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Wole Soyinka’s “The Man Died” to Get Film Adaptation Starring Wale Ojo

The autobiographical account of the Nobel laureate’s imprisonment will be brought to the big screen by a team of Nollywood filmmakers.
April 1, 2024
8:56 am
Wole Soyinka

One of Nigeria’s most revered literary works is headed for a cinematic retelling. An upcoming film adaptation of “The Man Died: Prison Notes of Wole Soyinka” will see veteran Nollywood actor Wale Ojo portraying the iconic writer and political activist Wole Soyinka.


The 1972 memoir chronicles Soyinka’s experiences while incarcerated in solitary confinement by the Nigerian military government in the late 1960s. His imprisonment resulted from outspoken criticism of the authorities’ actions during the Nigerian Civil War.


Throughout the autobiographical “Prison Notes,” Soyinka reflects on themes of resistance, survival, and the perseverance of the human spirit under oppression. The work further cemented his status as one of Africa’s most influential literary voices.


In 1986, Soyinka became the first Black African writer to receive the Nobel Prize in Literature, an honor recognizing his vast body of celebrated works exploring the human condition through a blend of myth, philosophy and drama.


The film adaptation assembles an ensemble cast of popular Nollywood talents including Chidi Mokeme, Sam Dede, Norbert Young, and Francis Onwochei, among others. Behind the camera are producer Femi Odugbemi, writer Bode Asiyanbi, and director Awam Amkpa.


“The Man Died” movie is scheduled for release in July 2024, coinciding with Soyinka’s 90th birthday celebration. By dramatizing this powerful first-hand account, the filmmakers aim to introduce the esteemed playwright and memoirist’s legacy to a new generation of viewers.


The big-screen retelling promises an immersive look at a pivotal historic period in Nigeria through the lens of one of the nation’s most essential literary voices. A trailer for the upcoming biopic is already available to build anticipation.

There trailer can be watched here.


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