KIWI Films to Adapt Kopano Matlwa’s Book ‘Coconut’ into a Movie
South African production company KIWI Films has recently optioned novelist Kopano Matlwa’s debut Coconut for a feature film adaptation. The Pontas Agency, Matlwa’s agents, announced the sale of the novel’s audiovisual rights on November 21, 2019.
Published by Jacana Media in 2007, Coconut addresses issues of race, class and colonisation in South Africa. It was awarded the European Union Literary Award in 2006/07 and the Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature in Africa in 2010.
Matlwa was signed by Pontas Literary & Film Agency in October 2016. On top of being an award-winning writer, Matlwa is a medical doctor. Interestingly, she wrote Coconut while completing her medical degree at the University of Oxford. She is currently Executive Director of Grow Great ―a campaign aimed at mobilising South Africa towards achieving a generation free from stunting by 2030. Matlwa is also an elected board member of Health Systems Global, the world’s first international society dedicated to health systems strengthening and knowledge translation. Additionally, she is the founder of Transitions Foundation, an organisation that seeks to help South Africa’s youth transition from hopelessness to personal fulfilment through education. In 2016, she was named as one of South Africa’s game changers in a recent project, 21 Icons, which celebrates young South African talent in honour of Nelson Mandela.
Coconut joins an ever-growing number of African novels to cross into the motion picture and television industry over the past five years: Jacqui L’Ange’s The Seed Thief, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Half of a Yellow Sun and Americanah, Uzodinma Iweala’s Beasts of No Nation, Lauren Beukes’ The Shining Girls, and Nnedi Okorafor’s Who Fears Death?.
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