Some critics riled at John [G]Boyega’s [sort of] face of new “Star Wars” movie – Tola Adenle

December 1, 2014


Even before “Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens,” is released, London-born John Gboyega of Nigerian ancestry is already making news and waves, and many unrelated to his performance but to who he is: an actor who is black.

This is not the first movie role for the 22-year old Londoner; he is also in another in the genre of wild attack movies that my type may not appreciate but that feed on huge buzzes, and are generally wildly successful because those who appreciate and love them are zillions more than my boring type. His role in “Attack the Block” has been reported as showing Boyega – yeah, we have to acknowledge his right to the new name – a real pro. It is his right to use any name he believes enhances his movie image as many big screen actors and actresses have always done but Boyega’s choice of dropping the letter ‘g’ from the Yoruba (single) letter ‘gb’ that CANNOT be pronounced by one without the letter in their native tongue, is an understandable move.

My inclusion of the letter ‘G’ in the title is a sort of shout out to Yoruba in the Diaspora who may come across his name and listen to the strong London accent and wonder where in the world the homeland may be – that he is one of your own. Yeah, it may be a more cosmopolitan world we live in but the Muslim fanatic who hacked a British soldier to death with a meat cleaver on a London street was quickly identified as – and permanently described as – of “Nigerian ancestry” even though the murderer had never set foot in Nigeria.

Now, what’s the fuss about his race, and how’s he handling it?

“… Get Used to It”! – words that could have been written into his character – or those of any action-hero character – are the words of a confident young actor who knows he’s going to go places in his chosen career.

Go for it, young man.

MONDAY, DECEMBER 1, 2014. 10:30 a.m. [GMT]

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