At the ongoing Africa International Film Festival (AFRIFF), movie enthusiasts, critics, and creatives converged to experience literature brought to life with the Ishaya Bako-directed ‘I Do Not Come to You By Chance.’ Its Nigerian debut at AFRIFF captivated audiences, stealing the spotlight with its cinematic brilliance.
Executively produced by renowned Nigerian actor Genevieve Nnaji, ‘IDNCTYBC’ was adapted from Adaobi Nwaubani’s best-selling novel of the same name.
The film follows Kingsley (Paul Nnadiekwe), a resourceful first-born son navigating Nigeria’s job market woes. Faced with financial challenges, he reluctantly enters the world of email scams under his infamous uncle, Cash Daddy (Blossom Chukwujekwu), unravelling a tale of wit and deception. The film, born from an acclaimed literary work, explores the art of the confidence trick in a captivating narrative.
Drawn to the book’s vivid narrative, Bako revealed he was captivated by the story just before he commenced work on ‘Lionheart,’ Nnaji’s directorial debut. He termed it as having a ‘cinematic potential.’
“The idea of the book adapted into the film is that when reading the book, it seems cinematic, like something that should be told on the big screen. And I think we haven’t appreciated enough of our literature. I know that there are a couple of adaptations in recent times, but compared to the amount of Nigerian literature that we have, we need to do more adaptations. This book just lent itself.”
Bako added, “I appreciated this experience more in terms of how the stories and narratives exist in the medium that they do.
Ensuring that the film fully captured the spirit of the book, Nwaubani was consulted to provide input and suggestions. Basking at the premiere, she mentioned that the book’s essence was captured in the film’s one-hour and 45-minute run.
“I gave the book my best,” Nwaubani noted. “And in the years since the book was published, it has amassed fans around the world. There are people who really love this book. So what pleases me about the film is it gives many more people around the world the opportunity to experience the story and enjoy it as much as I enjoyed writing the book. So it expands the world of the story, brings more exposure and spreads the impact.”
‘IDCTYBC’ also parades an array of Nollywood favourites like Jennifer Eliogu, Norbert Young, Francis Duru, Beverly Osu, Emeka Nwagbaraocha, Sambasa Nzeribe and others.