‘Naija Odyssey,’ a short WhatsApp film about Nigerian basketballer, Giannis Antetokounmpo

WhatsApp owned by the tech company Meta, is breaking into the motion picture business, debuting its first original film titled “Naija Odyssey.”

The short film tells the story of NBA player Giannis Sina Ugo Antetokounmpo, a Greek-Nigerian who was born in Athens, Greece, but whose parents are from Nigeria.

Antetokounmpo recently signed an endorsement deal with WhatsApp, in the first ambassadorial deal of its kind for the social media platform.

Naija Odyssey is a calculated strategy to dually advertise the company and demonstrate its mission of bringing people together around the globe.

Giannis appears in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and other locations in trailers and excerpts posted on both Giannis and WhatsApp’s Instagram profiles.

Naija Odyssey official trailer / ©WhatsApp

The “Naija Odyssey” story emphasises how WhatsApp enables us to accept our complex lives, according to Vivian Odior, global head of marketing for WhatsApp. The movie conveys the basketballer’s duple nature of belonging to two separate locations – Nigeria and Greece.

Due to his size, power, speed, and skill with the ball, he goes by the nickname “Greek Freak,” ranking among the NBA’s most dominant players and among the top all-around athletes.

He was born and raised in Athens to immigrants from Nigeria, starting off his professional basketball career in 2011 with the Filathlitikos youth teams in Athens.

With consecutive NBA Most Valuable Player Awards in 2019 and 2020, Antetokounmpo is one of basketball’s most decorated players, becoming the third player in NBA history—along with LeBron James and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar—to win two MVPs before turning 26.

He also became the third player, after Michael Jordan (1988) and Hakeem Olajuwon (1994), to win both accolades in the same season, along with his MVP honours, in 2020.

READ ALSO: Nigeria: A Recap of Africa’s First Floating Basketball Court

Antetokounmpo won the MVP award for the NBA Finals in 2021 and led the Bucks to their first championship since 1971.

He was named to the NBA 75th Anniversary Team in the same year, which recognised him as one of the greatest players in league history.

Source: News Agencies

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