Zakes Mda weighs in on Nomzamo Mbatha's 'fake African accent' for 'Coming 2 America'

09 March 2021 - 11:00 By kyle zeeman
Nomzamo Mbatha's accent in the film has come under scrutiny.
Nomzamo Mbatha's accent in the film has come under scrutiny.
Image: Nomzamo Mbatha/ Instagram

Author Zakes Mda has shared his thoughts on Nomzamo Mbatha apparently “putting on a fake” African accent for her role in the film Coming 2 America.

The movie, a sequel to 1988's Coming to America, was released on Amazon Prime over the weekend. Nomzamo plays the role of Mirembe, a young royal barber in the court of the fictional African kingdom of Zamunda.

While many celebrated her for flying the country's flag, her accent in the film quickly came under scrutiny, with some asking why she hadn't just used her regular accent.

Weighing in on the debate, Zakes said for some reason Nomzamo had to change her accent to fit in.

“Oh I agree completely about the accent! For some reason the actress had to change her SA accent, which is African, into something else that she and her director imagined to be an 'African accent' in keeping with the 'African accents' of the African American actors,” he explained.

When Zakes was told it might have something to do with Zamunda not being a real nation and so its accent is undefined, he agreed but slammed the “generic accent that African Americans use when they play African characters”.

“I mean I would go along with that explanation if this was an imaginary accent for an imaginary country. But it's a generic accent that African Americans use when they play African characters whether they're Ugandan, Nigerian or South African.”

Speaking about using an African accent in the film, Eddie Murphy said Nomzamo had taught him just how horrible his attempt was.

“She's a wonderful actress. Beautiful. We had a great time working together. She made me realise how s**tty my African accent is; I thought it was good but she came with a real one and I realised that mine is horrible,” he said in an interview last month.


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