The Cast of Coming 2 America Is Very Happy to Be Here and Show Out on These Essence March/April Covers

March/April covers of Essence
March/April covers of Essence
Image: Paige Butcher, Alexis Hunley and Bella Murphy, Essence

Zamunda is all about opulence, so of course, the cast of Coming 2 America has some Essence covers to show off!


For the March/April editions of the magazine, one of the Blackest sequels ever has three different covers:

  1. Eddie Murphy and Bella Murphy
  2. KiKi Layne
  3. Eddie, Jermaine Fowler and Arsenio Hall

It’s been 33 years since the first Coming to America (1988) and let’s just say the stakes are high for the follow-up to such a beloved classic. Over three decades in the making, we are reunited with oldie-but-goodies such as Prince—now King—Akeem (Eddie) and Semmi (Arsenio) as well as introduced to new characters like Meeka (KiKi), Omma (Bella) and Lavelle (Jermaine).

“A lot of people have posted about Coming to America and said things like, ‘Please don’t mess with my movie’ or ‘I don’t want no sequel!’ We’ve been pitched all kinds of ideas, but I remember reading the script in Eddie’s backyard and it was all making sense. That’s when I knew that this was going to be the sequel…, Arsenio told Essence.

Coming to America is one of my films that has really worked its way into the culture,” Eddie acknowledged. “People get dressed up as the characters for Halloween, and they still walk around saying catchphrases like ‘Sexual Chocolate.’ So many people grew up with Coming to America and have a lot invested in it, so I didn’t want to taint that...Once the ideas started coming together, it took about four or five years to get the script all the way right. Once we got it right, I knew it was time...”


Speaking of timing, the family dynamics in Zamunda are a perfect opportunity for the real-life family—as is the case with Eddie and his daughter Bella, who co-star in the sequel. Bella portrays one of King Akeem’s and Queen Lisa’s (Shari Headley) daughters, Omma.

“Omma is super-smart, a little bit of a badass, and she’s super-cool. Being able to do my first film with my dad is really special…I’m over the moon, Bella said.


You can grab your favorite cover (or all 3!) from the March/April issue of Essence at your local newsstand on Feb. 23. Coming 2 America hits Amazon Prime Video on March 5.

Staff Writer, Entertainment at The Root. Sugar, spice & everything rice. Equipped with the uncanny ability to make a Disney reference and a double entendre in the same sentence.



And Shari Headly isn’t on a cover because...