Meet the Crew: Jola Ayeye

What’s the most thrilling part for you — writing, filming, or watching?

Writing by far. I love it very, very much.


What were the biggest challenges in adapting the source material from the book to a script — good and bad.

When you’re trying to stay true to the source material, it can sometimes feel limiting. You don’t want to stray too far out of what people know of a character that feels familiar to them. However, It’s also very helpful. A lot of backstory work is done for you, so you are building on something that exists, which can be wonderful.

Platonic love, particularly between female friends doesn’t get its flowers.

Do you have a consistent way of working when you start a screenplay or teleplay?

My process has changed quite a bit. When I first started I was all over the place honestly, and would just “go with the flow” but now I start with a very basic outline of the story. Depending on how far along development has gone, I then spend time shuffling between developing characters and the treatment of the story until everyone invested is happy with what we have, and then finally, I start scripting.


You’ve had an amazing career so far. How did the relationship with the showrunner [Arese]develop, and what was the creative process like for you?

Amazing is very generous oh! I’m really just getting started and honestly, Arese gave me my first opportunity to write a screenplay for television. I went to university with her youngest sister, Ivie and we were very close, so when Arese decided to turn her book into a series, my girl suggested to me oh! (Thank you Ivie). Arese was VERY involved from start to finish. We started off with my going to her house and spend days just discussing the stories, the characters, the book and placing characters in hypothetical situations, trying to imagine what they would do. Then scripting started. It was months of back and forth. Arese is very dramatic and specific, so she wanted what she wanted, but there was always room to push back and discuss and debate ideas. It was pretty good!


What’s the writer’s room like for a character-driven show like TSMW?


It’s long and hilarious. When I started it was just Arese and I, with Imelda chipping in once in a while. So yes it was funny, and long days.


I think women watching will see elements of themselves in each character or at least someone they know


Do you think TSMW will be an important show for Nigerian women?

Of course, it will be! All the characters are very different women, at different points in their lives financially and emotionally but what remains binding is their friendship.

I’m a girls girl and really do believe that romantic love can be overrated in its consistency, and platonic love, particularly between female friends doesn’t get its flowers.

I think women watching will see elements of themselves in each character or at least someone they know. I really can’t wait for people to see it,


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