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A Nigerian grandmother has made headlines after she was featured on Beyonce’s ‘Black is King’ album.
Mojisola Odegbami, a resident of Abeokuta appeared in one of the tracks titled ‘Bigger’, portraying the character of an African queen while in “Mood 4 Eva”, she was dressed in African attire.
The album is based on the singer’s soundtrack album, “The Lion King: The Gift,” which was created for the 2019 remake of the original Disney film “The Lion King.”
According to the singer, the goal behind the album was to show clearly that “black is regal and rich in history, in purpose and in lineage”.
The 69-year-old spoke to CNN about how her journey into being featured came to fruition.
On how the journey began
She had gone to the United States in July 2019 on a medical trip where she met Folajomi “FJ” Akinmurele, a young actor.
“I was staying with my daughter’s friend, and this friend of hers has a 7-year-old son. The son, FJ, is the main character in “Black Is King,” Odegbami explained.
“Each time he needed to go for practice, I was the one who drove him there cause his mum would have gone to work. At that point, Beyoncé’s staff got to know me as grandma Moji,” she added.
Odegbami’s daughter’s friend took a leap and signed her up with the talent agency responsible for choosing characters for the album which led to her invitation as a cast.
After a two-hour drive to the set of “Black Is King,” in Los Angeles, she was ushered in by Beyoncé’s staff and given instructions on scenarios to act.
She was tested with fun parts to play like receiving a baby, holding it, and putting a mark on the baby’s forehead. “I was just having fun, you know. Everything was going on smoothly, playing those parts I was asked to,” she said.
Odegbami said everything happened fast shortly after as she was told she would be featuring in the album.
On meeting Beyonce
Odegbami said she couldn’t get photos with Beyonce as cameras and phones were not allowed on set.
She also was required to sign a nondisclosure agreement, preventing her from revealing details of the video shoot to the public until after the album was released.
In a scene in the “Mood 4 Eva” video featuring Jay Z, Childish Gambino, and Malian singer Oumou Sangaré, Odegbami was seated directly at Beyoncé’s back, dressed in a colorful pink dress with a cape.
She also wore dark shades, and purple gloves matching her extravagant gele.
And the “Better” video featured her dressed in all-white while walking behind Beyoncé and FJ.
On Representing Nigeria
Odegbami said meeting Beyoncé was a wonderful experience. Everyone on set, she said, was receptive and kind.
“I mean before that day I knew there was a singer called Beyoncé, but I had never seen her. My children are her fans.
It was an opportunity to showcase Nigerian culture through her appearance, she said.
“I give credit to my daughter’s friend who saw me fit to represent our culture.