Kunle Afolayan to Adapt Novel by Kenyan Literary Icon into Movie

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Kunle Afolayan, Nollywood filmmaker, has disclosed that he is working on adapting ‘Matigari’, a novel by Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o, into a movie.

Thiong’o is a Kenyan literary icon who is renowned for books like ‘A Grain of Wheat’, ‘Petals of Blood’, and ‘Weep Not, Child’.

Afolayan made the disclosure to TheCable Lifestyle on the sidelines of the Africa Movie Academy Awards (AMAA) in Kigali, Rwanda.

He said: “Ngugi is like the Wole Soyinka of Nigeria in Kenya and one of his books is going to be adapted into a film and it’s going to be South Africa-Kenya-Nigeria co-production and I’m representing Nigeria.”

The filmmaker, who is a co-producer of the project, also revealed that he is planning a Nigerian-Rwandan co-production with Eric Kabera.

He said: “I had a meeting with one of the best filmmakers here, Eric Kabera and we’re already talking co-production.”

The actor urged Nollywood filmmakers to embrace partnership, noting that it is hard to achieve it in Nigeria.

He said: “Partnership is something that is difficult to do in Nigeria, very also because accountability, our structure does not give room for proper declaration of information.”

Afolayan credited AMAA for opening up the African film industry and helping facilitate networking between filmmakers from different countries.

“AMAA is one of the most prestigious and credible platforms in Africa,” he said.

“A lot of us have benefitted from this platform. In 2007, it was through AMAA that I met someone who is a curator for London film festival, and that was how IRAPADA got into London film festival.”

‘Mokalik’, his latest movie which is currently in pre-production, won’t be released until 2019.

Afolayan said he does not “want to rush it” hence the 2019 release date.

He added: “I think it’s a film that can really really travel so I wanna make sure that everything is done in detail and the timing is right.

“I don’t mind if it waits two years as long as it is ready, It has to be ready, like properly ready.”

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