I want to tell the African story, says American Gods star Yetide Badaki

10 April 2017 - 09:00 By Kyle Zeeman
Yetide Badaki stars in American God
Yetide Badaki stars in American God
Image: Via Instagram

Nigerian-born actress Yetide Badaki is looking forward to reintroducing audiences around the world to the beauty of African storytelling, through her role on a new Amazon Prime Video series called American Gods.

Yetide plays the role of African Queen and lost Goddess Bilquis in the series, which debuts in South Africa next month.

The character is an adaption of the iconic Ethiopian Queen of Sheba and will see Yetide tell "uniquely African stories" to a global audience.

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Yetide told TshisaLIVE that she was a big fan of the books on which the series are based and could not wait to add her own unique experiences to the character.

"Africa is a part of me. I grew up in Nigeria. I can still remember its sights and sounds, the smell of the places I visited and the people which made such an impact on my life. Africa is alive within me, it is in my skin, and I hope to share it with audiences through my new role. For me, it is like coming home to Africa," Yetide said.

She added that Africa's culture of storytelling made a deep impact on her life and shaped the way she acted.

"It's not the stereotypical sitting around the fire and talking about stories. For me, the culture showed itself in everyday experiences. I sat down the other day and realised that often the movies I thought I had seen, I had actually not and my cousins had just told me about it," she said.

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Yetide's storyline will also bring up several issues about race and immigration. As a recent immigrant to America, Yetide said that a message of tolerance and unity in the face of these issues was needed.

"One thing I have learnt about this role is that we need tolerance. We need to understand that we are different but we are also the same, that the things which unite us are greater than those things which divide us," Yetide said.

American Gods will premiere on Amazon Prime Video on May 1.