During his recent visit to South Africa, Terrence Howard talked about his role as Nelson Mandela and his ‘terrible Xhosa accent in the movie Winnie.
The movie which is three years old now received a lot of attention worldwide when it was first released.
In the film, a struggle icon known as Nelson Mandela (Terrence Howard) falls head over heels in love with a young beautiful black woman and political activist Winnie Madikizela-Mandela (Jennifer Hudson) as their paths cross during apartheid.
However the film also received a lot of negative attention as critics clearly referring to Xhosa say the two did not do the film any justice.
Howard discussed the issue during his South African tour as he was challenged in a press briefing for having a ‘terrible’ Xhosa accent.
“I never heard that my accent was terrible. Are you referring to when I was like ‘uqithe insuku..’, hey man I was trying. Now that I agree, it was… but that Nelson emoting. That was an attempt to emote,” he said.
The American star mentioned that he spoke to his co-star Hudson on how important it was to learn a bit of Xhosa in order to paint a truer, more believable roles in the movie.
“I talked to my co-star, I talked to Jennifer initially and I said when her and Nelson were alone, I’m sure they didn’t speak colonial English inside the household. I said so why don’t we learn Xhosa and communicate inside of the household. Anytime they are alone, let them talk in Xhosa and she wanted to but it was a lot more difficult, so the only scene that they would allow me to do that accent or to speak in the native tongue was that one scene right there,” he explained.
Howard is touring the country with co star in the movie Empire – Taraji P. Henson popularly known as Cookie Lyon.