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Nigerian Pidgin English approved as a foreign language at the Oscars

In 2019, Nigeria’s first-ever entry for the International feature film award at the Oscars, Lionheart, was disqualified for being predominantly in English. 

Lionheart was Nollywood actress, Genevieve Nnaji’s directorial debut and was disqualified based on the rule that: “An international feature film is defined as a feature-length motion picture produced outside the United States of America with a predominantly non-English dialogue track.”

The disqualification led to widespread criticism with some saying that English is Nigeria’s official language and it should be recognized as such.

Well, things have definitely gotten a facelift as Premium Times is reporting that Nigeria’s Official Selection Committee (NOSC) for the Academy Awards has announced that Pidgin English has been approved as an official language for the Oscars.

According to Premium Times, “the request for approval began in December 2019, after which Chineze Anyaene-Abonyi visited the Academy’s office in Los Angeles in February 2020 where she met with representatives of the International Feature Film (IFF) Executives”.

She added that NOSC might consider reopening the portal for resubmission in order to allow five other Pidgin-English filmmakers to submit their films.

Simbiat studied Computer Science at the University of Lagos. She enjoys doing research and spends most of her time reading. She can be contacted at simbiat@sidomexuniversal.com.



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