Chinua Achebe, one of Africa’s most influential authors is having three of his books brought to our screens. Things Fall Apart, No Longer At Ease, and Arrow of God are going to be made into a television series as an agreement has been reached by his family and the production companies.
The news was announced by Achebe Masterworks LLC- the company in charge of the rights to his works “[T] he series will portray decades of wrenching societal change from the end of the 19th century in Things Fall Apart through the emerging 20th century in Arrow of God and the mid-20th century pre-independence period in No Longer At Ease.” Achebe’s Masterwork LLC said.
The bodies of work being televised are a trilogy. The first is Things Fall Apart, written in 1958 it is about the life of Okonkwo, an Igbo man and a local wrestling champion clan of Umuofia. He is selected by the elders to be the guardian of Ikemefuna, a boy taken by the clan as a peace settlement between Umuofia and another clan. A tragedy occurs and things begin to go wrong for Okonkwo. He falls into a great depression.
No Longer At Ease, 1962 is the story of Obi Okonkwo, who leaves his village for education in Britain and then a job in the Nigerian colonial civil service, but is conflicted between his African culture and Western lifestyle and ends up taking a bribe that leads him into a trial.
Arrow Of God written in 1964 is the third of the trilogy. The title is drawn from an Igbo proverb in which a person or sometimes an event is said to represent the will of God. Ezeulu, the chief priest of the god Ulu, worshipped by the six villages of Umuaro who proclaimed himself half-man, half-spirit responds negatively to colonial change.
Achebe is the latest author to have his bestsellers adapted into a TV series. Fellow artists have their books in the line on being televised. Chimamanda Adichie’s Americanah was announced to be made into a television series when Lupita Nyong’o bought the film rights back in 2014. Since then, she has been working on the screenplay with fellow Black Panther castmate, Danai Gurira.
News of Akwaeke Emezi’s Freshwater being adapted into a television series was revealed in an exclusive Variety report on May 22, 2019. Freshwater will be brought to life on screen by FX. Emezi herself will take the role of writer and executive producer of the project, but the film adaption will be done with Tamara P. Carter, an American screenwriter and director.
Mo Abudu, owner of EbonyLife TV signed a deal with Netflix to produce Wole Soyinka’s Death and the King’s Horsemen and Lola Shoneyin’s Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s wives.