Giannis Antetokounmpo in WhatsApp’s first feature film

WhatsApp is known to be a popular messaging app, but they are adding something new – their very first short. The 12-minute film titled ‘Naija Odyssey’, stars NBA star Giannis Antetokounmpo, and will be released this week. According to the official description, Giannis “tells his origin story of many origins as he reconciles his roots, his birthplace and his sense of belonging between cross-cultural worlds.” The Milwaukee Bucks star, 2021 NBA champion and Finals MVP, born in Greece to Nigerian parents, shares the story with his mother, Veronica.

The story is loosely based on the famous Greek poem “The Odyssey”. In the past, WhatsApp has been accused of spreading misinformation, particularly during the election process and the pandemic, and this short film will help counter that position. The content is part of the endorsement deal Giannis signed with the app in February.

Giannis Antetokounmpo – Instagram

“‘Naija Odyssey’ is a story that reinforces how WhatsApp helps us embrace our multi-faceted lives,” said Vivian Odior, WhatsApp’s global head of marketing, according to Forbes. “In navigating relationships, identity and even adversity, WhatsApp is there – allowing you to embrace all sides of you by connecting with those who matter most.”

Antetokounmpo brothers
Giannis Antetokounmpo – Instagram

Giannis helped promote the premiere on Instagram

Giannis is known for his fun attitude, silly dad jokes, and as someone who seems to really enjoy life. He often shares his life on Instagram and recently posted about the WhatsApp movie premiere. In the clip, Giannis is dancing and having a good time. The Bucks commented: “Dancing king🕺.” Other comments included “You’re probably one of the happiest people I’ve seen!”, “Man I love Giannis”, “I love your spirit 😃”, plus tons of emojis of heart and flame.

The Antetokounmpo family told their story in the movie “Rise”

The Antetokounmpo family is not new to talking about their journey. Earlier this year, Disney+ released the original movie “Rise” based on the true story of three young Nigerian-Green brothers, Giannis, Thanasis and Kostas, who came to the United States and rose to fame in NBA. The film shows the struggles the family endured to get to where they are today.

The official description of the film on Disney+ begins: “Audiences have never seen a story like that of the Antetokounmpos. After migrating from Nigeria to Greece, Charles and Vera Antetokounmpo (Dayo Okeniyi and Yetide Badaki, respectively) struggled to survive and support their five children, while living under the daily threat of deportation. With their eldest son still in Nigeria with relatives, the couple desperately sought Greek citizenship but found themselves undermined by a system that blocked them at every turn. When they weren’t selling items to tourists on the streets of Athens with the rest of the family, the brothers – Giannis (Uche Agada) and Thanasis (Ral Agada) – played basketball with a local youth team.


Rise | Official trailer | Disney+

Giannis often shares his father’s jokes

Giannis recently posted one of his famous dad jokes on Instagram to help promote the WhatsApp premiere. He captioned his video: “Been keeping this joke in mind for a while 😂😂 My new movie with @WhatsApp Naija Odyssey is out tomorrow. #WhatsAppPartner.

Viewers of his music video commented on their excitement for the new short as well as another one of his dad jokes. “Protect Giannis at all costs 😂”, “How can you not love man giannis”, “Why did this make me laugh 😂”, and many more filled in the comments section.

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