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Black British Author, Tola Okogwu's debut novel set for Hollywood Blockbuster Adaption! - Woke Babies

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Black British Author, Tola Okogwu’s debut novel set for Hollywood Blockbuster Adaption!

Tolá Okogwu has secured a deal with Netflix for the film adaption of her debut middle-grade book, Onyeka and the Academy of the Sun. Publishing this June by Simon & Schuster, this venture is made more exciting as Will Smith and David Oyelawo team up to produce the film.

Marked as Black Panther meets Percy Jackson, this middle-grade book follows Onyeka a British-Nigerian girl who discovers that her afro hair has psychokinetic powers and is soon whisked off by her mother to the Academy of the Sun, a school where children with superpowers are trained to use their powers correctly. Onyeka is in a new country with new found powers and new superhero friends as she faces monumnetal battles, this is a book you do not want to miss out on.

In her debut novel, Okogwu has created an enthralling new middle-grade series that will inspire black children to fully embrace their beautiful curls whilst they find the superhero inside themselves. The book has created so much of a buzz that it has already been snapped up by Netflix to be produced by four-time Academy Award nominee, Will Smith! The film will also be co-produced by Nigerian-British actor, David Oyelowo, a two-time Emy nominee! This is one not to miss, for the whole family!

Despite this being Okogwu’s debut novel, she has an already impressive catalogue as an author, journalist and afro hair-educator.

Through her journalism she has published work in BlackBallad, Refinery29 and Huffington Post where she has written about afro haircare, the importance of diversity in children’s books and interviewed influencers such as Candice Brathwaite about Black motherhood. Her experience in writing about a range of topics about the Black experience makes Tolá one of the most exciting authors of the moment. Onyeka and the Academy of the Sun, a story all about the magic and wonders of afro hair, brought to us by an expert in afro hair has us all incredibly excited for its publication this summer.


In 2016, she published her picture book Daddy Do My Hair. This rhyming book follows the story of a young girl named Beth and her dad on a marvelous hair adventure, the book will be republished in May 2022 by Simon & Schuster.

In 2021, Okogwu joined forces with Jasmine Richards, an author and judge for the first ever Woke Babies Book Awards later this year, using the pen name Lola Morayo to create the series Aziza’s Secret Fairy Door. A magical chapter book adventure series followig a young girl named Aziza who opens the door to a magical world filled with princesses, faries and mischief all around!

Tolá Okogwu’s works so far have us all obsessed at Woke Babies HQ and we can’t wait to see what she does next!


Onyeka and the Academy of the Sun will be published on 9th June 2022!

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