Part 3: The 30 Most Notable Africans of 2013
03 Feb 2014
What: It seems that Nigerian actors have gone beyond Nollywood and are now taking over Hollywood: David Oyelewo is right in the middle of the takeover. Born in England to Nigerian Parents, Oyelewo wasted no time in making a name for himself as an actor. In 2001, he was the first Black actor to play an English king in a major production of Shakespeare as part of the Royal Shakespeare Company. With a seemingly endless list of successful movies under his belt including: Lincoln (2012), Red Tails (2012), The Help (2011), it’s noteworthy that many of his roles center around African Americans and the fight for equal rights. His most recent role as Oprah Winfrey and Forrest Whittaker’s on-screen son in the critically acclaimed The Butler, was in one word: powerful.
Why I’m Inspired: For those who took note that 2013 was a milestone year in the American Civil Rights Movement—it was both the 150th Anniversary of the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation which freed enslaved Blacks in the U.S., as well as the 50th Anniversary of the historic March on Washington led by Dr. Martin Luther King—Oyelowo’s role is as a Black Panther in The Butler is even more laudable. This talented craftsman has mastered the art of transforming historical events into experiences that individuals from every creed, color and background can “feel.”