Some times while reading a book, we love to imagine the book as a movie. We sometimes want to imagine some characters come to life, this is what some producers and directors probably had in mind when they make film adaptations.
Nolly Silver screen has compiled 11 Nigerian books that have been made into a movie in this article.
Here they are in no particular order:
1. Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
The Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) adapted Things Fall Apart in 1986 into a 13-episode TV series with Pete Edochie as the main character. It was scripted by Adiela Onyedibia and directed by David Orere.
Things fall Apart and No Longer at Ease were both combined into a film adaptation titled Bullfrog in the Sun, which was released in 1972, directed by Hansjurgen Pohland for a Nigerian film company.
Okonkwo, the lead character, played by Pete Edochie, is a respected leader in the Umuofia tribe of the Igbo people. Throughout his life, Okonkwo attempts to be his father’s opposite. From an early age, he builds his home and reputation as a precocious wrestler and hard-working farmer. Okonkwo’s efforts pay off big time and he becomes wealthy through his crops and marries three wives. He later faces challenges when he adopts a young boy Ikemefuna.
2. The Perfect Church by Ebi Akpeti
The Perfect Church by Ebi Akpeti was published in 2010 and was adapted into a movie with same title and premiered in 2011.
Ebi Akpeti’s The Perfect Church is a tale of lies, conviction, repentance and grace. It deftly explores the deceitful nature of many who struggle as Christians, beyond the veil of titles and religious activities.
The film was directed by Bambo Adebajo with outstanding casts like: Ramsey Noah, Olu Jacobs, Funke Akindele, Ngozi Ezeonu, Hakeem Rahman, Yinka Olukunga .
3. Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Adichie
The book which won the 2007 Orange Prize for Fiction was adapted into a movie also titled Half of a Yellow Sun. Featuring a handful of Hollywood and Nollywood stars such as Chiwetel Ejiofor, Thandie Newton, Onyeka Onwenu, Anika Noni Rose, Genevieve Nnaji, OC Ukeje and John Boyega.The movie was released in 2013, directed by Biyi Bandele .
Half of a Yellow Sun centers around its five main characters: Ugwu, Odenigbo, Olanna, Kainene, and Richard. All of these characters find themselves affiliated with the Biafran rebels of the war, and this affiliation eventually has consequences for all characters.
Odenigbo is a Professor in the University of Nigeria Nsukka. He has a help called Ugwu that serves him faithfully. Odenigbo later marries Olanna and Olanna’s sister Kainene falls in love with Richard Churchill, a British writer, interested in Nigerian culture.
4. The Virgin by Bayo Adebowale
The Virgin by Bayo Adebowale’s was published in 1985 and was adapted into “The Narrow Path” which was released in 2007 with Tunde Kelani as the director.
The novel, published in 1985, narrated the dilemma of a village young girl who must choose between three suitors. She is deflowered and agonizes about her secret being discovered on her wedding night.
The film starred Sola Asedeko, Ayo Badmus and Khabirat Kafidipe while the sound track was written and produced by Beautiful Nubia.The film was edited by Mumin Wale Kelani and Frank Efe Patrick and the costume was designed by Abiola Atanda.
5. Maami by Femi Osofisan
Maami which means ‘my mother’ in English is a novella written by Femi Osofisan. The novella ‘Maami’ was adapted into a movie with same title in 2011 produced and directed by Tunde Kelani.
The movie features Nollywood stars such as Funke Akindele who plays the role of Maami along with Wole Ojo and Olumide Bakare.
The film received four nominations at the 7th Africa Movie Academy Awards; including Best Nigerian Film, Achievement in Cinematography, Best Production Design and Best Child Actor.
6. Dazzling Mirage by Olayinka Egbokhare
Dazzling Mirage is a 2014 Nigerian drama film, produced and directed by Tunde Kelani. The film is an adaptation of a novel of the same name by Olayinka Abimbola Egbokhare, adapted to screen by Ade Solanke. It tells the story of a young sickle-cell patient and the various social and emotional challenges she is faced with. It stars Kemi “Lala” Akindoju, Kunle Afolayan, Bimbo Manuel, Yomi Fash Lanso, Taiwo Ajai-Lycett and Seun Akindele.
It also features special appearances from Adewale Ayuba, Sean Tizzle, Tunde Babalola and Steve Sodiya.
7. Beast of no nation by Uzodinma Iweala
Beast of no nation is based on the 2005 novel of the same name by Uzodinma Iweala. The book itself is named after a Fela Kuti album.
The movie was released in 2015, written, co-produced and directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga, who acted as his own cinematographer. It is about a young boy who becomes a child soldier as his country goes through a horrific war. Shot in Ghana it stara, Idris Elba, Abraham Attah, Ama K. Abebrese, Grace Nortey, David Dontoh, and Opeyemi Fagbohungbe.
8. The concubine by Elechi Amadi
The Concubine is a novel by Nigerian writer Elechi Amadi originally published in 1966 as part of the Heinemann African Writers Series.
The Concubine was made into a film, directed by Nollywood director Andy Amenechi; the film was premiered in Abuja in March 2007.
The story which is set in Eastern Nigeria, concerns a woman “of great beauty and dignity” who inadvertently brings suffering and death to all her lovers.
The novel portrays a society still ruled by traditional gods, offering a glimpse into the human relationships that such a society creates.
The Concubine was hailed as a “most accomplished first performance” and “an outstanding work of pure fiction”.
9. Twins of the rain forest by Neville M. Ukoli
Written by Neville M. Ukoli, the twins of the rain forest
was adapted into a short movie in 1999. It is a story about an expectant couple who were horrified when the mother gives birth to twins. According to tradition, the villagers believe that twins are evil and must be drowned immediately after birth. This became a big challenge to the couple.
The story which is directed by Odion P.Agboh, stars Olu Jacobs and Joke Silva.
10. koseegbe by Akinwunmi Isola
Akinwunmi Isola’s book which exposed some of the corruptions in our government was adapted into a mainframe movie in 1995 by Tunde Kelani. Starring top Yoruba actors such as Peju Ogunmola, Kola, Joke Muyiwa, Yemi Sodimu, Toyin Adegbola, Peter Fatomilola, Oyewo and others.
11. The lion and the jewel by Wole Soyinka
“The Lion and the Jewel” is a play by Soyinka, which chronicles how Baroka, the lion, fights with the modern Lakunle over the right to marry Sidi, the titular Jewel.
Tunde Kelani also adapts this to a beautiful play in 2018, titled “Sidi Ilujinle”. The indigenous play was shot in Ibadan, and features Adebayo Salami as Baroka, Ibrahim Chatta as Lakunle, Rich Tanksley and Ayisat Onitiri as Sidi.