Mzansi Love is in the air
NIGERIAN-BORN South African actress, Moky Makura, has adapted her romance books for TV.
NIGERIAN-BORN South African actress, Moky Makura, best known for her presenting on the news and actuality show Carte Blanche, plus her role as Hlomla Dandala's sister on Jacob's Cross, has adapted her romance books for TV.
Sowetan caught up with the entrepreneur and publishing director of Romance Nollybooks Bookazines, a series of easy-to-read, chic-lit romance fiction titles with a South African touch to discuss the joys and challenges of the project.
How was the Nollybooks idea conceived?
Nollybooks was more a case of reinventing a concept that already worked. Nollybooks is unashamedly based on the Mills and Boons phenomenon which is how many people developed the love of reading.
South Africa is not a reading nation, how has the response to your books been?
It's been very positive. Like anything "new" it will take time to change habits and these movies on e.tv will help sell the message that books are just another platform for entertainment.
What would you say is the moral of the tales in your books?
The books are about falling in love. they are entertaining and morally upright in that there is no sex in our pages but as one of my writers called it there is plenty of "under the blouse action!"
Why the idea of adapting your books into a television series? Movie adaptations of books have always focused the attention back on the books themselves. I believe some people who love the movies - and they are lovable - will want to go back and read the books. I do that.
Does that not compromise the power of imagination?
The movies are the imagination of the script writers and directors brought to life, which is why in some cases and for some people it is better to read the books.
I am hoping the Mzansi Love series will do the same for Nollybooks. It happened with Harry Potter, Slumdog Millionaire, The Twilight Saga, Invictus and many more. The idea of our movies is to ultimately draw people back to reading and show that books can be as entertaining as anything you will find on television.
How much is your involvement in the TV project?
I am the executive producer and worked very closely with producer Bridget Pickering on the process of getting them on TV - this involved working with e.tv who have been fantastic throughout this.
Would you recommend people to read the book first or watch the series first?
I have done both but I think people will more likely watch the movie first and be interested in how the story is told - often in more depth in the book.
Your characters do not attempt extreme intimacy. Is that realistically portraying today's relationships?
The books are about romance and falling in love.sex is what comes after.
How many books have been written so far?
There are 12 romance titles in the series and four crimes ones to date. But we have so many new and talented writers waiting to write for us.