Six African books That Will Rock Your Socks Off as Movies

Lyrics Alley by Leila Abouelah

In 1950s Sudan, the powerful Abuzeid dynasty has amassed a fortune through their trading firm. With Mahmoud Bey at its helm, they can do no wrong. But when Mahmoud’s son, Nur, the brilliant, handsome heir to the business empire, suffers a debilitating accident, the family stands divided in the face of an uncertain future.

Leila evokes so many emotions with this book and with the right director, it will shine on screen.

Season of Crimson Blossoms by Abubakar Ibrahim

Oh this is bound to shake some tables.
An affair between 55-year-old widow Binta Zubairu and 25-year-old weed dealer Reza was bound to provoke condemnation in conservative Northern Nigeria. Brought together in unusual circumstances, Binta and Reza faced a need they could only satisfy in each other. Binta – previously reconciled with God – now yearns for intimacy after the sexual repression of her marriage, the pain of losing her first son and the privations of widowhood. Meanwhile, Reza’s heart lies empty and waiting to be filled due to the absence of a mother. The situation comes to a head when Binta’s wealthy son confronts Reza, with disastrous consequences.

The Hundred wells of Salaga by Ayesha Harruna Attah

Set in precolonial Ghana. Two women. One a slave. One a princess. They meet at Salaga slave market and life takes on a whole new meaning. I want to watch.



My sister the serial killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite

Exactly as the title suggests. Who wouldn’t want to watch a movie set in Lagos about a beautiful serial killer whose sister helps cover up her murders? Oh, and it has already been optioned for a movie. So yes. You’re gonna see this on your screen soon.

Paradise by Abdulrazak Gurnah

A boy born in the fictional town of Kawa in Tanzania at the turn of the Twentieth century. Yusuf’s father is a hotelier and is in debt to a rich and powerful Arab merchant named Aziz. Early in the story Yusuf is pawned in exchange for his father’s owed debt to Aziz and must work as an unpaid servant for the merchant. Yusuf joins Aziz’s caravan as they travel into parts of Central Africa and the Congo Basin that have hitherto not been traded with for many generations. Here, Aziz’s caravan of traders meets hostility from local tribes, wild animals and difficult terrain. As the caravan returns to East Africa, World War I begins and Aziz encounters the German Army as they sweep Tanzania, forcibly conscripting African men as soldiers.
This will definitely rock on the big screen.

Zoo City by Lauren Beukes

Science fiction. Alternate version of places. A flawed protagonist with a unique name. Solving a crime for a music producer. The makings of a kick ass movie. The rights to the film has already been bought.
Zoo City is set in an alternate version of the South African city of Johannesburg, in which people who have committed a crime are magically attached to an animal familiar – those who receive such punishment are said to be “animalled”. The novel’s chief protagonist, Zinzi December, is a former journalist and recovering drug addict who was “animalled” to a sloth after getting her brother killed. She lives in the Johannesburg suburb of Hillbrow, which is nicknamed “Zoo City” in the novel for its large population of animalled people, refugees and the dispossessed. Zinzi is attempting to repay the financial debt she owes her drug dealer by charging people for her special skill of finding lost objects, as well as making use of her writing abilities by drafting 419 fraud emails. The book’s plot focuses on Zinzi’s attempts to find the missing female member of a brother-and-sister pop duo for a music producer, in return for the money she needs to fully repay her dealer.

I deserve to watch this. We all do.