THIRTY-FOUR years after it made its first appearance on Nigerian television screen, Chinua Achebe’s classical novel, Things Fall Apart, is making a return to the TV screen across the globe.
The family of the late author has decided to produce the adaptation of the novel for global television audience.
The Achebe family is working with consultants Dayo Ogunyemi of 234 Media and Joe Seldner of Seldner Media to develop Things Fall Apart, Arrow of God and No Longer At Ease into TV series as the themes of the trilogy remain relevant, profound and crucial to current realities.
Chinua Achebe’s wife, Christie, recalled that “in 2020, as the world confronts systemic racism and battles the COVID-19 pandemic, Achebe’s Things Fall Apart and his two other novels — Arrow of God and No Longer At Ease, that make up The African Trilogy – remain relevant, profound and crucial.
The Achebe family members — Christie and children Chinelo Achebe-Ejueyitchie, Chidi and Nwando Achebe — have decided to bring Things Fall Apart to the world through the television.
“We believe this moment makes the message of my husband’s work urgent, especially for Millennials and Generation Z, who are challenging systemic racism and driving the Black Lives Matter movement.
“Chinua Achebe’s recognition and centering of these issues from an African perspective make his stories more vital than ever,” she said.
A television series combines the visual appeal of film with the ability to tell stories over extended programming.
The series will portray decades of wrenching societal change — from the end of the 19th century in Things Fall Apart through the emerging 20th century in Arrow of God, and the mid-20th century pre-independence period in No Longer at Ease.
In 1958, Achebe’s first novel, Things Fall Apart, established African literature on the world stage.
More than 60 years later, it remains the most widely read African novel, having sold more than 20 million copies in English alone and having been translated into more than 60 languages. Time Magazine named it “one of the 100 greatest novels of all time,” and Encyclopedia Britannica called it one of the “12 novels considered the greatest books ever written”.