Kenya: Wanuri Kahiu Set to Direct Us Hip Hop Film 'On the Come Up'

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Promotional image from Rafiki.
22 October 2020

Wanuri Kahiu has signed on to direct Paramount's feature adaptation of the novel On the Come Up by Angie Thomas.

This comes two months after she signed a deal with Disney Plus to direct the popular Broadway musical 'Once on This Island' for the streaming service.

The feature film will be the second movie adaptation after The Hate U Give from novelist Angie Thomas.

Angie is the author of one of New York Times Bestselling film, 'The Hate U Give'.

Wanuri made the announcement on Twitter writing, "New project alert: It's bigger than hip hop! I'm attached to direct a film based on the book On The ComeUp... "

New project alert: It's bigger than hip hop! I'm attached to direct a Film based on the book #OnTheComeUp by @angiecthomas, screenwriter @KayOyegun with @TempleHillEnt #StateStreetPictures and #ParamountPlayers. 😁https://t.co/4DT4uGkFDF

- Wanuri (@wanuri) October 19, 2020

The film centers on 16-year-old Bri, who wants to be one of the greatest rappers of all time. As the daughter of an underground hip-hop legend who died right before he hit big, Bri has massive shoes to fill.

But it is hard to get your come up when you are labeled a hoodlum at school, and your fridge at home is empty after your mom loses her job. So Bri pours her anger and frustration into her first song, which goes viral for all the wrong reasons.

Kahiu is better known internationally for her work on 'Rafiki' which became the first Kenyan film to screen at the Cannes Film Festival.

Kahiu's feature 'Rafiki' followed two girls who fall in love in Nairobi despite the ever-watching gaze of the neighborhood. The movie was nominated for the Queer Palme at Cannes.

Her first 2009 feature 'From A Whisper' was based on the real events surrounding the 1998 twin bombings of US Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania and won Best Narrative Feature in 2010 at the Pan African Film Festival in Los Angeles, as well as five awards at the African Movie Academy Award, including Best Director and Best Screenplay.

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