The Nigerian Pidgin has been accepted as a foreign language for the Academy Awards, popularly known as the Oscars
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 MO Abudu, a Nigerian filmmaker 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,” Kenneth explained.
“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.”
In 2019, NOSC nominated ‘Lionheart’, a directorial debut movie of Nigerian actress, Genevieve Nnaji,, to represent the country at the 2020 Oscars in Los Angeles.
However, the movie, which is both in English, Pidgin 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.”