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The House of Nwapa

The House of Nwapa chronicles the story of Flora Nwapa, considered as Africa’s first female novelist published in English. A string of narratives and interviews, featuring Nobel Laureate, Wole Soyinka, children’s literature writer, Mabel Segun, German anthropologist, Sabine Jell-Bahlsen, Manipuri translator of Things Fall Apart and Efuru, Professor Mani M Meitei, Professor Leslye Obiora and former Heinemann editor, James Currey. It details who she was and what she represented.

  • Onyeka Nwelue
  • Onyeka Nwelue
  • Onyeka Nwelue
  • Wole Soyinka, Mabel Segun, Leslye Obiora, Ona Nwelue, Uzoma Nwakuche
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 31 minutes 1 second
  • Completion Date:
    August 28, 2016
  • Production Budget:
    40,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Film Color:
    Black & White and Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Onyeka Nwelue

Onyeka Nwelue authored his first and popular novel “The Abyssinian Boy” at 21 and won several awards for it. Burnt, his second book has been translated into other languages, including Spanish and was released at the Cusco Book Fair in Peru. His latest book, “Hip-Hop is Only for Children” won the Creative Non-Fiction Book of the Year at the 2015 Nigerian Writers’ Awards. His forthcoming book is called The Voodooist: How Social Capitalists Achieve Dreams Without Money. Nwelue is the President of La Cave Musik, a record label based in Paris, specializing in music from Africa and the Caribbean. He is an Assistant Visiting Professor of African Studies at the University of Manipur and a Visiting Lecturer at the University of Hong Kong and has also lectured in Mexico, Peru, and Malawi.

He is the curator of The Diplomatic Jazz Nights, a monthly free concert supported by Airtel and Ethiopian Airlines.

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Director Statement

The House of Nwapa is scheduled to screen at Harvard University this September, on the invitation of Youth Alliance for Leadership and Development in Africa (YALDA) at Harvard. The YALDA president through an email sent to Onyeka Nwelue states; “We really like to screen engaging film that can lead to exciting and enlightened discussions after – and I am hoping that your film could do just that. We have not had a film on African literature yet, and I would love to fill that gap.”

The documentary film focuses on interviews and narratives about Flora Nwapa (sometimes referred to as the mother of modern African literature). She is the forerunner to a generation of African female writers, and the first African woman novelist to be published in the English language in Britain and achieve international recognition, with her first novel Efuru being published in 1966 (50 years ago) by Heinemann Educational Books. Her novel received mixed reviews but mostly positive ones as she was considered a “pathfinder” able to ”break the seals of silence and invisibility by the early traditionalist male writers”.

The House of Nwapa chronicles the life and times of Flora Nwapa, detailing who she was and what she represented.