By Abiodun Alade
UK-based award-winning Nigerian author, Ibitola Ojoye-Adebayo, a graduate of pharmacology from the University of Portsmouth, is a writer of contemporary romance with a twist. Her writing is a portal into her mind and soul. Sparked with a passion for gothic horror, mystery and romance novels, her top writing influences include Virginia Andrews and Stephen King. In 2013, she completed her first Novella, “Acceptance,” a powerful testimony of love, loss and betrayal. In this interview, she speaks on her plan to turn the award-winning book into a movie.
I had my primary education in the UK, before coming to Nigeria for my secondary education at Government College, Ikorodu. It was tough because my parents were not in Nigeria and I was in the boarding school, but it was fun as well because I lived with my grandparents during the holidays.
After that, I went back to the UK, where I graduated from Portsmouth University with a degree in pharmacology. I currently work as a clinical research professional.
I wrote the book by accident. In 2007, when I got married and had a baby, I felt like I was being bogged down by a lot of stuff, and I just wanted to get everything out of my head. I started putting down my thoughts and feelings in a diary format. It was a therapy for me back then but in 2013, I wanted to do something special for my wedding anniversary.
While I was rummaging through the house, I came across the notebook where i put down my thoughts and feelings in 2007. After reading through it, I realized that what I wrote could be turned into a story that others can learn from, especially for girls in black and Asian communities.. That gave birth to the book ‘Acceptance’.
The book is not an autobiography because most of the things I put down in the book has nothing to do with me.
Acceptance is a family drama about love, loss and betrayal and is the first of a series. The novel shows the tragic consequences of secrets and lies and what happens when an ordinary girl is let down and pushed to extremes by the people she loves; her husband and family.
The main plot is about Eva and her passionate relationship with husband, Richard, with a back story about her family history and her mother’s experiences in Nigeria during the Biafran war. As the story unfolds we discover that no one is quite what they seem and Eva gradually uncovers the truth about their deception with tragic consequences.
The central theme that runs through the book is a mother and daughter’s non-existent relationship; how people migrate through no fault of their own and how war can tear people apart.
There is also this theme of how a marriage can go drastically wrong. One minute, it’s all lovey-dovey; the next minute, everything starts to fall apart.
It has a UK and Nigeria setting which ensure that Africans and Europeans can relate with the book.
The story comes in 3 parts. The Part 1 is ‘Acceptance’, Part 2 is ‘Acceptance: Into the Darkness’ while the Part 3, the concluding part, which will be released hopefully before the end of this year.
The story is going to be adopted into an international standard feature film. International Multi-award winning Script Writer and Director, Fredi Nwaka AKA Fredi Kruga is has converted the story to a screenplay and he is going to direct the movie.
We are pushing actors and investment that is why we are promoting it in Nigeria. It will be great to have a mixture of both prominent actors here and those in the UK so that both audiences can relate with them. It should not just be Hollywood but a mixture of Nollywood and Hollywood because it is about 60% African and 40% British. Fortunately for me, I have both background.
Sponsorship and actors
Right now, we’re looking for more sponsors, investors and collaborators to make the project a reality; with 200, 000 pounds, we can make a good movie.
We are thinking of Idris Elba, Sophie Okonedo, Genevieve Nnaji, Joke Silva, and many others as characters in the movie.
Investors can be rest assured that it will be worth their investments because we intend to make a gripping and exciting film that will break barriers.
The book has huge followership already so the movie will only make it better.
I never knew that I was going to get this followership and recognition because I’m just an ordinary girl living my ordinary life.
More so, there was a lot of rejection after the first draft of the book. The first three chapters were rejected by agents. I didn’t give up and I went into self-publishing. I sent it to prominent people in the community for review. I am not regretting it one bit because that singular decision has changed my life, I have bagged awards and gotten so many recommendations from people that have read the book.
I won Diva author of the year 2015 – Divas of colour awards 2015. Nominated for author of the year 2015 -women4africa awards 2015, nominated for Afro -Asia awards 2015 in the category Online Magazine/Blog and author of the year 2015 -Creativity awards 2015 among others
Words to fans and budding writers
I want to thank them for their continued support; it’s been a great encouragement for me to see people having interest in me and my books.
I will urge budding writers to keep writing, don’t give up and it is always good to just put down the ideas at the start rather than wanting perfection from the first ink. Don’t be afraid to write and express yourself.