BY ADEDIWURA OKELEYE
It’s no news that Nigerians getting recognition in Hollywood is on a steady rise. In an interview with Deadline, notable actors of Nigerian descent – Adewale Akinnuoye Agbaje (Oz, Lost), David Oyelowo (Selma), Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years A Slave), Gbenga Akinkugbe (Knucklehead, The Wire) and Nonso Annie (Zoo, Game of Thrones) discussed the challenges they faced on their journey to prominence.
Sharing his experience about problems people had with his name, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje said, “Every day from when I first (began working), even in fashion, I was asked to change my name. Many, many times. I fought for my name because it is who I am. I was very intent on not changing my name.”
The actor continued, “As a child in school, even my teachers (in England) tried to changed my name to Robert, but it didn’t feel right. It’s not me. I had to fight for it. Your ancestors and your parents name you based on the constellations and the legacy of that lineage, and I learned early on that every time someone calls you that name, it re-affirms who you are. My name describes my purpose in life.”
Adewale Akinnuoye Agbaje is famous for the roles he played in Congo, Oz, Lost and Suicide Squad. He has a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Law which he got in order to “please his parents.”
He is planning a project to showcase his family and the struggles they faced as an immigrant family.