Nollywood actors and the fake accent struggle

November 5th 2015, 2:38:11 pm

The only thing worse than a badly scripted Nollywood movie is an actor adopting a horrible and confused fake foreign accent.

Ever tried watching a movie, and then you discover that you can’t go further than 20 minutes, because you can’t understand one word that’s being said?

The only thing worse than a badly scripted movie in Nollywood is actors adopting horrible and confused fake foreign accents.

The habit of faking accents has been quite an issue in Nollywood, and Nigeria as a whole. It distracts viewers from an interesting  movie, and makes an already boring movie worse.

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Well, we all know that one actor who has never left Lagos, or who only leaves the country for shopping, but has an annoying and confused accent, which can’t be placed.

I must admit that some actors do a good job at faking it. They fake a British or American accent effortlessly that you would think they just got into Nigeria to “pursue their childhood dream”, acting.

I’m not focusing on people with genuine or perfected accents. I’m addressing those with obviously fake accents, which makes it difficult for viewers like me to enjoy a movie.

It’s so annoying when someone with a thick Nigerian accent, tries to form a foreign accent. It’s worse when they can’t act, and then the story is as fake as their accent - that moment when an actor tries to sound British or American, but fails woefully, because everyone can hear the thick Nigerian accent in your voice.

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The annoying part or trait I have observed with these actors is the twisting of their tongues and mouth while at the accent thing. I guess it comes with struggling to be British or American.

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At that point, I become so confused, and I try to figure out which is distracting me – the tongue or the confused accent.

I love listening and watching Genevieve Nnaji, Funke Akindele, OC Ukeje, Queen Nwokoye, Richard Mofe Damijo, Adesua Etomi, Kate Henshaw among others on screen.

Their words are easy on the ears, and they make  no effort to form an accent, which I'm sure they could pull off effortlessly if they tried.

The fake accent syndrome is not only found in ‘Asaba movies’ or amongst ‘Old Nollywood actors.’ As a matter of fact, it exists more amongst the ‘New Nollywood actors.’

I remember speaking with an actor who supposedly belongs to the ‘new’ industry, and then he pronounced ‘Theatre’ as ‘Thea-a,” and I kept thinking “what does that even mean.”

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I struggled to understand him all through our conversation, and I finally got him off the list of actors I would ever watch on screen, even if the movie featured my favorites.

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As an actor, the moment you try too hard to hide your natural accent, you leave viewers irritated with the weird, fake and phony accent.

If you can flawlessly fake an accent, fine. If not, please save us the torture of watching you for hours.

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An actor’s job in a movie is to communicate with the viewers. If I can’t understand what you are saying, because of your yeye accent, then why should I bother seeing your movie ?

Dear actors, leave the foreign accents to actors who genuinely have them, and those who have perfected theirs, and get on with your own proper accents.

Watch this Pulse interview with Bolanle Ninalowo below;

chibumga izuzu


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