1. “Arrow of God” – the film adaptation of the classic novel by the great Nigerian novelist, Chinua Achebe of blessed memory. “Arrow of God” is the second most highly acclaimed novel of Achebe and in fact I rate it higher than his debut novel “Things Fall Apart” that made him famous. He said he could not choose between “Arrow of God” and “Things Fall Apart,” because both novels were too precious to him. The novel centers on Ezeulu, the chief priest of several Igbo villages in Colonial Nigeria, who confronts colonial powers and Christian missionaries in the 1920s. The phrase “Arrow of God” is drawn from an Igbo proverb in which a person, or sometimes an event, is said to represent the will of God. “Arrow of God” won the first ever Jock Campbell/New Statesman Prize for African writing
Recommended Director: Newton Aduaka
2. “Man of the People” – the film adaptation of one of the first novels on modern politics in Nigeria by Chinua Achebe. Click here for more on the novel.
Recommended Director: Zik Zulu Okafor
3. “Sunset in Biafra” – the film adaptation of the war memoir on Biafra by Elechi Amadi. The book is full of interesting characters and melodramatic incidents during the Nigerian civil war written by a scholar and a Nigerian Army officer. Click here for more on the novel.
Recommended Director: Izu Ojukwu
4. “The Concubine” – film adaptation of Elechi Amadi’s about Ihuoma, a beautiful young widow, has the admiration of the entire community in which she lives, and especially of the hunter Ekwueme. But their passion is fated and jealousy, a love potion and the closeness of the spirit world are important factors. Click here for more on the novel.
Recommended Director: Teco Benson
5. “Burning Grass” – film adaptation of this adventure novel by the great Nigerian novelist Cyprian Ekwensi of blessed memory. Click here to read Burning Grass.
Recommended Director: Mahmood Ali-Balogun.
6. “Kosoko” – film adaptation of the war over the throne of Lagos by Oba Akitoye and Oba Kosoko who defeated Oba Akintoye in battle in 1845. But in exile, Oba Akintoye used the British Empire to dethrone Kosoko and reinstalled as Oba of Lagos in 1851. See details of the bloody battle on http://www.nigeriansinamerica.com/lagos-a-history-in-pictures-1861-to-1961/.
Recommended Director: Tunde Kelani
7. “Afonja” – the film adaptation of the life of Afonja, the Aare Ona Kakanfo (Generalisimo) to Alaafin of old Oyo (Oyo Ile) who rebelled against the Oyo Empire, but was assassinated in 1824. Yemi Amodu has made a film on Afonja, but there should be a better version of the epic with bigger budget.
Recommended Director: Kunle Afolayan
8. “Queen Amina” – film adaptation on the life of Amina (also Aminatu; d. 1610), a Hausa Muslim Warrior Queen of Zazzau (now Zaria), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amina. See: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n4AIk2BC_f8; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hn7yg19WxgA; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hb_kbeO0Jss. I have seen both poorly produced documentaries and movies on Queen Amina. Anachronisms were common in these film productions due to poor research and lack of enough funds. So, the real film on Queen Amina is yet to be made.
Recommended Director: Kenneth Gyang.
9. “Long Juju,” on the mysterious Long Juju of Ibinu Ukpabi cult of slave traders in Arochukwu, Abia State. The Long Juju existed from the 17th to 18th centuries until it was destroyed by British during the Anglo-Aro War took place from 1901-1902. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anglo-Aro_War. This could be an epic movie that can take Nigeria as far as the Academy Awards if well directed. I have provided enough information on the historical background with details of the battles and casualties.
“To put a stop to slave dealing and the slave trade generally with a view to the Slave Dealing Proclamation No. 5 of 1901 being enforced throughout the entire territories as from first of January next; to abolish the Juju hierarchy of the Aro tribe, which by superstition and fraud causes much injustice among the coast tribes generally and is opposed to the establishment of Government. The power of the priesthood is also employed in obtaining natives for sale as slaves and it is essential to finally break it; to open up the country of the entire Aro to civilization; to induce the natives to engage in legitimate trade; to introduce a currency in lieu of slaves, brass rods, and other forms of native currency and to facilitate trade transactions; to eventually establish a labour market as a substitute to the present system of slavery” ~ Sir Ralph Moore, the British High Commissioner of the Nigerian Coast Protectorate.
Sir Ralph Moore and the Royal Niger Company had planned the attack on the Aros and the Ibini Ukpabi oracle since September 1899 but due to lack of necessary manpower, it was delayed until November 1901. On November 28, Lt. Col. A. F. Montanaro led 87 officers, 1,550 soldiers and 2,100 carriers in four axes of advance to Arochukwu from Oguta, Akwete, Unwuna and Itu on a counter-insurgency campaign. As expected, Aro forces resisted all axes strongly, although they lacked modern weapons. However, Arochukwu was captured on December 28 after four days of fierce battles in and around the city. As a result the Ibini Ukpabi shrine was allegedly blown up. Battles between British and Aro forces continued throughout the region until spring 1902 when Aro forces were defeated in the last major battle at Bende. The Aro Expedition ended three weeks later.
• Battles in the Oguta/Owerri area (November 1901)
• Battles of Esu Itu (December 1901)
• Battles of Arochukwu (December 1901)
• Battle of Edimma (January 1902)
• Battle of Ikotobo (January 1902)
• Battle of Ikorodaka (February 1902)
• Battle of Bende (March 1902)
Much more here: http://www.bedfordregiment.org.uk/2ndbn/2ndbtnofficersdied.html. Igbo looks and costumes: http://ukpuru.blogspot.com.ng/2014/08/engaged-igbo-women.html
Recommended Director: Christian Chika Onu, PhD.
10. “Togo Triangle” – based on eye witness accounts of oil theft in the Niger Delta and the mafia controlled illegal oil export market in Togo. From Episode 578: “How To Steal A Million Barrels Of Oil,” October 29, 2014 7:43 PM ET. See details on http://www.nigeriansreport.com/2015/11/how-to-steal-million-barrels-of-oil.html.
Recommended Director: Lancelot Oduwa Imasuen.
~ By Ekenyerengozi Michael Chima, Publisher/Editor of NOLLYWOOD MIRROR® SERIES. Visit https://www.amazon.com/author/ekenyerengozimichaelchima and http://www.nigeriansreport.com/.