It’s the literary adaptation of the year!
Nigerian super star novelist Sefi Atta’s novel Swallow, about a naive secretary in 80’s Lagos contemplating drug trafficking, is one of three original feature films being adapted for screen by acclaimed Nigerian filmmaker Kunle Afolayan, for Netflix.
According to Pulse TV, Afolayan confirmed in an interview with Ben Amadasun, Netflix’s director of content for Africa that he has concluded principal photography for the first film, a screen adaptation of Sefi Atta’s Swallow.
Even more exciting is the news that Sefi Atta was extensively involved in the screenplay and production of the film. With an Atta-Afolayan combo, it is safe to say that we can expect the very best from this adaptation.
Set in Lagos in the 1980s, Swallow tells the story of Tolani Ajao, a young secretary at a federal bank faced with the realities of unmet expectations, escalating misfortunes, and the daunting and yet exciting prospects of sacrificing her dignity for a life of crime.
For the movie adaptation, Afolayan casts singer Niyola as Tolani Ajao, and Ijeoma Grace Agu as Rose Adamson, Tolani’s outlaw roommate. Other cast members with yet unspecified roles include Chioma Akpotha, Deyemi Okanlawon, Ijeoma Grace Agu, Omotunde Adebowale, Eniola Badmus, Mercy Aigbe, Kelvin Ikeduba, Joke Muyiwa, BBNaija reality star Thin Tall Tony and Olusegun Akinremi.
This adaptation joins an ever-growing list of African novels gracing the big screen, most recently the adaptation of Wole Soyinka’s Death and the King’s Horseman and Lola Shoneyin’s The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives by Mo Abudu, for Netflix Naija. It’s a long-overdue development, and we are totally here for it.
Here’s to more adaptations.
See pictures from the set of Swallow on Pulse TV.