Writer lists Nigerian books that have been turned into films (1)

Writer lists Nigerian books that have been turned into films (1)

Editor's note: Augusta Okon, a lawyer, author and film critic in this piece lists Nigerian books that have been made into movies or are set to be. She also aims to sound a clarion call to filmmakers/producers in Nigeria to tow the film adaptation path.

She can be reached via e-mail: augustaokon@gmail.com

There have been charlatan remakes of Hollywood movies by Nollywood and Kannywood movies from Bollywood/Nollywood. Literary adaptations (besides Kannywood) and other film adaptation sources remain at a minimal level in Nollywood. Below is a list of film adaptations which also includes snippets of TV adaptations:

1. Kongi’s Harvest (1970)

Writer lists Nigerian books that have been turned into films (1)

Wole Soyinka in the film Adaptation of Kongi's harvest

An adaptation of Wole Soyinka’s 1965 play, Kongi’s Harvest produced by Francis Oladele under his production company Calpenny Nigeria Ltd in 1970. The 85 minutes film was directed by Ossie Davies. Wole Soyinka incidentally played the lead role (President Kongi) alongside Orlando Martins, Rasidi Onikoyi, Dapo Adelugba, Femi Johnson and Nina Baden-Semper. Arthur DuBow of Herald productions raised the funds in the US while Lennart Berns of Omega films in Sweden furnished the crew.

2. Bull Frog In the Sun (1972)

Writer lists Nigerian books that have been turned into films (1)

Actor Johnny Sekka in a scene from the film Things Fall Apart

An adaptation of Things Fall Apart (1958) and No longer At Ease (1960) authored by Chinua Achebe under a tripartite production deal; Calpenny Nigeria Ltd, Cine 3 (W/Germany) and Niagram (USA). Powered on by Francis Oladele, it was shot in Nigeria, directed by Hans-Juergen Pohland and starred Elizabeth Toro of Uganda (who played the role of Clara) and Senegalese British actor Johnny Sekka (who played Obi). The Film’s title was later changed to Things Fall Apart.

3. Shaihu Umar

Writer lists Nigerian books that have been turned into films (1)

It was adapted by Adamu Halilu (the first General Manager of the Nigerian film corporation) in 1976 based on the story Shehu Umar written by Abubakar Tafawa Balewa which was chosen as one of the five stories selected by the British colonial administration in a literacy competition in 1933.

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4. Bisi Daughter of the River (1977)

Writer lists Nigerian books that have been turned into films (1)

It was adapted from the play of same title by Ladi ladebo, Jab Adu and Kola Ogunnaike. Chief M.K.O Abiola financially supported the production. It starred Patricia Ngozi Ebigwei (a.k.a – Patti Boulaye) and was directed by Jab Adu. It was shot in Badagry and Lagos and was a refreshingly different production with the cast and crew being Nigerians. The film flew on the wings of the slogan; “made in Nigeria, by Nigerians and acted by Nigerians for Nigerians”. It has been named as one of the most successful films ever produced in that epoch.

5. Ija Ominira (Fight for Freedom)

Writer lists Nigerian books that have been turned into films (1)

A scene from the film

Based on Adebayo Faleti’s novel of same title, Ola Balogun teamed up with Ade Afolayan to produce the film. The story unveils a tyrant king who is banished from the land by his subjects. It starred Ade Afolayan (a.k.a Ade love), Duro Ladipo, Oyin Adejobi, Jimoh Aliu and was directed by Ola Balogun. The film was a success and recouped its production cost in less than one year.

6. Aiye (The world) 1979

Writer lists Nigerian books that have been turned into films (1)

Filmmaker Ola Balogun

Ola Balogun co-produced the film with Hubert Ogunde based on the latter’s play about the struggle between the forces of good in a traditional healer and evil in witches in a Yoruba village. A barrage of special effects recreated the world of witchcraft unveiling the world of the supernatural. It grossed over N300, 000 Naira in one week in Lagos upon its release.

7. Cry Freedom (1981)

Writer lists Nigerian books that have been turned into films (1)

Ola Balogun adapted Meja Mwangi’s novel Carcass For Hounds based on the mau mau struggle and produced Cry Freedom. It starred Albert Hall, Candy Brown, Roberto Pisillo, and Olu Jacobs.

8. Aropin N’Tenia (To Doubt Is Human)

Writer lists Nigerian books that have been turned into films (1)

An adaptation of the 1964 stage play dedicated to Hubert Ogunde’s late wife.

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9. Orun Mo Orun (Heaven is hot) 1982

Writer lists Nigerian books that have been turned into films (1)

Baba Sala

Based on a co-production deal between Ola Balogun and Moses Olaiya Adejumo (alias Baba Sala) the former adapted the latter’s play into a film and directed it. It was shot in Yoruba with English subtitles.

10. Tsintsiya (The Broom)

Writer lists Nigerian books that have been turned into films (1)

A remake of the film TsinTsiya

An adaptation of the 1950s classic musical West side story. It was produced by Hamisu Lamido Iyan-Tama and directed by Bala Anas Babinlata. It starred Hamisu Lamido Iyantama, Abubakar Baballe Hayatu, Amina Garba and Isa bello Ja.

11. Ina (1985)

Writer lists Nigerian books that have been turned into films (1)

Veteran filmmaker Tunde Kelani

Based on the novel Idaamu Paadi Minkailu (The Dilemma of Rev Father Michael) by Adebayo Faleti, legendary filmmaker Tunde Kelani adapted this novel which incidentally was his debut film production.

12. Koseegbe (1995)

Writer lists Nigerian books that have been turned into films (1)

Based on Akinwumi Isola’s book of same title published in 1981, it was produced/directed by Tunde Kelani and starred Kola Oyewo, Wole Amele, Jide Kosoko and Toyin.A. Babatope.

13. The White Handkerchief (1998)

Writer lists Nigerian books that have been turned into films (1)

Adapted from Bayo Adebowale’s debut novel The V*rgin published in 1985. The short film was produced and directed by Tunde Kelani. It starred Yemi Komolafe, Yemi Shodimu and Khabirat Kafidipe

14) Thunderbolt (Magun) (2000)

Writer lists Nigerian books that have been turned into films (1)

Adapted from Adebayo Faleti’s novel The Whor*: With the Thunderbolt AIDS published in 1998, the 128 paged novel was converted to 110 minutes movie which starred Uche Obi-Osotule, Wale Macaulay, Lanre Balogun, Buki Ajayi, Ngozi Nwosu and Larinde Akinleye. Thunderbolt has been hailed as one of the best works of Tunde Kelani.

15. Narrow Path (2006)

Writer lists Nigerian books that have been turned into films (1)

Adapted from The V*rgin authored by Bayo Adebowale, the 95 minutes film was produced and directed by Tunde Kelani. It starred Sola Asedeko, Ayo Badmus, Seyi Fasuyi and Eniola Olaniyan.

To be continued.

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