Lupita Nyong’o Set To Explore The History Of An All-Women West African Army In New Film
By Kelsey Marie
Lupita Nyong’o has been a strong force in bringing the stories of black women to the forefront. She’s continuing to leave her mark in the film industry with her newest project, highlighting the real-life stories of African women warriors.
Deadline recently released news that Nyong’o will be involved in a documentary about an all-women army in West Africa.
The documentary, entitled Warrior Women with Lupita Nyong’o, will delve into the history of the Agoji army of 4,000 women. These women fought against Europeans and Africans between the 17th and 19th centuries in the Kingdom of Dahomey.
In order to fully explore the legacy of the army, Nyong’o will travel through Benin.
Bettany Hughes, Creative Director of SandStone Global (the company producing the documentary) says: “This was a unique opportunity to combine Lupita Nyong’o’s passion and forensic interest in the power and origin of stories with grassroots research in Benin. The Agoji women were recruited by their kings across three centuries and fought in high numbers in highly-trained battalions.”
Interestingly, the Agoji army is the inspiration behind the all-women army in the film Black Panther.
Hughes also says, “women have frequently been written out of history, and powerful women fetishized — this is a case in point. Lupita Nyong’o asks searching questions about power play in history and who tells whose story.”
In an interview with AnOther Magazine, Nyong’o talks about her passion for impacting people’s lives. When discussing her artistry, she says: “I’m not weighted by it all. I’m inspired by it. I know that every time such an opportunity comes my way, it is changing the narrative.”
She also says: “Every time someone shares their experience of how I might have affected them, I’m very happy for that, but I don’t do it for the symbolism. I think the thing that’s steering me forward is not to be a symbol, it’s to be active.”
Nyong’o has other projects in the works as well.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, the actress will star in Americanah, a 10-part HBO Max series based on the popular novel by Nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.
Warrior Women with Lupita Nyong’o will air on the UK network Channel 4.
Kelsey-Marie is an NYC girl who currently lives in Johannesburg, South Africa. You can keep up with her on Instagram at @kelseydashmarie