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Actor Ejiofor reacts to criticism of Chichewa

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By Sam Banda Jnr:

RED CARPET—Ejiofor captured during the premiere in London

British born actor of Nigerian origin, Chiwetel Ejiofor, on Tuesday premiered The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind movie at Ham Yard Hotel in London, England.

The film was shot in Kasungu District and tells the story of the country’s innovator William Kamkwamba.

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According to www. justjared.com, Ejiofor flashed smiles on the red carpet during the premiere

The 41-year-old Oscar-nominated actor not only stars in the film, but The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind also marks his feature film directorial debut.

Joining him at the event was close pal Joel Edgerton. The two starred in the 2005 movie version of Kinky Boots.

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The film is about a 13-year-old boy (William) played by Kenyan actor, Maxwell Simba, who, inspired by a science book, builds a wind turbine to save his Wimbe Village in Kasungu District from famine.

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind will debut on Netflix on March 1 2019.

With Malawians eagerly waiting to watch the film, veteran filmmaker Shemu Joyah watched the film in Germany.

Joyah who returned from Germany Wednesday, has since described the film as good.

“It is a great film that captures a real life drama and builds tension even when you already know the ending, a sign of a well-made movie,” Joyah said.

Meanwhile, Ejiofor, has spoken to the BBC on the film as regards the criticism of Chichewa.

When the trailer for the film was released, Malawians were split on the issue of the Chichewa they heard as the cast included many foreign actors.

The actor, who plays William’s father in the film, said first of all the trailer represents a small amount of the film and that until one sees the whole movie, he reserves his judgement.

He said Malawians should bear in mind that he is trying to tell the story as authentically as possible.

“We are not all from Malawi with Chichewa accents and so we are not going to be perfect; that’s true. Hope people in Malawi, who speak Chichewa fluently, are able to still embrace the fact that we are trying to tell the William story to a wider audience,” Ejiofor said.

He added that a lot of people, who do not speak Chichewa, are being introduced to Chichewa and the space in this place for the first time.

On the cast which some Malawians also questioned, Ejiofor, said he cast people who would fit the roles very well.

“For me, it was in many instances more important to try and cast people who fit the roles very well and would be excited and engaged with learning Chichewa and trying to bring a bit of that authenticity to the part than just having people who could speak Chichewa very well but weren’t exactly right for the roles,” the actor said.

He, however, admitted this was a slight compromise.

I hope people can surpass that and still engage with the film fully for what it attempts to do and that is to tell William Kamkwamba’s story and bring the story to the global audience,” he said.

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