In recently released movie, Concussion, Will Smith stars as Dr Bennet Omalu, the Nigerian-born neuropathologist who uncovered a connection between brain trauma and the NFL after performing an autopsy on former professional football player Mike Webster in 2002. The movie focuses on the aftermath of Dr Bennet’s discovery of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) and his pursuit to tell the truth despite pressure to stay quiet.
When the trailer was first released last autumn, social media was on fire as Nigerians were not impressed by Will Smith’s poor Nigerian accent, some of the comments include;
“That generic African accent that Don Cheadle used in Hotel Rwanda, that Denzel Washington used in Cry Freedom and that Jennifer Hudson used in Winnie.” The Root’s Diana Ozemebhoya Eromosele.
“Why does every African movie character have the same accent? … Concussion should be a unique story of Omalu’s heroic struggle to reveal the dangers of a sport that has become a billion-dollar business in the United States. It should be the true story of a pioneering Nigerian physician doing what he believes is right under extraordinary circumstances. But Will Smith’s generic African accent in the film reduces Omalu, the character, to another non-specific African.” Quartz’s Omar Mohammed
Watch the trailer and let us know what you think. Will you be watching?
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