“The Passport of Mallam Ilia”, the classic novel of late Nigerian literary legend, Cyprian Ekwensi, is currently being made into an animated feature film.
The 2D animated movie project is the brainchild of Magic Carpet Studios in Nigeria.
Speaking on the importance of developing the novel into an animation film, the CEO, Magic Carpet Studios, Ferdinand Adimefe, said, “The animated movie project aims to connect the younger generation with the older one.
“The Passport of Mallam Ilia is one of the most widely read young adult novels of the late 90s.
“It will provide an exciting twist to an already familiar story while exposing the younger generation to the remarkable work of the late iconic writer. It consolidates on efforts in telling authentic African stories, especially through animation.
The plot of the novel which explores colonial Northern Nigeria, and tells a story of love, loss, revenge, provides the right element for an amazing movie,” he noted.
With events primarily taking place in Kano, the story chronicles the journey of a fiery young warrior, Ilia who spent the rest of his life seeking vengeance for the death of his wife, Zarah, in the hands of Mallam Usman.
Sublime and rich, referencing a time before tribalism and insurgency that has since come to be associated with the North, the story unveils the beauty of pre and colonial northern Nigeria, its people, history, culture, tradition and heritage presented in the simplest form of storytelling.
Published in 1960, 12 years after it was written, the Passport of Mallam Ilia appeals to young readers. Written in 1948, it tells of love and retribution.
Blending traditional themes with undisguised romanticism, this classic novel also explores the life, love and adventures of Mallam Ilia during Nigerian colonial times.
It is one of the few Nigerian novels that inspire a yearning for adventure as it takes you on a journey into Northern Nigeria and to self-reflection.