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Wole Soyinka’s Memoir Ake: The Years of Childhood to be Made into a Film

Of AfricaAkeA film based on renowned Nigerian author Wole Soyinka’s 1989 memoir Ake: The Years of Childhood is in development, reports Tambay A Obenson on Indiewire.

Ake is set in the years before and during World War II in Nigeria and is the story of Soyinka as a boy who attempts “to grasp the often irrational and hypocritical world of adults that equally repels and seduces him”.

According to the film’s website, it will be narrated by Soyinka himself. The project, with director Yemi Akintokun at the helm, has been on the cards for as long as 25 years and was first mooted as a television series. Finally, this month, production will start in Abeokuta and Ibadan, in the hopes of completing it by Soyinka’s 80th birthday on 13 July 2014. The film budget is estimated at N350m million Naira (2.5 million US Dollars).

Thanks to our friends at Nollywood Mindspace, I’ve learned that a feature film based on the 1989 memoir of Wole Soyinka – the internationally-renowned prolific Nigerian playwright, poet, novelist, and critic, who was awarded the 1986 Nobel Prize in Literature.

Titled Ake: The Years of Childhood, the memoir is described as a lyrical account of one boy’s attempt to grasp the often irrational and hypocritical world of adults that equally repels and seduces him. It is told from the POV of Soyinka’s 11-year-old self.

From the film’s website:

Ake is set in the years just before World War II; the author himself was born in 1934. Apart from a narrative aesthetic and lucidity of prose which is rare in Soyinka’s regular literary works, it combines a beautiful child-view narrative technique with direct echoes from the war as heard or imagined down in Ake, Abeokuta.

Mrs. Funmilayo Rasome-Kuti (aunt of the writer) wonders in a telephone conversation with the colonial district officer why the United States of America would drop a lethal bomb on crowded cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki when the same could have been made to detonate upon empty Japanese hills to dramatize the appropriate message.

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Image coutesy Gist Media


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