I was trolling Shadow and Act over the weekend and came across Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. She is a Nigerian writer who I’m now kicking myself for not being aware of sooner. She’s on the brink of releasing her third novel, Americanah, which will coincide with the release of Half of a Yellow Sun, the film adaptation of her award-winning second novel (with the same name).
Half of a Yellow Sun the movie, featuring Thandie Newton and Chiwetel Ejiofor, tells the tale of a couple whose romance takes place against the background of the Nigeria-Biafra conflict but as their lives get intertwined with that of other characters. Here’s a more in-depth description from Shadow and Act:
Olanna (Newton) and Kainene (Rose) are glamorous twins from a wealthy Nigerian family. Returning to a privileged city life in newly independent 1960s Nigeria after their expensive English education, the two women make very different choices. Olanna shocks her family by going to live with her lover, the “revolutionary professor” Odenigbo (Ejiofor) and his devoted houseboy Ugwu (Boyega) in the dusty university town of Nsukka; Kainene turns out to be a fiercely successful businesswoman when she takes over the family interests, and surprises herself when she falls in love with Richard (Mawle) an English writer. Preoccupied by their romantic entanglements, and a betrayal between the sisters, the events of their life loom larger than politics. However, they become caught up in the events of the Nigerian civil war, in which the lgbo people fought an impassioned struggle to establish Biafra an independent republic, ending in chilling violence which shocked the entire country and the world.
The film’s supporting cast includes Anika Noni Rose, Genevieve Nnaji, John Boyega (Attack the Block) and Joseph Mawle (Game of Thrones). According to my Googling fingers, not much has been given away about the production but the feedback that I’ve seen about the novel and the cast is enough to keep my attention.
From what research I managed to uncover, some of the story is loosely based on Adichie’s experiences and an interesting nuance is the political power of Black hair.
Here, she does a interview where she elaborates on the latter nuance and I must say, I’m becoming a fan. Check her out:
It’s every author’s dream to write a book so impactful that someone is inspired enough to turn it into a movie (or even a TV show), so I’m happy for Adichie. I know that we’ve had mediocre books like Twlight become mega movie franchises, so the cynic in me doesn’t want to get too excited but I have a good feeling. I definitely have more investigating to do. I will keep you posted.