Ake 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, much of which had to be turned down in the face of prevailing realities. For example, we wanted the first day of shoot to be witnessed by “friends of Ake”.
Coffeetable Book Blurb
This compendium Ake, Great Moments of a Grand Production is a pictorial and textual narrative provided by the film’s executive producer, Dapo Adeniyi. Images featured are mostly cine grabs, with scant actual still photographs by photographers George Osodi and Akintunde Akinleye.
It can't be too difficult to imagine that the locations of the stories told in Ake: The years of childhood are completely transformed today, or that this would be a challenge for anyone seeking to make a feature film based on that childhood memoir of Wole Soyinka, the Nobel Prize winning author.
A film adaptation of Wole Soyinka’s time- honoured classic Aké: 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 Aké-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.
Wole Soyinka was born 13 July 1934 and is the internationally acclaimed Nigerian playwright and poet. He was awarded the 1986 Nobel Prize in Literature, the first African to be honoured in that category.
Soyinka was born into a Yoruba family in Abeokuta. After studying in Nigeria and the UK, he worked with the Royal Court Theatre in London. He went on to write plays that were produced in both countries, in theatres and on radio. He took an active role in Nigeria's political history and its struggle for independence from Great Britain. In 1967 during the Nigerian Civil War, he was arrested by the federal government of General Yakubu Gowon and put in solitary confinement for two years.
It can‟t be too difficult to imagine that the locations of the stories told in Ake: The years of childhood are completely transformed today, or that this would be a challenge for anyone seeking to make a feature film based on that childhood memoir of Wole Soyinka, the Nobel Prize winning author. After all, the events of his book occurred between 65 and 75 years ago. Change has left its mark on the landscape. So many things, like many of the people in Soyinka‟s narrative, have either moved on or are long gone.
My journey with the production of Ake began about 25 years ago. I was in my 20's, restless, eager and in possession of what you could call “the pen of a ready writer”. It was the NTA (The Nigerian Television Authority) that had the original idea to film one of Wole Soyinka's works in order to honour him for winning the Nobel Prize in Literature.