Queen Latifah is set to portray Ghanaian hero Peggielene Bartels on the big screen after Will Smith snapped up the rights to a book about her life.

Bartels, a naturalised U.S. citizen, was chosen to become the first female "king" of the impoverished town of Otuam after the death of her leader uncle, and she detailed her experiences in her tome King Peggy.

Her life story is now being turned into a Hollywood movie and the 60 year old, who works as a secretary at Ghana's embassy in Washington, D.C., has given Queen Latifah her official seal of approval.

She says, "I cannot think of anyone better to play me than Queen Latifah because there is even a little physical resemblance."

Bartels spends one month of the year in Otuam and speaks to advisers in the village daily, and she insists her work ethic and passion make her the best woman for the job.

She adds, "They had never considered a woman (to be king) before but the elders drew up a list of candidates and my name came out on top. They know I have a strong personality... Women rule with passion so of course they tend to be better kings."