Silence is My Mother Tongue by Sulaiman Addonia takes the first steps towards the big screen. The Belgian filmmaker Laurent Van Lancker and Addonia won a grant to write a film script for the book. 

Addonia shared the news on Twitter, noting that the decision, which was made by “some prominent Belgian cinema professionals was unanimous.” He added that though it has not been easy coming this far in the process, he is “honored to embark on this journey with Laurent to bring Saba, Hagos, Jamal and their world in a refugee camp to the big screen.”

Silence is my Mother Tongue was published by Indigo Press in 2018. It tells the story of Saba, a young free-spirited Eritrean woman living in a refugee camp. The visual feel of the novel is already cinematic. It will be interesting to see how Van Lancker and Addonia translate the world of the novel to film. 

Congrats to Addonia! He joins a growing list of African writers having their work make the transition from novel to film.

Wishing him all the best!