Genevieve Nnaji
Genevieve Nnaji. Source: Instagram.

Some Nigerian celebrities have reacted to the disqualification of Genevieve Nnaji’s “Lionheart” by the Oscars as they try to look at the bright side of the situation.

Concise News reports that the celebrities, who took to their Twitter handles to express how unhappy they felt about the news, also stressed on the need to focus more on indigenous languages.

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According to them, just as the saying goes, ‘All publicity is good publicity’, adding that ‘Lionheart’ just had major publicity in spite of its disqualification from the 2020 Oscars.

@uchejombo said “Kai so English language may affect”. #LIVINGINBONDAGETHESEQUEL oscar chances next year 🤦🏾♀️ yes it’s THAT good…. go watch it on Friday, so we can all talk about it here….”

@iamDo2dtun said ‘’the fact that “Lionheart” is even a conversation, on that level. Mehn, I am proud of @GenevieveNnaji1’’.

Ebuka Obi-Uchendu @Ebuka “An interesting take…”

@ava said:”To @The Academy, You disqualified Nigeria’s first-ever submission for Best International Feature because its in English. But English is the official language of Nigeria. Are you barring this country from ever competing for an Oscar in its official language?”

@lalaakindoju said “Yupp! It was the only reason I was worried about the selection. I kept saying ‘Lion Heart’ is more of an English film, how will we compete with other films in other languages’?But then English is our ‘official language’. Not good that our first entry got disqualified sha”.

@_deyemi said “I can only imagine how many more views Lionheart will have on Netflix by the end of today! Anyhow you look at it this is a win! Stay winning @GenevieveNnaji1”.

@gabbylucciii said:’’Academy has been around before Nollywood. Let Nollywood follow the rules if they want to participate!! Else maintain your domain and not try to stretch!’’.

Meanwhile, conversations have continued to trend on Twitter, while some are wondering “why the disqualification” since Nigeria’s official language is English.

Some were of the opinion that this is a wake-up call for Nigeria to focus more on its indigenous languages.

Others said this was the time for the Academy to change its rules, allowing “foreign films,” and not just “foreign language films.”

The Academy dropped the Genevieve Nnaji directorial debut for having too much English dialogue.

This drop by the Oscars has reduced the number of films competing for the award to 92 from what had been a record of 93 entries.

The disqualification also drops the number of female directors in this year’s race to 28, which is still a category record.

The Academy announced the disqualification of ‘Lionheart’ to voters in the category in an email on Monday.