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#Burundi diaspora| Africans in Hollywood

By Miss Pilipili / Published on Monday, 30 Jan 2017 09:30 AM / No Comments / 655 views
Ruth Negga is the star of Loving.
Ruth Negga is the star of Loving. (NYT)

The 2017 Oscars Nominations were announced last week, and unlike last year, there are more minorities that made the nominees list. Some African American nominees include Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer and Denzel Washington. But as far as African nominees, there seems to be only one: Ruth Negga, an Ethiopian-Irish actress, who starred in the movie Loving.

But the lack of more Africans nominated for an Academy Award doesn’t reflect the number of talented African actors and actresses in Hollywood. To name a few there is Chiwetel Ejiofor (British-Nigerian), Djimoun Hounsoun (Benin), Peter Mensah (Ghana), , David Oyelowo (British-Nigerian), and Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o (Kenya).

But (so far) there hasn’t been a Burundian who made it in Hollywood for some reasons. The only mention of Burundi at the Oscars (am aware of ) was for  the short film Na Wewe  by Belgian producer Ivan Goldscmidt. It received an Academy Award nomination in 2011. Although the movie is only 20 minutes long, it is packed with intense moments that expose the absurdity of ethnic conflicts.  It is undeniably a powerful film, but would it have gotten the same international attention if it was produced by a Burundian?

It would be interesting to learn if  any Burundian in the diaspora has ever attempted to break through in Hollywood, or which obstacles might be stopping that pursuit.

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