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The sisters Olanna and Kainene, played by Thandie Newton and Anika-Rose Noni, in the film adaptation of Adichie’s Half of a Yellow Sun.

Who is your favourite African female literary character? Is it Darling in NoViolet Bulawayo’s We Need New Names? Or Effia or Esi in Yaa Gyasi’s Homegoing? Or Neni in Imbolo Mbue’s Behold the Dreamers? Olanna or Kainene in Chimamanda Adichie’s Half of a Yellow Sun? Ajany or Akai in Yvonne Owuor’s Dust? Memory in Petina Gappah’s The Book of Memory? Soraya in Leila Aboulela’s Lyrics Alley? Suubi in Jennifer Makumbi’s Kintu? Kirby in Lauren Beukes’ The Shining Girls? Or Germaine Spencer in Zukiswa Wanner’s London Cape Town Joburg?

As part of the buildup to their 2017 festival, which will be headlined by Alain Mabanckou from 30 June–2 July, Africa Writes is inviting the literary community to send in short videos in which they talk about their favourite African female literary characters. Here is an example of what the video should be like.

Congolese novelist Alain Mabanckou will headline the 2017 Africa Writes Festival.

This exciting idea is part of a social media campaign that The Royal African Society is running with Nzinga Effect, a media platform that tells African women’s stories, in the lead up to Africa Writes.

All videos that meet the criteria will be featured across the social platforms of The Royal African Society, Africa Writes and Nzinga Effect, and the very best will be screened at the festival itself!

Here are the guidelines:

1. Send to nzingaeffect@gmail.com a video in MP4 format of you answering this question: Who is your favourite female African character in a book and why?

2. Include a full and accurate transcript of everything you say on that video.

3. In the email, make sure you provide: your first and surname, your title, your social media handles (must include Twitter, Facebook and Instagram), and a short bio (2 sentences maximum).
the video should be like.

4. Deadline for your video is Thursday, 8 June, 2017.

This is an exciting initiative we’re wholly behind. Submit!

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About Otosirieze Obi-Young

View all posts by Otosirieze Obi-Young
Otosirieze Obi-Young is a writer, journalist, & Deputy Editor of Brittle Paper. The recipient of the inaugural The Future Awards Prize for Literature in 2019, he is a judge for The Gerald Kraak Prize and was a judge for The Morland Writing Scholarship in 2019. He is Nonfiction Editor at 14, Nigeria’s first queer art collective, which has published volumes including We Are Flowers (2017) and The Inward Gaze (2018). He is Curator at The Art Naija Series, a sequence of e-anthologies of writing and visual art focusing on different aspects of Nigerianness, including Enter Naija: The Book of Places (2016), which explores cities, and Work Naija: The Book of Vocations (2017), which explores professions. His work in queer equality advocacy in literature has been profiled in Literary Hub. His fiction has appeared in The Threepenny Review and Transition. He has completed a collection of short stories, You Sing of a Longing, is working on a novel, and is represented by David Godwin Associates literary agency. He has an M.A. in African Studies and a combined honours B.A. in History & International Studies/English & Literary Studies, both from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He taught English in a private Nigerian university. Find him at otosirieze.com, where he accepts writing and editing offers, or on Instagram or Twitter: @otosirieze. When bored, he Googles Rihanna.

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