The African Studies Center (ASC) and the Department of Afroamerican and African Studies (DAAS) welcome Omowunmi Dada to campus as the 2023 Global Artist in Residence. The Nigerian-born, award-winning Nollywood actress, presenter, and model has been gracing the screens and stages for nearly ten years. She is most well known for her roles as “Folake” in the popular M-Net television series Jemeji and “Linda” in the Netflix Original Film Òlòtūré. Dada was also in the film Eleshin Oba, an adaptation of Nobel Laureate Professor Wole Soyinka’s Death and the King’s Horseman, which was nominated for a top award at the 2023 Toronto Film Festival, where Dada was invited as a special guest.
I'm honored to be the Global Artist in Residence, representing Nollywood, one of Africa's most vibrant film industries. Through this unique opportunity, I am excited to engage with faculty, staff, and students at the University of Michigan, sharing the rich tapestry of African culture and the incredible journey of the Nigerian movie industry, of which I am proud to be a part. Together, we will explore the captivating stories, diverse traditions, and the creative spirit that defines Africa, fostering a deeper understanding and appreciation of Africa and Africans in ways that promote the culture of collaboration between the United States and the continent of Africa, says Dada.
While Dada is a very well-established television and movie personality in Nigeria and Africa, she has also become a global ambassador for the growing movie industry in her home country, Nigeria, with her appearance in many Box Office movies, Netflix, and Amazon Prime productions. Besides acting in films and gracing the front pages of newspapers and magazines, she spends time volunteering for several good causes, such as serving as an Ambassador for Daivyan Children’s Cancer Foundation and the Brian Wotari Foundation. These non-profits align with her values of supporting children living with cancer—engaging and empowering the youth for a greater future.
Dada’s inspiring connection with youth engagement aligns perfectly well with the Global Artist in Residence program established through a Title VI grant from the U.S. Department of Education and administered by ASC and in collaboration with DAAS. While on campus, Dada will work with DAAS language instructors in developing audio-visual materials for teaching African languages as well as engaging with the broader University of Michigan (U-M) campus community. In addition, she will engage with elementary, middle, and high school students and teachers in Southeast Michigan. She will also present about Nollywood and African filmmaking at events organized in partnership with various U-M schools and departments and local organizations.
ASC Director Omolade Adunbi comments: We are delighted to have Omowunmi Dada as our Global Artist in Residence this year. Ms. Dada is a phenomenal actor whose presence in the movie industry in Nigeria and Africa has helped introduce a new flair to how we understand Nollywood and filmmaking on the continent. Visiting our classrooms to share her wealth of experience with our students will further make Africa and the rich tradition of the continent and the burgeoning film industry in Nigeria more visible on our campus.
Omowunmi Dada obtained a Bachelor of Science (BSc Hons) in Creative Arts from the University of Lagos. When not at a movie set, she enjoys singing and dancing.
The world-acclaimed film Ayinla, where she played a leading role, will be screened to U-M students and Southeast Michigan audiences at the State Theatre on November 9th at 5:30 PM. Additional film screenings will be arranged at a later date. If you would like to invite Omowunmi Dada to speak or present at your events or classrooms, please coordinate with ASC and send a message to email@example.com.
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