A film adaptation of Wole Soyinka’s time- honoured classic Ake: The years of childhood in which he covers his own childhood years at the prime of Nigeria’s colonial period 1934-1945. It is set squarely within the world war II years.
Soyinka combines a beautiful child-view narrative technique with direct echoes from the war as heard and imagined down in Ake-Abeokuta.
Apart from its significant peek into his first eleven years, the political import and rumbles of the war that Soyinka covers through the eyes of a child endows it with its greatest significance as both an historical and a literary text.
Ake is filmed in various locations in Abeokuta, Ibadan and Lagos on and off through some fifteen months.
A further nine months were spent in post- production, and is now set for a world-wide release in 2017. The film had festival exposure in Cannes, France early in 2016. Months before, it was previewed by the cast, crew and friends of the production at the Muson Centre in Lagos. Alliance Francaise in Nigeria also supported the film with the closed captions in French.
This compendium Ake, Great Moments of a Grand Production is a pictorial and textual narrative provided by the film’s director and executive producer, Dapo Adeniyi. Images featured are mostly cine grabs, with scant actual still photographs by photographers George Osodi and Akintunde Akinleye who happened on the production while rolling.
Wole Soyinka, Africa’s foremost writer and dramatist is also the first black winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1986.
Aké began filming officially on 13th July 2013. The thinking was to set out on Soyinka’s 79th birthday. We had all kinds of outsize ideas as well. Someone commented that Aké saw the largest buildup of hardware in Nigeria’s production history. Red scarlet cam, HMIs, cranes, tracks and dollies, etc.
“I was very concerned for the part given to me because, to play the part of the mother of our Nigerian legend, is a big kettle of fish for someone like me.
Each time I try to prepare for it my mind races because of her very strong yet extremely calm and volatile personality, I’m so grateful I got thought of for the role of Mrs. Olufunmilayo Ransome-Kuti.”
“Wole Soyinka is the only African writer who is well known to the public in the West. A film adaptation of his childhood narrative is a very big pie to dip one’s hand in.”