Literature

This 23-Year-Old Nigerian Author's Afrofuturist Novel Has Been Picked Up By Fox Studios

Tomi Adeyemi's debut fantasy novel 'Children of Blood and Bone' will be adapted into a film trilogy by Fox 2000.

We've been celebrating African women all month at OkayAfrica, and today we get to add yet another to our list!


Tomi Adeyemi, is the Nigerian-American author behind the West African-set fantasy novel Children of Blood and Bone and it's just been picked up by major film studio, Fox 2000. What's more impressive, is that the book hasn't even been published yet.

The company has acquired the 23-year-old writer's debut novel—which has been described as "Avatar: The Last Airbender, meets Black Lives Matter—with plans to adapt it into a full-length feature, Shadow and Act reports.

Children of Blood and Bone is the first installment in what will be a trilogy. Details on the book are scarce, but a pitch on BrendaDrake.com gave this synopsis: "With magic, Zélie’s family could stand against the royal guard. Her people wouldn’t live in fear. Her mom wouldn’t have hanged from that tree. Years after the king wiped magic out of Orïsha, Zélie has one chance to bring it back. To do so, she’ll have to outwit/outrun the crown prince, who’s hell-bent on erasing magic for good."

The book has undoubtedly captivated those who've read it so far, as it's being reported that Adeyemi received one of the most lucrative publishing deals ever for a Young Adult debut, with Macmillan Children's Publishing Group. Her deal with Fox is also said to be in the seven figures, Deadline reports.

At just 23, Adeyimi is a literary whiz. She's a creative writing coach based in San Diego, California, and a graduate of Harvard University. She's also the recipient of a fellowship to study West African mythology and culture in Salvador, Brazil. She offers expertise and free writing tips to aspiring authors via her website Tomiadeyemi.com.

As Dr. Nnedi Okorafor pointed out earlier this month, whitewashing is still a major issue in science-fiction. Works by black authors are imperative to helping combat this adverse trend. With Children of Blood and Bone, Adeyemi is building a fantasy world where blackness is at the forefront. We can't wait to experience it.

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(From left to right) Stéphane Bak and Marc Zinga in 'The Mercy of the Jungle.' Photo courtesy of TIFF.

Congolese Actor Stéphane Bak on His Intense Experience Shooting 'The Mercy of the Jungle' In Uganda

We catch up with the actor after the film made its North American premiere at TIFF.

When actor Stéphane Bak first got the script for The Mercy of the Jungle (La Miséricorde de la Jungle), he knew there was one person he had to consult: his father. "My dad did school me about this," he says. While Bak was born and raised in France, his parents had emigrated from what was then Zaire in the 1980s—before the events of the movie, and not exactly in the same area, but close enough to be able to pass on firsthand knowledge of the simmering ethnic tensions that underpin the action.

The story takes place in 1998, just after the outbreak of the Second Congo War—which came hot on the heels of the First Congo War. Two Rwandan soldiers find themselves separated from their company and have to make a harrowing trek through the jungle to link back up with their regiment. Bak plays Private Faustin, the young recruit hunting Hutu rebels to avenge his murdered family, a foil to Marc Zinga's seasoned Sergeant Xavier. As a Congolese militia swarms the area, and it becomes increasingly difficult to tell enemies from friends, the two are forced off the road and into the thick vegetation.

Their journey is physically difficult, but the jungle also nurtures them, providing food, water, and shelter. "The title is very explicit in a way," says Bak. It is the human beings they encounter, from rival soldiers and militiamen to the hostile security forces guarding illegal gold mining operations, who bring sudden danger and violence. The challenges are conveyed as much through the actors' physicality as through the minimal dialogue. As for the strain on his face, Bak says it was all real. "To be honest, it was very difficult," he says of the shoot, which took him 25 days. "I had to learn my accent in two weeks." Prior to commencing, there was training with the Ugandan army for realism. Due to the ongoing conflicts in the DRC, the movie itself was shot in Uganda.

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Brazil Has Made Yoruba an Official Language

The language will also be incorporated into primary and secondary school curriculum in the country, says the Minister of Culture.

Yoruba history and culture has an undeniably strong presence in Brazilian society, due of course, to the Transatlantic slave trade which brought millions of enslaved West Africans to the Americas. Despite the inhumanity they faced, many managed to keep their ancestral culture and traditions alive.

Centuries have passed, and Yoruba influences still continue to thrive in various regions of the country, as many Brazilians maintain a strong relationship with the language and religion. Its influence can be seen through the music, food and spiritual practices of various communities. Last month the Ooni of Ife—the spiritual leader of the Yoruba people—visited the country, where he was met by crowds of Black Brazilians who turned up to pay their respects.

This connection will likely remain strong for future generations, as the language has now become an official foreign language in the country.

WATCH: How Ilê Aiyê Brought Blackness Back to Carnival

Brazil's Minister of Culture, Dr. Sérgio Sá Leitão, has said that the language will now be incorporated into primary and secondary school curriculum, reports the Nigerian Voice.

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This EP Blends the Afro-Brazilian Rhythms of Bahia With Bass Music

Get into Telefunksoul and Felipe Pomar's Ré_Con Ba$$ EP.

Brazilian producers Felipe Pomar (of TrapFunk & Alivio) and Telefunksoul come through with a dizzyingly energetic EP in the form of Ré_Con Ba$$.

Telefunksoul, who happens to be one of the main promoters of Bahia Bass music, came up with the concept of exploring the rhythms coming out of Recôncavo of Bahia and showing how they can fit into bass music.

Through the 7-track Ré_Con Ba$$ EP, him and Pomar mold and transform the diverse music of Bahia, fusing its rhythms with afrobeat, future house, deep house and much more.

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