"It's been the year of Wakanda," David Oyelowo told PEOPLE on the Oscars red carpet

By Helen Murphy
February 24, 2019 09:05 PM

David Oyelowo is celebrating Black Panther — and his Nigerian heritage — on the Academy Awards red carpet.

Oyelowo, 42, sported a dark green tux, designed by ETRO, for the 91st Oscars ceremony on Sunday.

“As we know, it’s been the year of Wakanda,” Oyelowo told PeopleTV during the Red Carpet Live special of the tux, referencing the fictional nation in Black Panther. “But I felt it was time to celebrate a real African country, so I’m in the Nigerian colors tonight.”

Black Panther is nominated for Best Picture at Sunday’s awards ceremony.

Be sure to check out PEOPLE’s full Oscars coverage to get the latest news on film’s biggest night.

91st Annual Academy Awards - Arrivals
Jessica Oyelowo and David Oyelowo
| Credit: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

RELATED VIDEO: The Class of 2019! Academy Award Nominees Pose for an Official Group Photo Ahead of the Oscars

Oyelowo also shared his thoughts on the diversity in this year’s nominees.

“I think the Academy has done a great job in the last few years,” the actor said. “I think #OscarsSoWhite brought around an accountability within the Academy that is manifesting here in the films represented and the nominations we have — and yeah, a real change in the industry as a result.”

RELATED: ‘Make Way for the Dress!’ Kacey Musgraves Wows in a Voluminous Pink Gown at the 2019 OscarsThe 91st Academy Awards are broadcasting live from Los Angeles on Sunday, Feb. 24 at 8:00 p.m. ET/5:00 p.m. PT on ABC.