SPOILER ALERT: This article contains spoilers for the film ‘Coming 2 America’.
SA actress Nomzamo Mbatha is riding high after landing her dream role in Coming 2 America, the highly-anticipated sequel to the 1988 Eddie Murphy cult classic, Coming to America.
“[It’s] so awesome to see sooooo many people join Amazon Prime Video to show love to #Coming2America in SA,” enthused Mbatha on Instagram, adding that it was the number one movie on the online streaming platform in the US.
To celebrate the film’s success, and perhaps entice more of her local fans to sign up to Amazon Prime Video and watch it, she also revealed that her part in Coming 2 America was bigger than some may have originally thought.
The movie sees Murphy reprise his iconic role as King Akeem Joffer, of the fictional African kingdom of Zamunda. In need of an heir, he jets off to New York to bring his long-lost son home, where the newly minted prince befriends Mbatha’s character, Mirembe, the royal barber.
But, says Mbatha, “Secret’s out … She’s not just the royal barber … she marries the Prince!”.
The actress shared some snaps of her cinematic wedding day on social media and revealed that her striking African-print bridal gown, which was created by LaVie designer Claude Kameni, tipped the scales at a whopping 37.6kg — “[that’s] more than half my weight!”, she exclaimed.
She added that the ruffled train was so enormous that someone had to hide underneath it to “literally wheel [her] down the aisle”.
Mbatha also complimented the movie’s Oscar-winning costume designer, American Ruth E Carter, calling her a “visionary”.
Carter told the Sunday Times that representing Africa sartorially on screen was a responsibility she took “very seriously”.
“I didn’t want to let people continue to perpetuate notions that are 100 years old about how people live in Africa. I wanted to show how creative they are and how royalty is represented,” she explained.
Carter added that when she borrows a garment from another culture, she wants to know all about it: “If I change it for some particular reason or add it to another costume that it wouldn’t usually be combined with, I know what the representation of that piece of clothing means and why it’s worn. That helps me decide where each piece should go.”
Mbatha was apparently very helpful in this regard, says SA designer Laduma Ngxokolo, of MaXhosa Africa, whose clothes feature in the film.
Ngxokolo told TimesLIVE that Mbatha schooled the cast of Coming 2 America about the heritage behind his signature prints, which are inspired by traditional Xhosa beadwork patterns.
“[Mbatha] became the greatest ambassador for our brand while they were shooting the film in LA and Atlanta,” he added.