A biopic based on the life of 19th century Nigerian monarch, King Jaja of Opobo, is in the works.
The rights to produce the biopic have been acquired by producer Charles Okpaleke and actor-turned-director, Ramsey Nouah. The CEO of Play Network shared that his production company will be taking the story from “an authentic perspective, having the privilege of sitting with King Dandeson Douglas, Jeki V (5th on the throne) during the sesquicentennial celebration of Opobo Kingdom.”
“We can say we have the authentic account of the eventful life of King Jaja and we are set to tell it in a gripping way as you all have come to expect from us,” Okpaleke wrote on his Instagram account on Friday.
King Jaja, one of the most revered monarchs in Nigeria, was a merchant prince and the founder of Opobo city-state in an area that is now Rivers state in Nigeria.
Born in 1821 in present day Imo State, he was sold as a slave at the age of 12 but rose in the ranks to a politician and merchant prince.
He was among the first rulers to resist British colonialism, refusing to concede power or cease the taxation of British traders. He was eventually arrested, tried and exiled to London then the West Indies.
After years in exile, he died in 1891 on the way back to his Kingdom.