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Coming 2 America ‘a lesson for young African women’

Coming 2 America ‘a lesson for young African women’
Eddie Murphy stars alongside Shari Headley in Coming 2 America. (Amazon Studios)

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Washington – The 2020s should be the decade of success for African women, according to a South African actress starring in the sequel to one of the most successful films ever with a black cast.

Nomzamo Mbatha appears alongside Eddie Murphy in Coming 2 America, the follow-up to 1988’s Coming to America, which made $288m (£207m) at the box office.

Murphy played the African prince Akeem from the mythical land of Zamunda, who finds an ordinary American bride in New York City.

The actor called it “the first black fairytale”, adding: “It was also the very first time you had a movie with black people where you had kings and queens.”

The sequel reunites Murphy with many of the original actors, including James Earl Jones and Arsenio Hall, as well as a new cast that includes Blade’s Wesley Snipes, If Beale Street Could Talk’s Kiki Layne, Saturday Night Live’s Leslie Jones, Mbatha as a courtier and Jermaine Fowler, who plays King Akeem’s son.

Mbatha, an actress and producer, says she hopes the plot will particularly appeal to African women, as it’s based around changing Zamunda’s ancient laws, so a woman can rule.

“When I found out that I was going to be in the film, it was literally ‘coming to America’ for a girl like myself, coming all the way from South Africa,” Mbatha says. “I don’t come from a wealthy background myself, but I’ve been able to break the mould and I am a representative of that.”

She added that the film “speaks of what I want young girls from the African continent to feel – that they’re not invisible and they’re not too far, their dream is tangible – we need to open those doors for African girls and women”. (BBC)