, LionHeart. Despite her achievements, Nnaji realized she was seen as a commodity, with Hollywood more interested in exploiting her talent and African narratives for their own gain.

She observed that they wanted to use her to tell their own stories, rather than genuine African stories.

 “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”, she said.

Speaking at the 2024 AfriCaribbean Trade and Investment Forum/Afreximbank Annual Meetings, actress Genevieve Nnaji, who has benefited from Creative Africa Nexus (CANEX) – an Afreximbank program that provides support, including financial assistance, for trade and investment in Africa’s creative sector – expressed her dedication to developing a robust Nigerian film industry, Nollywood, capable of competing with Hollywood.

Nnaji explained that she chose to remain in Nigeria and contribute to the industry’s growth rather than seeking opportunities in Hollywood. She believes Africa has the potential to build a thriving industry that tells its own stories, and she is committed to being part of that journey.

 “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,” she added.

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Mr Priceless
A young person with a passion for success and excellence to develop a professional career that encourages empowerment in the overall development of a person which is achieved through hard work. A Journalist with facts and a difference; standing by the truth all the time with interests in Science & Technology, Health, Celebrities' Lifestyle, Crimes, Education and Career Improvement.

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