Lupita Nyong’o will be delving into the story of the Agoji, an all-female army with up to 4,000 members, who Europeans called Amazons.
The women fought African and European opposition between the 17th and 19th centuries in the West African kingdom of Dahomey, which is now known as Benin.
According to Deadline, Nyong’o will star in a documentary for British broadcaster Channel 4 and travel to Benin to lean more about the Agoji and reveal more of their story, which has been obscured throughout history.
The Agoji are said to be the inspiration for the all-female army in “Black Panther” as well.
The documentary comes amid reports that Nyong’o will also be starring in a film about the Agoji called “The Woman King” with Viola Davis.
Davis will play the part of Nanisca, the army general, while Nyong’o will play her daughter Nawi. And the film will capture their battles against those who enslaved their people and tried to ruin their way of life, as Deadline describes.
As for the documentary, which is called “Warrior Women with Lupita Nyong’o,” Channel 4’s commissioning editor Shaminder Nahal spoke about the importance of the Agoji’s story being told.
“Lupita Nyong’o’s investigation into the real story of the all-female army is thrilling, haunting and emotional,” said Nahal. “It’s amazing the true story of these kick-ass female fighters isn’t more widely known.”
Bettany Hughes, creative director for SandStone Global Productions, who’s producing the doc, also issued a statement.
“This was a unique opportunity to combine Lupita Nyong’o’s passion and forensic interest in the power and origin of stories with grassroots research in Benin,” Hughes stated. “The Agojie women were recruited by their kings across three centuries and fought in huge numbers in highly-trained battalions.”
“Women have frequently been written out of history, and powerful women fetishized – this is a case in point,” she added. “Lupita Nyong’o asks searing questions about power play in history and who tells whose story.”