Nairobi News


‘Rafiki’ filmmaker Wanuri set to write and direct US TV series

March 31st, 2019 2 min read

Kenya film director Wanuri Kahiu has landed yet another project in Hollywood after she was tapped to write and direct a new television series in the United States.

According to media reports from Hollywood, Wanuri will team up with author Nnedi Okorafor to develop an Octavia Butler novel as a drama series for streaming services Amazon.

They will be developing Wild Seed, the first of Butler’s Patternist sci-fi series under American-based independent film company JuVee Production courtesy of Viola Davis and Julius Tennon, who has a first-look deal with Amazon.

This will be Wanuri’s third project in Hollywood as she is already directing two post-Rafiki projects. Last year got her first big break in US to direct Universal and Working Title’s Covers, and in February, she was tapped to direct Stranger Things staring Millie Bobby Brown in a film adaptation of the YA novel The Thing About Jellyfish at Universal with Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine producing it.


In a statement, both Wanuri and Okorafor described the book as a voice of women of colour attributing aspects of their career paths to it.

“We love Octavia Butler and her work and have for decades. But Wild Seed is our favorite. It’s expansive, disturbing, and unique. Wild Seed stays with you. It’s a love/hate story of African immortals that connects people on the African continent to the Diaspora. It merges the mystical and the scientific seamlessly. You’re going to see shape-shifting, body jumping, telepaths, people born with the ability to defy the laws of physics, all in the context of our past, present and future world,” said Kahiu and Okorafor.

Wanuri rose to international stardom following the huge success of her controversial gay film Rafiki.


Despite being banned in Kenya for its bold approach to LGBTQ+ representation, Rafiki was the first Kenyan film to be screened in competition at Cannes film festival – where it received a lengthy standing ovation.

Viola, popularly known for her role as Professor Annalise Keating in the critically acclaimed show, How to Get Away With Murder, also hailed the book as one that changed her life.

Wild Seed is a book that shifted my life. It is as epic, as game changing, as moving and brilliant as any Science Fiction novel ever written. Julius and I are proud to have this masterpiece in our hands. It fulfills our promise and legacy to be disrupters. Octavia Butler was a visionary and we look forward to honoring the scope of her work and sharing it with the world,” she was quoted by Deadline.