Nomzamo Mbatha and Zakes Mda. Picture: Instagram
Nomzamo Mbatha and Zakes Mda. Picture: Instagram

Zakes Mda takes aim at Nomzamo Mbatha’s accent in 'Coming 2 America'

By Liam Karabo Joyce Time of article published Mar 9, 2021

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Award-winning author Zakes Mda has shared his thoughts on Nomzamo Mbatha’s accent in “Coming 2 America”.

Conversations about accents can often stir up emotions and when it comes to movies and performers having to put on an accent other than their own, things can get a little dicey.

Simply because the performed accent is dissected, such was the case with Nomzamo.

“Coming 2 America” trended worldwide this past weekend when it premiered.

The movie, a sequel to 1988's “Coming to America, was released on Amazon Prime.

Nomzamo plays the role of Mirembe, a young royal barber in the court of the fictional African kingdom of Zamunda.

While many social media users celebrated her for flying Mzansi’s flag high, her accent in the film quickly became a top of discussion.

Those who watched the movie asked why she did not speak in her usual South African accent and why she opted to sound East African.

Responding to a Twitter user who noted that Nomzamo “puts on an African accent” when she herself is African, Zakes said: “Oh, I agree completely about the accent!

“For some reason, the actress had to change her South African accent, which is African, into something else that she and her director imagined to be an “African accent” in keeping with the “African accents” of the African American actors”.

When a tweep said it was just an accent for an imaginary place, Zakes hit back. “Someone’s asking why I say it makes sense.

“I mean, I would go along with that explanation if this was an imaginary accent for an imaginary country.

“But it’s a generic accent that African Americans use when they play African characters whether they’re Ugandan, Nigerian or SAn (South Africans)”, he said.

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