Nigeria: Adichie’s Americanah Gets Mention in New Netflix Spanish Series

The critically acclaimed novel ‘Americanah’ from Nigerian author Chimamanda Adichie was referenced in a scene in the new Netflix Spanish Series ‘The Mess You Leave Behind’. The series is a suspenseful tale about a literature teacher Raquel (Inna Cheats) who came to a high school to replace another teacher Viruca (Bárbara Lennie), — who allegedly committed suicide — only to be entangled in the mysterious events surrounding the death of her predecessor.

In the fourth episode, Raquel who’s been under pressure by unknown persons blackmailing her suspects her unyielding students. But none of them admits to being behind the mysterious threatening texts. During a class, while returning the scripts of their tests, Raquel applauded Nerea (Isabel Garrido), one of her students and a feminism activist (and a possible suspect) for her answers.

She says: “Second question, ‘name any book and author you feel like’, Your answer: ‘Americanah, by Chimamanda’. You even spelled it correctly.”

In a subsequent scene, a tense Raquel refers Adichie in a meeting with teachers and students to mark the International Women’s Day, regarding her as “one of the most interesting voices in today’s feminism. She explains in very simple terms what’s it’s like to be a woman in a country like Nigeria… She’s the one that says you can wear high heels and be a feminist, right?”

She is briefly interrupted before continuing “You can’t pretend you are someone else to call for equality, right?”

In recent times, ‘Americanah’ has been on the spotlight. A TV adaptation featuring Lupita Nyong’o — who was in the country earlier in the year — was planned for HBO Max but for the pandemic that upended many things, the production was axed.

The ‘Mess You Leave Behind’ is created by Carlos Montero, the creative mind behind one of the successful Spanish series on Netflix ‘Elite’. It also stars Roberto Enriquez (Locked Up), Tamar Novas (High Seas) and Arón Piper (Elite).


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