In a dramatic twist, and perhaps as a proactive response to the school of thought that blacks are given a wide berth at the Oscars, the Academy, with a few days to the awards, has shortlisted an actor and an actress of color in a move many in the industry see as an effort to cool down and assuage the rising temperatures and resentment by the black community and industry players.
The two have been shortlisted in the category of best actress and best supporting actor (both in motion pictures). This is good news for Africa, as it comes hot on heels of Kendrick Lamar’s jaw-dropping and historical Grammy performance where he superimposed the name “Compton” to the map of Africa, demonstrating that Africa is no longer on the rise; rather, it is a continent living its dreams.
Kenya’s Ann Waiguru, who starred in the movie Affidavits has been nominated for the best actress in a motion picture and will battle it out with among others, Jennifer Lawrence who earned her nomination for her stellar performance in the movie ‘Joy.’ With Waiguru’s late entry however, Lawrence’s camp is stiff worried about the prospect of losing to a Kenyan, having experienced the same when she lost two years ago to Kenyan-Mexican Lupita Nyong’o. When reached for comment by mukurimax.com, Jennifer Lawrence did not pick our call but sent an email, noting that she welcomed Waiguru’s nomination. She added:
“Waiguru does a great job and I would be happy if she wins. Affidavits is one of those unique and well-articulated movies that resonate with society and reminds us the betrayals we all have to go through. I was impressed at how natural the Kenyan actress looked taking us through the world of those who plunder public resources. But on a lighter note I hope I can get to deal with huge sums of money as she does in the movie, and not have to be accountable! All of us would want that, true?”
This is the first time a Kenyan or an African for that matter has been nominated for best actress award. If Waiguru wins, she will be in a special category of only a few black females to have won the award, which includes Halle Berry.
The Kenya film industry has for sure come of age, given that the Academy shortlisted another Kenyan, Aden Duale for nomination in the best supporting actor category. Duale, who stars alongside Waiguru plays the role of a character who steals money from the public and when authorities close in, he famously retorts; “pesa sio ya mamako.”
Duale will face stiff competition from fans’ favorite Sylvester Stallone (movie Creed) and Tom Hardy (Revenant). If he wins, Duale will be the first African man to win an Oscar award
The Oscars will be held this coming Sunday starting at 5pm Pacific time.