NBA champion Giannis Antetokounmpo returned home and is taking us along for the journey in a new documentary.
Spotted on Variety, Milwaukee Bucks All-Star forward Giannis Antetokounmpo teamed up with WhatsApp and director Rick Famuyiwa (DOPE, The Mandalorian) for a new documentary, Ugo: A Homecoming Story, coming to YouTube in selection markets and Prime Video on Jan.16.
The doc is also WhatsApp’s latest documentary after Naija Odyssey. It is part of its There’s No One Like Us film series, which aims to inspire its 2 billion users to embrace their identities.
In the Famuyiwa-directed film, Antetokounmpo, alongside his mother, returns to his native land of Nigeria for the first time.
The doc’s title features Giannis’ Nigerian birth name “Ugo” and will be a “fly-on-the-wall account of Antetokounmpo’s inaugural visit to his homeland, where he is accompanied by his mother, who emigrated from Nigeria to Greece 35 years ago. Together, they delve into their family’s heritage and Nigerian traditions, strengthening Antetokounmpo’s connection to his culture,” Variety reports.
The Greek Freak, WhatsApp’s chief brand officer Vivian Odior, who is also Nigerian, and Famiyuwa spoke about the doc.
“Growing up in Greece, my Nigerian culture was something my mother made sure we carried with us, but I was never lucky enough to have a direct experience in my homeland,” Antetokounmpo said. “Thankfully WhatsApp helped me stay connected to my family and roots, allowing me to create my own unique version of heritage. To be able to travel back to where she was born, and build a new Nigerian family, has been one of my most rewarding experiences, and only made me more proud of the many cultures that make me who I am. I’m proud to share this journey which I hope many around the world can connect to, showing us that we all have a different meaning of ‘home,’ even when we’re far away from it.”
“Witnessing Giannis, with his mother no less, on his first journey, to connect with his homeland – Nigeria – in such a deeply personal manner evokes emotions shared by many of our billions of users on a daily basis,” Vivian Odior, chief brand officer at WhatsApp. “It’s a powerful reminder that the quest for identity and roots resonates universally, fostering a connection that transcends boundaries.”
“The first steps you take in your homeland are absolutely unforgettable,” Famuyiwa said. “They’re life-changing. It was an honor to work with WhatsApp to capture that moment for Giannis and to share a story that not only I can relate to, but so many people across the world can see themselves in, too.”
Antetokounmpo Is Busy
Ugo: A Homecoming Story is not the only doc starring Giannis Antetokoumnpo.
Giannis: The Marvelous Journey “chronicles the extraordinary odyssey of NBA mega-star Giannis Antetokounmpo from an impoverished childhood in Greece as the son of Nigerian immigrants to the very top of the basketball world,” a press release reads.
Giannis: The Marvelous Journey also arrives on Prime Video on Feb.19. There was also the Disney+ biopic, Rise, which told the story of Giannis Antetokounmpo’s family’s story and is still available on the streamer.
Antetokounmpo’s story is incredible, and he is ensuring we all know about it.
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