The announcement of the winners of the inaugural Nommo Awards took place at the ongoing 2017 Ake Arts and Book Festival in Abeokuta, Nigeria. The Nommo Awards, founded in 2016 by the African Speculative Fiction Society (ASFS), recognise the finest fantasy or science fiction works by Africans. The ASFS is a body of African writers, editors, publishers and graphic artists who nominate shortlisted works and vote for the winners. The awards are given in four categories: the US$1000 Best Novel named after the awards benefactor Tom Ilube, the US$500 Best Novella, the US$500 Best Short Story, and the US$1000 Best Comic or Graphic Novel.
ASFS members nominated their favourite works in the four categories, and the works with the most nominations made the shortlist. The members then voted over the next three months for the winner in each category. Nineteen works were nominated across the four categories.
The winners were announced at the formal Welcome Ceremony of Ake Festival, which had in attendance Nnedi Okorafor who was nominated, Tom Ilube, and Geoff Ryman—creative writing lecturer in Manchester University and recipient of the Arthur C Clarke Award, the British Science Fiction Award and the Nebula Award—who introduced The Manchester Review‘s Issue 18 which focused on African speculative fiction. The three took to the stage for the announcement, to ovation for Nnedi Okorafor.
Nnedi Okorafor made the first announcement, for the $1000 Best Comic or Graphic Novel. The nominees: Avonome, written by Xavier Ighorodje, illustrated by Stanley Obende and published by the Comic Republic; The Corpse Exhibition, published as Chimurenga Chronic‘s Issue 3 and edited by Ntone Edjabe; June 12, by Ibrahim Ganiyu, Chike Newman Nwankwo and Akinwade Ayodeji Akinola, and published by Vortex; Might of Guardian Prime‘s Issues 1-8, published by the Comic Republic—Issue 1 written by Ozo Ezeogu and illustrated by Jide Martin, Issues 2-6 written by Toheeb Deen Ipaye and illustrated by Jide Martin, and Issues 7-8 written by Wale Awelenje and illustrated by Stanley Obende. The winner: The Corpse Exhibition, edited by Ntone Edjabe.
Nnedi went on to make the announcement for the $500 Best Short Story. The nominees: “The Marriage Plot” by Tendai Huchu; “Ndakusuwa” by Blaize Kaye; “Sundown” by Innocent Immaculate Acan; “Who Will Greet You at Home?” by Lesley Nneka Arimah; and “Wednesday’s Story” by Wole Talabi. It was a joint win: “The Marriage Plot” by Tendai Huchu and “Who Will Greet You at Home?” by Lesley Nneka Arimah.
Tom Ilube took over for the announcement for the $500 Best Novella. The nominees: Binti by Nnedi Okorafor; The Flying Man of Stone by Dilman Dila; Hell Freezes Over by Mame Bougouma Diene; The Last Pantheon by Tade Thompson and Nick Wood; and Ta O’reva by Muthi Nhlema. The winner was as expected: Binti by Nnedi Okorafor.
Tom Ilube went on to make the announcement for the $1,000 Ilube Award for Best Novel. The nominees: Azanian Bridges by Nick Wood; Azotus, the Kingdom by Shadreck Chikoti; Blackass by A Igoni Barrett, whose name is received with ovation; Rosewater by Tade Thompson; and Taty Went West by Nikhil Singh. The winner: Rosewater by Tade Thompson.
Congratulations to Nnedi Okorafor, Lesley Nneka Arimah, Ntone Edjabe and Chimurenga Chronic, Tendai Huchu, and Tade Thompson.
Here are more photos.