News Brief

A Film Based on a Novel by Acclaimed Kenyan Author Ngugi wa Thiong'o Is In the Works

Nollywood director Kunle Afolayan is developing Ngugi's novel "Matigari" with Kenyan and South African filmmakers.

A novel by Kenya's own Ngugi wa Thiong'o is being adapted to a film, Brittle Paperreports.

Nollywood director Kunle Afolayan shared at the Africa Movie Academy Awards that Ngugi's 1987 work, Matigari, is in development with Kenyan and South African filmmakers, who have yet to be revealed.


"Ngugi is like the Wole Soyinka of Nigeria in Kenya and one of his books is going to be adapted into a film," Afolayan said. "It's going to be South Africa-Kenya-Nigeria co-production and I'm representing Nigeria."

Matigari tells the story of a freedom fighter who emerges from the forest after Kenya gains independence.

The summary of the story from Ngugi's website states:

Who is Matigari? Is he young or old; a man or fate; dead or living… or even a resurrection of Jesus Christ? These are the questions asked by the people of this unnamed country, when a man who has survived the war for independence emerges from the mountains and starts making strange claims and demands. Matigari is in search of his family to rebuild his home and start a new and peaceful future. But his search becomes a quest for truth and justice as he finds the people still dispossessed and the land he loves ruled by corruption, fear, and misery. Rumors spring up that a man with superhuman qualities has risen to renew the freedom struggle. The novel races toward its climax as Matigari realizes that words alone cannot defeat the enemy. He vows to use the force of arms to achieve his true liberation. Matigari is a satire on the betrayal of human ideals and on the bitter experience of post-independence African society.

Stay tuned for more news around the development of this film.

Film
Photo: Animalia film still

Sundance '23: 'Animalia' Brings Aliens to Morocco

The film, directed by Casablanca-born filmmaker Sofia Alouia, uses a supernatural event to provoke questions about life in her home country.

The tagline for the film is enticing: A young pregnant woman finds emancipation as aliens land in Morocco. And yet, Animalia is more than what you would expect from or think of a movie about extraterrestrials. Through the film, director Sofia Alaoui uses elements of allegory to pick at social norms between men and women, the class divide and human destruction of nature.

Keep reading...Show less
Film
Photo: Tribeca Film Festival

Six African Filmmakers to Watch in 2023

From established names to ones we've yet to become acquainted with, directors from the continent and the diaspora have much to offer in the coming year.

For many filmmakers, it can take years to get a project off the ground and finally onto a screen -- be that of a movie theater or a streaming network. This year will see some films make their debut that have been a long time in the making, while others will pick up steam after gaining a solid push in 2022.

Some of the filmmakers OkayAfrica has our eyes fixed on are well-known names already, some are still finding their way in the world of cinema. No matter where they are on their paths, these are the directors that have us excited for what’s to come over the next few months, as we dive on into 2023.

Keep reading...Show less
Photo: The Sundance Institute

C.J. Obasi On Bringing the Legend of Mami Wata to the Big Screen

The Nigerian director saw a vision of Mami Wata, then made a film that became the toast of Sundance and won the World Cinema Dramatic Special Jury Award for Cinematography.

C.J. Obasi’s third feature length film MamiWata has taken Sundance by storm. The mesmerizing fable, which marks the first time a home-grown Nigerian film scores a competition prize at the Sundance Film Festival, delves into the myth of the Mami Wata folklore, a terrifying mermaid goddess popular across West Africa. Obasi’s MamiWata tells a simple enough story of good versus evil, and the importance of maintaining balance while hurtling towards societal change. But Obasi is not your basic filmmaker, and his interpretation of this well-known folklore is a startling cinematic achievement that advances his singular vision.

Keep reading...Show less
News Brief
Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images

Listen to Burna Boy Feature On Popcaan's New Song 'Aboboyaa'


Renowned dancehall artist Popcaan has released his album Great Is He, via OVO Sound, and it features none other than Burna Boy.


Jamaica's Popcaanhas shared his anticipated album Great Is He, and the body of work features Nigerian superstar Burna Boy on the track "Aboboyaa."

The album showcases the Jamaican musical giant's signature dancehall sound, while also exploring the depth of genre's versatility. In addition to featuring Burna Boy, Great Is He includes features from OVO Sound's boss Drake, Jamaica's Chronic Law, and Toni-Ann Singh, among others.

On "Aboboyaa," the two musical powerhouses merge their signature rhythmic melodies and intonations in a way that is both compelling to listen to on the first listen, and in turn inspires a second and third listen.

Ever since he released his debut album in 2014, Popcaan has become an international dancehall sensation, and his repertoire includes a list of impressive features.

His album Forever, which was released in 2018, debuted at number two on Billboard’s Top Reggae Albums. Commercially, Popcaan has made a mark on the music scene too. His last project FIXTAPE — which included “Twist & Turn,” the mesmerizing dancehall hit featuring Drake and PARTYNEXTDOOR — has garnered over 191 million streams and continues to receive accolades from outlets like Pitchfork, who described the body of work as “a testament to his place at the forefront of the genre.”

"Aboboyaa" is not Popcaan's first international collaboration. In the past, the Jamaican icon has worked with several international music acts including Davido, Jamie xx, Young Thug, Gorillaz, Kano, Jorja Smith and a host of others. He also founded Jamaica’s annual Unruly Festwhich brings stars across the globe to experience Jamaican culture.

Listen to "Aboboyaa" featuring Burna Boy below.

Listen to Popcaan and Burna Boy's "Aboboyaa"

get okayafrica in your inbox

news.

The Songs You Need to Hear This Week

Featuring Popcaan x Burna Boy, Bongeziwe Mabandla, Mr Eazi, Baaba Maal, Pheelz and more.

In his Imaginative Debut Feature, Walé Oyéjidé Brings Together Elements of His Life’s Work

The Nigerian American director has long used the tools of his multi-hyphenate trade to expand the ways Africans are seen. Premiering at the Sundance Film Festival, 'Bravo, Burkina!' gives him a larger canvas on which to paint.

Baaba Maal Releases New Single 'Agreement'

Senegal's Baaba Maal shares a new song ahead of his upcoming album, Being.

Rising Star Khaid Shares New Single ‘Jolie’

Nigerian music newcomer Khaid comes through with a new love song.

popular.

A TV Show About Ethiopia's Queen Sheba is in the Works

During a presentation on at the Sundance Film Festival, Onyx Collective announced that a Queen Of Sheba drama is in the works.