Soyinka at 90: “The Man Died” to premiere in Lagos for author’s birthday

By Tosin Brown 

The film adaptation of Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka’s book, *The Man Died: Prison Notes of Wole Soyinka,* is set to be the major highlight at the forthcoming event of the literary giant’s 90th birthday celebrations. 

The highly-anticipated feature film scheduled to premiere on July 12 in Lagos, marks the beginning of a global tribute to Africa’s first Nobel laureate, who turns 90 the following day.

The exclusive, invitation-only event will be hosted by producer Femi Odugbemi’s Zuri24Media and directed by the acclaimed Awam Amkpa.

The 110-minute film, shot entirely in Nigeria, vividly portrays Soyinka’s harrowing 22 months in solitary confinement during the Nigerian Civil War.

A host of eminent personalities, diplomats, industry stakeholders, and Soyinka’s close friends and family are expected to attend the premiere.

The organizers, led by Odugbemi, emphasized that this screening is a special tribute to Soyinka’s milestone birthday, with a formal premiere to be scheduled later.

*The Man Died,* first published in 1971, has been transformed into a powerful narrative of resistance and courage. 

The film features an all-star Nigerian cast, including Wale Ojo, Sam Dede, Francis Onwochei, Chidi Mokeme, Norbert Young, Edmond Enabe, Segilola Ogidan, Simileoluwa Hassan, Christiana Oshunniyi, and Abraham Amkpa. 

The production’s commitment to authenticity is reflected in its entirely local crew, capturing the essence of Nigeria’s cultural and political landscape.

In a recent interview, Producer Femi Odugbemi expressed hope that the film will resonate with younger generations, inspiring them to engage with Nigeria’s political history and the ongoing struggle for justice and freedom.

Following its Lagos debut, the film will continue its journey with a screening at The Africa Centre in London on July 25, before touring film festivals worldwide and hitting public cinemas.

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