Nigerian Artist, Tems Scores A 2023 Oscar Nomination
Popular Nigerian singer Temilade Openiyi, better known as Tems, has scored a nomination at the 2023 Oscars for “Lift Me Up,” a song she co-wrote with Rihanna, Ludwig Göransson, and Ryan Coogler.
“Lift Me Up,” which was recorded in five countries, served as the lead single for the Black Panther: Wakanda Forever soundtrack and was a tribute to Chadwick Boseman, who played King T’Challain the previous installment of the movie but passed away in 2020 after battling colon cancer.
While discussing the record in the past, Tems had mentioned that she drew inspiration for the song from people who were once in her life, but had passed away.
“After speaking with Ryan and hearing his direction for the film and the song, I wanted to write something that portrays a warm embrace from all the people that I’ve lost in my life. I tried to imagine what it would feel like if I could sing to them now and express how much I miss them,” Tems said. “Rihanna has been an inspiration to me, so hearing her convey this song is a great honor.”
Africa’s history with the Oscars has also been minimal over the years. While a handful of African films have won awards at the prestigious ceremony, there hasn’t been a strong presence from the motherland. So far, the only African to win an award for Best Actress was South Africa’s Charlize Theron for her role in the 2003 film Monster. Ten years later, Lupita Nyong’o scored a Best Actress in a Supporting Role award for her role in 12 Years a Slave.
This year there are no African films represented in the Best International Film category. And The Woman King, a movie about the all-female unit of warriors called Agojie, was completely snubbed.