Film

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Greenlights Filmmaker Akosua Adoma Owusu to Adapt Short Story

Avant-garde filmmaker Akosua Adoma Owusu’s production company Obibini Pictures has received exclusive film rights to Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s short story ‘On Monday of Last Week.’

Continuing a spirit of generosity, prolific Nigerian novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie has granted Ghanaian avant-garde filmmaker Akosua Adoma Owusu’s company Obibini Pictures, LLC exclusive rights to adapt her short story On Monday of Last Week from her collection The Thing Around Your Neck.


This comes as last year the award-winning author Adichie gave Eclipsed star Lupita Nyong’o the feature film rights to her third novel Americanah, a social commentary and exploration of black identity through the eyes of a Nigerian woman freshly emigrated to America.

Owusu—whose film Kwaku Ananse received the 2013 African Movie Academy Award in Nigeria for Best Short Film—is slated to direct and produce On Monday of Last Week, which tells the story of a Nigerian’s woman’s journey of self-discovery and examines the complex politics of beauty standards.

“I was compelled to create a new work by adapting literature from contemporary African writers,” Owusu says, according to the Obibini Pictures’ press release. “The themes of race, liberalism, and sexuality in Adichie’s short story On Monday of Last Week resonated with my films on the ‘triple consciousness’ of the African immigrant as I transition between avant-garde cinema, fine art, and African tradition to complicate the nature of identity.”

Nigerian actress Chinasa Ogbuagu, who recently starred in the Off-Broadway play Sojourners, will appear as the short story’s protagonist Kamara. And Ghanaian rapper M.anifest has signed on as the music supervisor for the film adaptation.

Check out Owusu’s pitch video , as well as the project’s Kickstarter campaign.

Correction: This post has been updated to correct the spelling of actress Chinasa Ogbuagu's name.

Interview

Interview: The Awakening of Bas

We talk to Bas about The Messenger, Bobi Wine, Sudan, and the globalized body of Black pain.

The first thing you notice when you begin to listen to The Messenger—the new investigative documentary podcast following the rise of Ugandan singer, businessman and revolutionary political figure Bobi Wine—is Bas' rich, paced, and deeply-affecting storytelling voice.

Whether he is talking about Uganda's political landscape, painting a picture of Bobi Wine's childhood, or drawing parallels between the violence Black bodies face in America and the structural oppression Africans on the continent continue to endure at the hands of corrupt government administrations, there is no doubt that Bas (real name Abbas Hamad) has an intimate understanding of what he's talking about.

We speak via Zoom, myself in Lagos, and him in his home studio in Los Angeles where he spends most of his time writing as he cools off from recording the last episode of The Messenger. It's evident that the subject matter means a great deal to the 33-year-old Sudanese-American rapper, both as a Black man living in America and one with an African heritage he continues to maintain deep ties with. The conversation around Black bodies enduring various levels of violence is too urgent and present to ignore and this is why The Messenger is a timely and necessary cultural work.

Below, we talk with Bas aboutThe Messenger podcast, Black activism, growing up with parents who helped shape his political consciousness and the globalized body of Black pain.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

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