The Nigerian Pidgin English has been accepted as a foreign language for the Oscars, one of the most prestigious film industry awards. Kenneth
The Nigerian Pidgin English has been accepted as a foreign language for the Oscars, one of the most prestigious film industry awards.
Kenneth Gyang, a movie director who has credits for ‘Oloture’, a recent movie released on Netflix shared the news on Twitter on Friday. He said the executive producer for the movie, Mo Abudu has been in talks with the international features section of the Oscars on the possibility of entering ‘Oloture’, which was made in pidgin, through the Nigerian Oscar selection committee (NOSC).
“In the final leg of the conversation, she was asked for a letter of justification regarding Nigerian Pidgin as a foreign language. Within a few hours of sending that letter, the International Features team responded to say that pidgin is now a foreign language and have communicated with our NOSC! This is a giant leap for the industry. I am also sharing the letter,” Kenneth explained.
A source within the NOSC also confirmed the development. He said a statement to formally address the good news was underway as of the time this report was filed.
In 2019, NOSC nominated ‘Lionheart’, a directorial debut movie of Genevieve Nnaji, a Nigerian actress, to represent the country at the 2020 Oscars in Los Angeles. However, the movie, which is both in English and Igbo languages, was disqualified and said to have violated a rule that entries in the category must have a “predominantly non-English dialogue track”.
Reacting to the development, Nnaji had said: “I am the director of Lionheart. This movie represents the way we speak as Nigerians. This includes English which acts as a bridge between the 500+ languages spoken in our country; thereby making us one Nigeria. It’s no different to how French connects communities in former French colonies. We did not choose who colonized us. As ever, this film and many like it is proudly Nigerian.”