Cyprian Ekwensi’s classic Novel “The Passport of Mallam Ilia”, is being adapted into a 2D Animated Movie.
According to one of Nigeria’s national daily newspaper The Premium Times, 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.”
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The Author of The Passport of Mallam Ilia
Late Cyprian Ekwensi is a renowned literary icon whose work in the short stories children stories genre are master pieces.
Ekwensi, an Igbo, was born in Minna, Niger State. He is a native of Nkwelle Ezunaka in Oyi local government area, Anambra State, Nigeria. His father was David Anadumaka, a story-teller and elephant hunter.
His work extended beyond the short story telling, he also wrote radio and television scripts, and several dozen novels, including children’s books.
Ekwensi died on 4 November 2007 at the Niger Foundation in Enugu, where he underwent an operation for an undisclosed ailment.
The Passport of Mallam Ilia was written in 1948 but was published 12 years later in 1960.
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The Plot of The Passport of Mallam Ilia
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.
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.
Blending traditional themes with undisguised romanticism, this classic novel also explores the life, love and adventures of Mallam Ilia during Nigerian colonial times.
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Watch the teaser trailer below.
You can also visit and donate to the film’s website: iliathemovie.com.