The Nommo Awards, for African Speculative Fiction, Announces 2021 Winners

Novelist Akwaeke Emezi and editor Oghenechovwe Donald Ekpeki are among this year’s honorees of the African Speculative Fiction Society (ASFS).
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Akwaeke Emezi. From @azemezi on Instagram.

Akwaeke Emezi. From @azemezi on Instagram.

The African Speculative Fiction Society (ASFS) has announced the winners of the 2021 Nommo Awards.

Since 2017, the annual Nommo Awards have celebrated African writers for works of speculative fiction, encompassing “science fiction, fantasy, stories of magic and traditional belief, alternative histories, horror and strange stuff that might not fit in anywhere else.” It has categories for Best Novel, Best Novella, Best Short Story, and Best Comic or Graphic novel.

The Nigerian author Akwaeke Emezi received the Ilube Nommo Award for Best Novel for their 2020 novel The Death of Vivek Oji.

Nigeria’s Oghenechovwe Donald Ekpeki won Best Novella for Ife-Ikyoku: The Tale of Imadeyunuagbon.

Tlotlo Tsamaase. From tlotlotsamaase.com.
Tlotlo Tsamaase. From tlotlotsamaase.com.

Nigeria’s Innocent Chizaram Ilo and Botswana’s Tlotlo Tsamaase were joint winners for Best Short Story, for their “Rat and Finch Are Friends,” in Strange Horizons, and “Behind Our Irises,” in Africanfuturism: Anthology, respectively.

The Best Graphic Novel award went to the Ghanaian writer and journalist Nana Akosua Hanson’s Moongirls, with art by AnimaxFYB Studios.

The announcements were made during a ceremony at DisCon III, the 79th World Science Fiction Convention, with the American writer and editor Sheree Renee Thomas as host.

Oghenechovwe Donald Ekpeki.
Oghenechovwe Donald Ekpeki.

“As newer audiences embrace storytelling from around the world,” she said in her opening speech, “there is an excitement and openness to exploring rich tales that speak to the diverse cultural heritage that is born from not only Africa’s broad and diverse diaspora, but from the continent of Africa itself.”

Presenters included the writers Suyi Davies Okungbowa, Iquo Diana Abasi, and Tochi Onyebuchi. The event also featured readings from the winning works.

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Founded in 2016, the African Speculative Fiction Society is a body of African writers, artists, creators, editors, and publishers in fantasy, science fiction, horror, afrofuturism, and related genres. Members of the society vote the winners of the Nommo Awards.

Paula Willie-Okafor
Paula Willie-Okafor is a staff writer at Open Country Mag. She is a student at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, where she is custodian of The Writers' Community (TWC). Her writing has appeared in Kissing Dynamite Magazine and Praxis Magazine.

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