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So, I received an early Christmas Present from the missus, and it was the DVD box set of ‘The Bourne Trilogy’. (A very good collection of movies, may I add!)

Anyway, I started watching the ‘Bourne Identity‘, and there was a character of a stereotypical African dictator called ‘Wombosi‘.  All of a sudden, I begin to hear Yoruba.  Hold up, now! I played back the dvd and as clear as day, the Yoruba language was being used as the supposed dialect of said fictional country.   Well, that’s interesting, considering I’m a Yoruba boy and I find it hilarious/serious when I hear the language via the big screen.  Of course, let’s forget the fact that they (Hollywood) got the subtitling spectacularly wrong, but then again,  the dialogue may have gotten lost in translation.

I’ve realised that whenever Hollywood needs a generic West African/sub-continental language, they look no further than the Yoruba language.  I checked some film archives and the following movies had some Yoruba including The Exorcist II: The Heretic (1977) and Sugar Hill (1994).  So, I’m on a hunt to find any other movie that’s been made with Yoruba in it. If you know of any, please give me a shout.

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6 thoughts on “Yoruba in Hollywood (Not Nollywood!!)

  1. Hahahahah …
    Wombosi: “Shebi Mo ti so fun e tele, Ori e o pe!”
    Back in school we knew exactly how many minutes into the movie those words were spoken, and we could rewind the VCD to the exact spot in minutes. Interestingly for a movie that’s trying to portray a Yoruba dictator, why name the guy Wombosi? Why not a yoruba name?

  2. Omo the same thing happened to me. I had to rewind the film like 3x, it sounded the way a chinese made robot will speak yoruba.

    I suppose the reason for choosing yoruba language is the heritage, odudua, benin linkage blah de blah. That is my theory sha.

  3. The Yoruba in the first Bourne movie sounded horrible to my ears. Anyway, Law & Order SVU just aired an episode that featured Nigerian characters. I TIVO’d it and will let you know if they spoke Yoruba or Igbo. I know for a fact the characters were not Hausa…

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