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IHIDERO, Victor Osae

Nollywood, Meta-Narrativity and the Challenges of Narrating History in Half Of A Yellow Sun and Black November

Victor Osae IHIDERO

PhD Research Student

Department of Theatre and Performing Arts

Ahmadu Bello University (ABU)

Zaria, Kaduna State



One of the emerging ways by which most authors now preserve historical literature is by conserving it within the frame of films. Film within the context of historicity entertains, educates and reminds viewers of the trajectory of past events in relation to existing realities. As such, Nollywood is, more than before, becoming notorious for translating literary-text that expresses ethnic struggles into films. Before now, only a few famous works of Nigerian authors have successfully made a translation into films with Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart making a transition to television in the late 1980’s. However, what commonly eludes the psyche of many film producers today is the fact that while translating historical literature into film, the history of the people that owns the historical material or shares the historical experience is being re-interpreted, rewritten, packaged and narrated as the factual version of the original history. Thus, in attempting to narrate people’s history from literature to film, other narratives are birthed. These new narratives are born out of the director’s voice in such films and the viewer’s rapport with the original history. This paper therefore, by means of nuanced meta-analysis of Biyi Bandele’s Half of a Yellow Sun (2014), a film translated from Chimamanda Adichie’s book of the same title and Jeta Amata’s Black November (2014), a film concerning the struggles of the Niger Delta people, examines the complexities of narrating history side-by-side the obscurities that emerge from the construction of Igbo and Ijaw identities.

Keywords: Nollywood,Meta-narrativity and History.