Don’t act like you don’t know what we’re talking about. We have sat on the sidelines far too long, cringing at the edge of our seats, watching, while Hollywood desecrates our beloved and unique accent. For some reason, the Nigerian accent seems to be the hardest one to copy and many actors have tried and failed woefully which is weird because the world thinks our accent is très sexy. Here are the 10 absolute worst Nigerian accents from Hollywood flicks.
Sanders of the River
Released in 1935 this movie was an adaptation of a book of the same name written by famous British writer Edgar Wallace. So really, this accent foolery started from the olden days because as a whole this film is so very very cringeworthy. Literally, one of the first things you see on the screen says “Africa… Tens of millions of natives under British rule, each tribe with its own chieftain, governed and protected by a handful of white men whose everyday work is an unsung saga of courage and efficiency” *cringe cringe cringe* Watching it kind of feels like looking into the mind of one of those people that think Africa is a country. Apart from the destruction of the Nigerian culture and the horrible way Africans, in general, were portrayed as savage beasts in need of “governance and protection” by our British saviours, the accents were almost laughably un-African not to even mention un-Nigerian.
We are not here for that weird 30’s British-American accent and the cultural assassination definitely didn’t help
Half of a Yellow Sun
This film was so so beautiful to watch, like seriously, it was gorgeous, filmmaking at its best. The supporting cast members definitely deserve crisp high fives for their performances most especially our favourite gentle giant Ugwu played by the amazing John Gboyega who stole all our hearts with his performance. The main cast though, wow, not so great. It honestly felt like they were all trying so hard, Odenigbo (Chiwetel Ejiofor) pretty much shouted through the entire movie so his accent is even a little hard to judge. Our Igbo friends were also quite upset at how Thandie Newton (Olanna) pronounced some Igbo words, lol her pronunciation of Kedu was kind of hilarious, her sister didn’t fare any better either, so please don’t come in here with the “they lived in England most of their lives so their accents can’t be perfect” argument because that doesn’t fly here, Code Switching is a thing. Watch this hilarious Key and Peele skit that explains code switching in the best and fastest way possible below. You’re welcome.
The verdict is only so high because the supporting cast killed it.
Matthew McConaughey stars in this really really bad adventure treasure hunt film that is actually worse than Nicholas Cage’s National Treasure, which is a really tough thing to do. The film isn’t set in Nigeria, however, there is a scene where Matthew meets with a Nigerian man called “Oshodi” (LOL) who deals in all things black market (racist) and who has the most atrocious accent ever known to man (of course). It’s ridiculous that a movie with such impressive explosions and chase scenes couldn’t find someone who could fake a good enough accent.
It makes sense now why this movie was called one of the most expensive flops of all time. Not today Satan
Tears of the Sun
The only credit we’ll give to this movie is that it lowkey, but not completely, predicted the Boko Haram Insurgency, that and this might be some of the best acting Bruce Willis has done in his entire career. Okay, maybe not the best when you count Pulp Fiction or Armageddon or Sixth Sense or Sin City or Die Hard or 12 Monkeys or… you get the point. Now that we think about it, the only thing going well for this movie was the fancy action scenes and that’s pretty much it. The entire film is plagued by that generic “African” accent that Hollywood seems to think we all speak with regardless of what part of the continent we’re from. Even the plot is slightly ridiculous, the President and his family except his son Arthur Azuka (Sammi Rotibi) are killed it turns out that Arthur, is the only person left with a legitimate claim to the leadership of Nigeria as the only surviving member of this royal bloodline, because Samuel Azuka was not only the president of the country but also the tribal king of the Igbo. WHAT. THE. HELL.
We have nothing else to say.
Dirty Pretty Things
We know we hated on Chiwetel a little bit for Half of a Yellow Sun but that’s because he didn’t bring it like he did in this movie. He was born to play that role and his accent although not flawless din’t make us want to and even if it wasn’t everyone was freaking out too much over Audrey Tatous weird Turkish(French??) accent, we loved her in Amelie but this was atrocious.
We also strongly believe that this was Chiwetel’s audition tape for HOAYS. Which in turn makes sense as to why he was cast but does not in any way explain his performance.
Wesley Snipes stars in this 1993 Gangster movie about a big time drug dealer in New York City who’s trying to get out of the drug business but is finding it difficult because his brother (who’s also his partner) won’t let him. This movie is only in here because we’re so very petty and will find any trash accents wherever they are, especially when said trash accent is in a trailer and uses a wrongly translated Yoruba word. Peep the cameo in the trailer.
No, just no. Anthony Mackie you should be ashamed of yourself. Whatever accent it is you think you were going for it definitely wasn’t Nigerian and you need to find this fictional place and beg for forgiveness, you need to grovel mister. The story is pretty good though it has some not so plausible moments like when Tahir (Anthony Mackie) gets arrested and then released not deported (even though he’s overstayed his visa) because he’s a”low priority”. Now we can’t say there aren’t thousands of Nigerians who have overstayed their welcome in the abroad but Mr. Tahir must be magic what with the witchcraft he pulled on the American government.
Beautiful film, but we couldn’t really get through it because we got a tic in our eye every time Anthony opened his mouth to speak.
Modern Family (Season 6 Episode 4)
We’re less mad at the accents and madder instead about the fact that the Nigerian family couldn’t even speak let alone understand English. Come on ABC, how could you let this happen in 2014?? They couldn’t even understand how to play Marco Polo? No, unacceptable.
We get it, it’s a comedy show but still, Hollywood has done us dirty so many times we can’t even consider letting this one go.
24 (Season 7)
This is actually one of the good ones, Hakeem Kae-Kazim (whom you might know from the Etisalat ads ) played the role of Colonel Iké Dubaku, that bad guy that led the Peoples Freedom Army of the fictional African nation of Sangala. The accent was supposed to be “Sangalan” but he came through with that dope Nigerian accent and blew us all away. This guy deserves all the high fives, here’s a virtual one from us to start.
Will, Will, Will. Why would you do this? You deserve this. That is all.