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Cynthia Erivo to produce and star in film about the African Princess, Omoba Aina (Sarah Forbes Bonetta)

Sarah Forbes Bonetta
by Camille Silvy, albumen print, 15 September 1862

Another one of Broadway’s most prominent stars is hitting the big screen! Cynthia Erivo (The Color Purple, “Harriet”) is set to produce and star in the true tale of an African princess “gifted” to Queen Victoria.

Photo: John Russo

Omoba Aina was an Egbado princess of the Yoruba people that became orphaned after a war with a nearby kingdom. After being liberated from the slavery of her captors she met Queen Victoria. The queen then raised the young princess as her goddaughter.

Benedict Cumberbatch (“Sherlock”, “Doctor Strange”) will be joining Erivo in Producing this film and the untitled production will tell a story that not too many people are familiar with and give us a deep look into the story of a real Black princess. Cynthia has had her share of executing roles of monumental black figures, most notable being the role of Harriet Tubman. Along with getting that role came some issues that called out her alleged lack of compassion and understanding of the history and oppression of Black Americans. So her taking on yet another role of a historic black woman, that struggled with her own form of oppression is something that would understandably catch a side eye. However, I’m open to see Ms. Erivo grace us with her talent and beautiful execution that she brings to every role she plays. Interestingly enough, she does share more similarities with Omoba than she did with Harriet Tubman and I am excited to have a true story told about an educated Black princess and her journey as young royalty.

Written By

Drew Shade is a theatre artist and enthusiast who fosters artistic diversity and excellence for the love of Black theatre artists. He is the Founder/Creative Director of Broadway Black, Off-Book Podcast & The Antonyo Awards. “Have a belief in yourself that is bigger than anyone’s disbelief.” – August Wilson

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