Premiere Of ‘The Man Died’ Film Adaptation By Wole Soyinka Set For July 12


The film adaptation of Prof. Wole Soyinka’s memoir, ‘The Man Died’, which details his experiences as a political prisoner during the Nigerian Civil War, is scheduled to premiere on July 12, 2024.

Wole Soyinka

The movie release will coincide with Soyinka’s 90th birthday. It stars Wale Ojo as the Nobel laureate, alongside Sam Dede and Nobert Young.

First published in 1972, two years after the conflict ended, the book chronicles the author’s experiences during the Nigerian Civil War (1967-1970), including his arrest and subsequent 22-month detention.

In 1986, Soyinka became the first sub-Saharan African to be awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature by the Swedish Academy. The literary icon won the prize as one “who in a wide cultural perspective and with poetic overtones fashions the drama of existence.”

The film adaptation, directed by Awam Amkpa, is set to be released in July 2024 by Zik Zulu Film, coinciding with Prof. Soyinka’s 90th birthday celebrations.

The movie’s script was written by Bode Asiyanbi, produced by Femi Odugbemi, and brought to life by Awam Amkpa’s direction.

Award-winning Nigerian-American professor, Awam Amkpa, who teaches drama, film, and cultural analysis at New York University (NYU) in New York and Abu Dhabi, had unveiled snippets of the film project on Instagram.

As a multifaceted artist, playwright, director, and curator, Amkpa’s adaptation promises to bring a captivating narrative to the big screen, offering a thrilling cinematic experience for global audiences. The released snippets showcase the film’s intricate details, hinting at an immersive storytelling experience that will resonate worldwide.

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The trailer showcases Awam Amkpa’s distinctive directing style, striking a balance between technical expertise and visual storytelling. The film features a talented ensemble cast, including Nollywood veterans Chidi Mokeme, Sam Dede, Segilola Ogidan, Norbert Young, Edmund Enabe, and Francis Onwochei, alongside lead actor Wale Ojo, a British-Nigerian talent.

The trailer also reveals supporting roles played by Christiana Oshunniyi, Simileoluwa Hassan, and Abraham Amkpa, highlighting the diverse and experienced cast bringing this adaptation to life.

Wole Soyinka

Following the trailer’s release, lead actor Wale Ojo expressed his honor and pride in portraying Wole Soyinka in ‘The Man Died’, calling it a highlight of his acting career.

The film, largely shot on location in Ibadan, Oyo State, has the esteemed playwright and director Awam Amkpa at the helm, who had previously revealed in an interview with BookArtVille that he had received Soyinka’s personal blessing to adapt the memoir into a film.

READ ALSO: Alake Begs Tinubu to Declare July 13 ‘Wole Soyinka Day’ To Celebrate Nobel Laureate

Wole Soyinka’s memoir, ‘The Man Died’, defies traditional narrative structures, instead presenting an introspective account of the author’s inner dialogue during his imprisonment.

This unconventional storytelling approach offers a unique glimpse into Soyinka’s experiences. Interestingly, EbonyLife adapted Soyinka’s 1975 play, ‘Death and the King’s Horseman’, into the Netflix film ‘Elesin Oba, The King’s Horseman’ in 2022, featuring a talented cast including Odunlade Adekola, Deyemi Okanlawan, Omowunmi Dada, Shaffy Bello, and Jude Kosoko.

Wole Soyinka’s literary legacy includes notable works such as ‘The Lion and the Jewel’ (1959), ‘The Trials of Brother Jero’ (1960), ‘Kongi’s Harvest’ (1967), and ‘Aké: The Years of Childhood’ (1981). In addition to his plays and memoirs, Soyinka has written novels, including ‘The Interpreters’ (1965) and ‘Season of Anomy’ (1973). His most recent novel, ‘Chronicles From The Land of the Happiest People On Earth’, was published in 2021, marking a significant addition to his body of work.

KOKO TV NG reported on July 3 that the movie would a special premiere screening on July 12 in Lagos.

This invitation-only event will mark the beginning of global celebrations honouring Soyinka’s 90th birthday on July 13.

The screening will be attended by distinguished guests, including dignitaries, diplomats, industry professionals, family, friends, and associates of the Nobel laureate, as well as the cast and crew of the film.

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