Danai Gurira explains why she’s uniquely qualified to adapt Chimamanda Adichie’s Americanah

To most fans of Nigerian writer and feminism espouser Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, it’s no longer news that her fourth novel, Americanah, is set to hit the small screen.

But details of who and who are involved in the project is not yet well known. We do know, however, that the mini-series is starring and is to be executive produced by Oscar-winning actress, Lupita Nyong’o.

Newly released information intimates us that Lupita’s Black Panther co-actress Zimbabwe’s Danai Gurira will be at the head writer for the tv series, Net-A-Porter reports.


The Tony-nominated actress tells the outlet that she, Adichie and Nyong’o had taken a trip to Nigeria to prep for the project. She also opens up on why she believes she’s uniquely qualified to head the team of writers.


Funnily, me and Chimamanda have these interesting parallels. We were both raised by academics, either near or on an African university campus,” she says drawing attention to the similarities between herself and Chimamanda.

She continues: “We saw our countries go through various things when we were growing up. And we came back to America for school. Lupita, too.”

Interestingly, Danai not only shares parallels with the book’s creator, but she also does with the book’s protagonist. Just like Ifemelu, while Gurira was still a young woman — alternating between Zimbabwe and America — she found herself struggling with her identity.

She says: “When I moved to Africa as a girl, I thought I was American. Then when I came back, I realized how African I was. I am definitely a strong meshing of both worlds.

These experiences, no doubt would come in handy in the screenwriter’s development of Ifemelu’s character and disposition.

To read more about Danai conversation with Net-A-Porter including her upbringing and her experience on first going to the United States, visit the Net-A-Porter website.

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