Nigerian British Hollywood actor, Chiwetel Ejiofor will soon don the role of late Afro Beat legend Fela Anikulapo Kuti, for an upcoming bio-film of Fela, to be directed by Golden Camera winning artist and filmmaker Steve McQueen. (continues below... )
The film will be based on the 1997 book "Fela: The Life and Times Of An African Musical Icon", by Michael Veal.
It's reported that Chiwetel Ejiofor began learning to play the saxophone and piano while on the set of "Salt", to help fully master the upcoming role.
Influenced by the Black Power movement in America, the late great Fela was a key supporter of human rights in Nigeria in the 1970s thru 1980s, releasing several songs which attacked military dictatorship, government and corporate misrule as well as citizen ignorance, in Nigeria and Africa.
Since his death in 1997, his influence grown even more, globally.
It will be remembered that the story of Fela's life has already been adapted into a musical, "FELA!", which was started off-Broadway in 2008 and is currently receiving more acclaim than any other musical this season, with a recent 11 Tony nominations.
The new Fela movie with Chiwetel Ejiofor will be released possibly in 2011 or 2012.