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Nnedi Okorafor at TEDGlobal 2017. Courtesy of TED

Viola Davis Is Developing a Series Based on Octavia Butler's 'Wild Seed' With Nnedi Okorafor And Wanuri Kahiu

The series, based on Butler's 1980 novel, will tell the story of "two African immortals who travel the ages from pre-Colonial West Africa to the far, far future."

Oscar-winning actor Viola Davis will team up with Nigerian sci-fi author Nnedi Okorafor and Kenyan director Wanuri Kahiu for an upcoming series adaptation of Octavia Butler's 1980 novel Wild Seed, which is being developed by Amazon under Davis' and Julius Tennon's JuVee Production company.

Okorafor and Kahiu, who are both OkayAfrica 100 Women 2019 honorees, will write the series together, and Kahiu is also slated to direct. The Rafiki filmmaker, took to Twitter to share her excitement over the news. "Dream project alert," she wrote. "See God!"


According to Deadline, which broke the news, Kahiu's rising visibility was the impetus for the project finally going into production. "JuVee had pursued the rights to the book for over two years, but it wasn't until they identified rising talent Kahiu, who was tapped to direct as well as write the pilot with her friend and colleague Okorafor, that the vision became clear on how to turn the beloved book into a TV show. With their idea for a TV series, and the Butler estate's blessings, the project was taken to the marketplace with multiple bids."

Wild Seed is the third novel in Butler's celebrated five-book series Patternmaster. Here's a summary via Deadline:

Wild Seed is a love (and hate) story of two African immortals who travel the ages from pre-Colonial West Africa to the far, far future. Doro, a killer who uses his power to breed people like livestock, encounters Anyanwu, a healer who forces him to reassess his millennia of cruel behavior: for centuries, their personal battles change the course of our world as they struggle against the backdrop of time — master vs slave, man vs woman, killer vs healer.

Both Okorafor and Kahiu told Deadline about the impact of the book on the shaping of their careers. "We love Octavia Butler and her work and have for decades. But Wild Seed is our favorite. It's expansive, disturbing, and unique, said the duo. "Wild Seed stays with you. It's a love/hate story of African immortals that connects people on the African continent to the Diaspora. It merges the mystical and the scientific seamlessly. You're going to see shape-shifting, body jumping, telepaths, people born with the ability to defy the laws of physics, all in the context of our past, present and future world."

Next, Kahiu will direct The Thing About Jellyfish with Universal. While, Okoafor's novel Who Fears Death is being developed into an HBO series with Game of Thrones creator George RR Martin.

We will keep you updated as new details about Wild Seed emerge.

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Photo by KOLA SULAIMON/AFP via Getty Image

#EndSARS: 1 Year Later And It's Business As Usual For The Nigerian Government

Thousands filled the streets of Nigeria to remember those slain in The #LekkiTollGateMassacre...while the government insists it didn't happen.

This week marks 1 year since Nigerians began protests against police brutality and demanded an end to the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS). The #EndSARS protests took the world by storm as we witnessed Nigerian forces abuse, harass and murder those fighting for a free nation. Reports of illegal detention, profiling, extortion, and extrajudicial killings followed the special task force's existence, forcing the government to demolish the unit on October 11th, 2020. However, protestors remained angered and desperate to be heard. It wasn't until October 20th, when soldiers opened fire on demonstrators at Lekki tollgate in the country's capital, Lagos, that the protests came to a fatal end. More than 56 deaths from across the country were reported, while hundreds more were traumatized as the Nigerian government continued to rule by force. The incident sparked global outrage as the Nigerian army refused to acknowledge or admit to firing shots at unarmed protesters in the dead of night.

It's a year later, and nothing has changed.

Young Nigerians claim to still face unnecessary and violent interactions with the police and none of the demands towards systemic changes have been met. Fisayo Soyombo the founder of the Foundation for Investigative Journalism, told Al Jazeera, "Yes, there has not been any reform. Police brutality exists till today," while maintaining that his organization has reported "scores" of cases of police brutality over this past year.

During October 2020's protests, Nigerian authorities turned a blind eye and insisted that the youth-led movement was anti-government and intended to overthrow the administration of current President Muhammadu Buhari. During a press conference on Wednesday, in an attempt to discredit the protests, Minister of Information and Culture Lai Mohammed hailed the Nigerian army and police forces for the role they played in the #EndSARS protests, going as far as to say that the Lekki Toll Massacre was a "phantom massacre with no bodies." These brazen claims came while protesters continued to gather in several major cities across the country. The minister even went on to shame CNN, Nigerian favorite DJ Switch as well as Amnesty International, for reporting deaths at Lekki. Mohammed pushed even further by saying, "The six soldiers and 37 policemen who died during the EndSARS protests are human beings with families, even though the human rights organizations and CNN simply ignored their deaths, choosing instead to trumpet a phantom massacre."

With the reports of abuse still coming out of the West African nation, an end to the struggle is not in sight. During Wednesday's protest, a journalist for the Daily Post was detained by Nigerian forces while covering the demonstrations.

According to the BBC, additional police units have been set up in the place of SARS, though some resurfacing SARS officers and allies claim to still be around.

Young Nigerians relied heavily on social media during the protests and returned this year to voice their opinions around the first anniversary of an experience that few will be lucky enough to forget.



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