Tag Archives: Cynthia Erivo

Cynthia Erivo tells Yoruba princess’s story

Award-winning Nigerian-British actor Cynthia Erivo is producing and starring in a film based on the life of Sarah Forbes Bonetta, a 19th-century Yoruba princess orphaned and enslaved by a West African king.

Cynthia Erivo

Omoba Aina, the Egbado princess of the Yoruba land, was later gifted to Queen Victoria in 1850, taken to England and renamed Sarah Forbes Bonetta. The Queen’s patronship put Forbes Bonetta at the centre of the British aristocracy but did not shield her from public scrutiny and personal suffering.

The film is coproduced with Solome Williams, alongside Leah Clarke, Adam Ackland and Rienkje Attoh from So & So Productions, and executive produced by Hollywood star Benedict Cumberbatch. Development is being financed by BBC Film.

According to Erivo and the filmmakers, it is a celebration of Forbes Bonetta as a strategic, determined heroine who forged a path for herself that honoured both her heritage and her upbringing.

“I am excited to embark on this journey. It has taken a long time to get to a point where we can even begin to realise this dream,” said Erivo, winner of Emmy, Tony and Grammy awards as well as a double Oscar nominee.

“As a Nigerian-British woman, to get the opportunity to tell the story of another Nigerian-British woman who until now has been erased from the history books is an honour,” she added.

“Miss Sarah Forbes Bonetta, Omoba Aina, is truly a passion of mine and I’m so pleased to have been able to find partners in the incredible women Leah Clarke and Rienkje Attoh to tell the story and finally give her a voice. I cannot wait to dive into her story. She is indeed the forgotten princess, forgotten no more.”

Erivo currently stars in HBO series The Outsider and will play US singer Aretha Franklin in National Geographic’s upcoming drama Genius: Aretha. She will also star in Universal’s musical movie Talent Show.

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Erivo, Eyimofe, Super Sema up for Awards

Cynthia Erivo as Aretha Franklin in Genius: Aretha

Award-winning Nigerian-British actor Cynthia Erivo, Nigerian feature film Eyimofe (This Is My Desire) and Kenyan kids’ series Super Sema have been nominated for NAACP Image Awards.

Erivo has been nominated at the 53rd edition of the awards in the category of Outstanding Actress in a Television Movie, Limited Series or Dramatic Special for her role as singer Aretha Franklin in National Geographic series Genius.

She is also in the running for Outstanding New Artist in the recording category, while Genius has been nominated for the Outstanding Television Movie, Limited Series or Dramatic Special award.

Eyimofe (This is My Desire) was directed by brothers Arie and Chuko Esiri

Meanwhile, Eyimofe, from Nigerian brothers Arie and Chuko Esiri and GDN Studios, is up for Outstanding International Motion Picture and YouTube original series Super Sema has been nominated for Outstanding Animated Series. The animated superhero series is produced by Kenyan outfit Kukua, with Black Panther star Lupita Nyong’o voice acting in and exec producing the show.

Erivo said on Instagram: “Thank you NAACP Image Awards for always seeing us, for seeing me. Thank you for these nominations and for celebrating us. I love us and all that we are. Congratulations everyone.”

Eyimofe producer GDN Studios said: “Eyimofe has made history as the first Nigerian film to earn an NAACP Image Awards nomination.”

Super Sema has an African-futuristic setting

Kukua added: “We are incredibly honoured to stand by other groundbreaking nominees and extraordinary animated series and films and to be bringing more and more diversity in children’s entertainment.”

The annual NAACP Image Awards are presented by the US-based National Association for the Advancement of Colored People to honour outstanding performances in film, television, theatre, music and literature. The 53rd edition is scheduled to take place on February 26 and will air live on ViacomCBS-owned channel BET.

In related news, Erivo is also among the nominees for next month’s 28th annual Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards. She has been nominated for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie or Limited Series for her role in Genius.

“It’s been one of the greatest honours in my life to play Ms Aretha Franklin, whose music changed the world,” the actor said on Instagram.

The SAG Awards will be presented on February 27 at the Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, California.

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Aduba, Erivo, Sy up for Golden Globes

L-R: Uzo Aduba, Cynthia Erivo and Omar Sy

Nigerian-American actor Uzo Aduba, award-winning Nigerian-British actor Cynthia Erivo and Senegalese-French actor Omar Sy are among the nominees for the 79th Annual Golden Globe Awards next month.

Aduba is up for Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Drama Series for her role as Dr Brooke Taylor in HBO drama series In Treatment.

Erivo has been nominated for Best Performance by an Actress in a Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television for her role as singer Aretha Franklin in National Geographic series Genius, while Sy is up for Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Drama Series for his role in Netflix drama Lupin.

“Thank you all for this nomination which, whatever the outcome, is so symbolic for me for so many reasons,” said Sy on Instagram.

The 79th Golden Globe Awards will honour the best in film and American television from 2021 and are scheduled to take place on January 9, 2022.

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Erivo, Fagbenle, Aduba up for Emmys

L-R: Cynthia Erivo, OT Fagbenle and Uzo Aduba

Award-winning Nigerian-British actors Cynthia Erivo and OT Fagbenle and Nigerian-American actor Uzo Aduba have been nominated for Emmy Awards.

Erivo was put forward for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or TV Movie after her performance as singer Aretha Franklin in the third season of National Geographic series Genius.

Fagbenle was nominated as Outstanding Supporting Actor for his role as Luke Bankole in Hulu drama The Handmaid’s Tale, while Aduba is up for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series for her performance as Dr Brooke Taylor in the fourth season of HBO drama series In Treatment.

“Thank you to the Television Academy for this honor. Dr Brooke Taylor is feeling gooood,” said Aduba on Instagram.

The 73rd Emmy Awards ceremony will take place on September 19 in Los Angeles and will be broadcast in the US by CBS and ViacomCBS-owned streaming service Paramount+.

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