The disqualification of Nigeria’s ‘Lionheart’ in the race for Oscar’s Best International Feature Film category, has sparked furious reactions from social media users.
The movie made by actress-turned-director Genevieve Nnaji, was disqualified by The Academy for being mostly in English.
Lion Heart which is not excluded from entering other Oscar categories including consideration for best picture
The film has just under 12 minutes of dialogue that is in Igbo language, while the remaining 94-minutes is in English.
Nigerians on social media are criticising the Academy over the disqualification, as others question the need for International English Language Testing System (IELTS) if foreign nations can be complaining about the use of ‘too much English’ in a movie by a country whose native language is English.
IELTS is synonymous to TOEFL which also tests the English speaking skill of non-native speakers seeking to study in English-speaking universities.
In a series of reactions, some furious Nigerians described the disqualification of ‘Lionheart’ as another form of racism and modern day colonialism.
@Brainboxonyeka made a call for the scrapping of TOEFL and IELTS for Nigerians who wish to study abroad.
The official language of Nigeria is English. Conversations around Lionheart should also feature the need to scrap IELTS for Nigerians wanting to study abroad.
— Brainboxonyeka (@brainboxonyeka) November 5, 2019
A Twitter user wrote:
Oscar has a rule for a foreign film to not be predominantly English, It also says the movie should be in the indigenous language
which begs to wonder if after colonialism and English our official language why was Lion heart disqualified?
Colonialism is a bitch
IELTS is a bitch
— The Igbo Wolf (@TheIgboWolf) November 5, 2019
Reacting to the disqualifice
Now after this lion heart saga, let’s talk about how we get to write TOFEL and IELTS when our official language is English.
From out kindergarten to tertiary, we are taught in English language, so who is fooling who. 😂😂
Can we adopt PIDGIN LANGUAGE in peace?
— Daada❤️ (@max10kstore) November 5, 2019
Another user questioned what Nigerian leaders discuss when they get to Commonwealth, an organisation of nations colonised by the British.
The painful part of IELTS is having to write it again just after two years,there’s an expiring date to your knowledge of English language.
I don’t know what Nigerian leaders go and discuss at commonwealth self😡 https://t.co/RtRRdrtNq4
— The SEED (@DicotyleDON09) November 5, 2019
See other reactions:
Lionheart was disqualified because the category in which it was submitted/nominated is a non-English dialogue films category and Lionheart is mostly in English.
Official language in 9ja is English then official language for the category is non-English abi?
So why yall moaning?
— Pastor Clinton😇 (@Pastor_CVB) November 5, 2019
The disqualification of the film lionheart was valid.
Always educate yourself on subjects before being in your feelings and getting all sentimental .
That category is majorly non-English dislogue films!
Has nothing to do with witch-hunt.
— Andy (@andeeblayz) November 5, 2019
LionHeart’s disqualification from the Oscars is a very disgraceful one. And the reason they gave is a shallow one. “A Nigerian movie shouldn’t have so much English in it” but our official language in Nigeria is English language. What exactly does that mean?? BS!
— Mazi Olisaemeka C. ™ (@OlisaOsega) November 5, 2019