The Giannis Antetokounmpo documentary covers the NBA MVP’s Nigerian heritage
The new Giannis Antetokounmpo documentary UGO A Homecoming Story was made in collaboration with WhatsApp and is centered around the NBA Champion and two-time MVP. Together with his mother, who moved to Greece about forty years ago from Nigeria, Giannis took his first trip to Nigeria. Over the course of the 31-minute doc, Giannis delves deeply and passionately into his Nigerian origins and family history.
“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,” said Giannis “To be able to travel back to where she was born, and build a new Nigerian family, has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life 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.”
Directed by Rick Famuyiwa, who has previously worked on Dope and The Mandalorian and is a son of Nigerian immigrants, the Giannis Antetokounmpo documentary shows the superstar meeting up with locals and his family, all while connecting with his culture and those who have helped him grow into the person he has become today.
“It was a great and humbling experience for me,” Giannis added. “I had the opportunity to go to a couple places and interact with the people, and talk to kids. I was like, yeah, now I know why I operate the way I operate. Now I know who I am, the way I am, because I’m just like one of them.”
The Giannis Antetokounmpo documentary UGO A Homecoming Story captures these kinds of moments so well, from Giannis’ admiration of young Lagosians surfing to dressing up in an outfit that honors his late father’s Yoruba tribal heritage and mother’s Igbo heritage. Thirty-five years have passed since Antetokounmpo’s parents left Nigeria to move to Athens, Greece, where the NBA player was raised. In 2017, Giannis’ father Charles Antetokounmpo unfortunately passed away from a heart attack.