A Netflix Adaptation for Tola Okogwu’s YA Novel, Onyeka and the Academy of the Sun

The production will be by Will Smith’s Westbrook Studios and David Oyelowo’s Yoruba Saxon.
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tola okogwu

Tola Okogwu.

The British Nigerian journalist Tolá Okogwu will have her book Onyeka and the Academy of the Sun adapted to film. Forthcoming from Simon & Schuster in June, the Young Adult novel has been described as “Black Panther meets X-Men,” and is the first in an action-filled series for children.

It is the tale of a teenager who discovers she has supernatural powers and travels to her hometown in Nigeria to learn more about them. There, she discovers a threat to the Solari, a magical community she trained with at the Nigeria-based Academy of the Sun.

Will Smith’s Westbrook Studios and David Oyelowo’s Yoruba Saxon will partner in producing the film, Variety reported. Ola Shokunbi, of the ABC series The Fix, will write the screenplay. The executive producers are Westbrook Studios’ Heather Washington and Yoruba Saxon’s Jessica Oyelowo—David’s business partner and wife. 

tola okogwu - onyeka and the academy of the sun

Tolá Okogwu was born in Nigeria and raised in the UK. Aside her writing, she is a Hair Care Educator and holds a journalism degree. Her self-published picture book series, DADDY DO MY HAIR, was inspired by the relationship between her husband and daughters.

“Through her books and wider writing,” her website states, “she constantly seeks to create ‘mirrors and windows,’ allowing children the opportunity to read books that are reflective of their own and other cultures.”

There hasn’t been more information on the release of the film, but with these acclaimed professionals working together, it’s shaping up to be an exciting project.

Emmanuel Esomnofu
Emmanuel Esomnofu is a staff writer at Open Country Mag. He is a culture journalist and has written extensively on Nigerian music and on several moving parts of popular culture. His writing appears online in Native Mag, Okay Africa, Kalahari Review, Praxis Magazine, and elsewhere. He was published in print in The Muse, the oldest student journal in West Africa. In December 2020, he worked on "Fuji: A Opera" as a copywriter, creating informative and exciting stories from Fuji's rich history.

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