Aja Naomi King (“How To Get Away With Murder”) has begun production on her next project, according to Deadline. The “How To Get Away With Murder” star is currently in Belgium, playing Somali activist Ifrah Ahmed in the upcoming biopic “A Girl From Mogadishu.” Check out the first look at King portraying Ahmed above.
Ahmed was born in a refugee camp, eventually escaping war-torn Somalia as a teen. When she applied for refugee status in Ireland, she recounted the childhood nightmare of undergoing female genital mutilation-cutting (FGM/C). Her testimony shook the world, and she now campaigns for the halt of the practice, taking her fight to the President of Ireland, the European Parliament and the United Nations. Ahmed is now one of the world’s most outspoken activists against gender based violence, and seeks to shed a spotlight on the horrors of FGM/C in the upcoming biopic, telling Variety she “[hopes] our film achieves the sam impact on FGM/C as the film “Philadelphia” did for the issue of HIV/AIDS.”
King will portray a young Ahmed alongside Martha Canga Antonio (“Black), Barkhad Abdi (“Captain Phillips”) and Somali icon Maryam Mursals. Mary McGuckian (“The Price of Desire”) wrote the script and will direct and produce. Umedia’s Adrian Politowski will produce alongside McGuckian, with Tom Harberd, Phil Hunt, Compton Ross, Anastasia Garret, Jason Garret, David Rogers, Peter Bevan, Nadia Khamlichi, Tatjana Kozar, Gilles Waterkeyn, Lesley McKimm, Brian O’Shea, Emma Beanland and Caroline Keeling executive producing.”A Girl From Mogadishu” is produced by Pembridge Pictures from Ireland and Umedia from Belgium, along with production services provided by Dune Film Productions in Morocco.
McGuckian has praised Ahmed’s strength and determination, saying:
[Ahmed is] just an immensely inspiring person and her story speaks to all of refugee status, sexual violence in conflict, gender based violence, the asylum system as well as FGM. Fundamentally, A Girl From Mogadishu celebrates the power of testimony. How, when women find the courage to stand-up, speak out and tell their truth, the impact can be more than inspiring and empowering, and act as a meaningful catalyst for change.
King is best recognized for her role on “How To Get Away With Murder,” playing law student Michaela Pratt. She also portrayed Nat Turner’s wife Cherry in “Birth of a Nation.”