Have you ever wondered how classic Nigerian books come to life on the big screen? Movie adaptations take hidden gems from novels and plays and turn them into exciting films everyone can enjoy.
In Nigeria, talented writers like Kola Akinlade (Owo Eje), Akinwunmi Ishola (Saworoide), Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (Half of a Yellow Sun), and Ibiere Addey (Crystals in the Mud) have seen their works transformed into captivating movies.
Want to experience this magic yourself? Here are three amazing Nigerian novels and plays that have been adapted into films and are currently streaming on Netflix:
“Swallow,” written by Nigerian-American author Sefi Atta in 2012, is a gripping story about a young woman named Tolani. Set in the bustling city of Lagos and known for its challenges and opportunities, Tolani navigates life as a middle-class woman grappling with survival in a corrupt environment. Desperate to make ends meet, she gets entangled in the dangerous world of drug smuggling.
Fast forward to 2021, and award-winning filmmaker Kunle Afolayan brought this tale to life on Netflix. The film boasts a talented cast featuring Niyola, Deyemi Okanlawon, Chioma Chukwuka Akpotha, and Ijeoma Grace Agu, each bringing their own depth and energy to the characters.
Watch the trailer below:
2. God’s Waiting Room
Author Yewande Zaccheus poured her personal journey with infertility into a powerful four-part novel. This story then blossomed onto the screen in 2021 as the movie “The Wait,” directed by the talented duo Fiyin Gambo and Yemi Morafa.
The film follows two couples desperately longing for a baby and a dedicated doctor who strives to help them achieve their dream. It’s an emotional journey exploring themes of faith, family, and perseverance.
Get ready to be touched by the performances of Nse Ikpe-Etim, Deyemi Okanlawon, Ini Dima-Okojie, Kate Henshaw, Joke Silva, Chimezie Imo, Jimmy Odukoya, and Meg Otanwa, who bring these characters to life with depth.
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Since January 2023, you can catch “The Wait” on Netflix and lose yourself in this beautiful story that resonates with many hearts.
Watch the teaser below:
3. Death and the King’s Horseman
Playwright Wole Soyinka crafted a powerful story based on a real event from history. In “Elesin Oba: The King’s Horseman,” we meet Elesin, a loyal horseman tasked with a sacred duty following the King’s death. Tradition calls for him to perform ritual suicide, joining his ruler in the afterlife. However, things take a dramatic turn when British colonial authorities intervene, preventing Elesin from fulfilling his sacred vow.
Fast forward to 2020, and this captivating tale was brought to life on screen as a movie collaboration between EbonyLife and Netflix. The film, titled “Elesin Oba: The King’s Horseman,” was directed by the late, talented Biyi Bandele.
Odunlade Adekola, Shaffy Bello, Deyemi Okanlawon, Omowunmi Dada, Jide Kosoko, Kevin Ushi, and Brymo each bring their unique talent to the characters, making this film a must-watch.
The movie has themes of tradition, cultural clash, and the complexities of duty in this thought-provoking film adaptation. “Elesin Oba: The King’s Horseman” is sure to leave you pondering long after the credits roll.
Watch the trailer below:
I’m sure you would like to catch up with these movies, especially because it’s the weekend! Grab some popcorn, settle in, and get ready to be transported to new worlds and thrilling stories thanks to these fantastic Nigerian film adaptations!
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