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Geoff Ryman and Tom Ilube congratulate Chimurenga on their Best Comic or Graphic Novel win.

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 announces a winner at the Nommo Awards.

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.

A section of the audience.

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.

 

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About Otosirieze Obi-Young

View all posts by Otosirieze Obi-Young

Otosirieze Obi-Young was born in Aba, Nigeria, and attended the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. A finalist for the 2016 Miles Morland Writing Scholarship, his short stories include: “A Tenderer Blessing,” which appears in Transition Magazine and was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2015; “Mulumba,” which appears in The Threepenny Review; and “You Sing of a Longing,” which was shortlisted for the inaugural Gerald Kraak Award and appears in Pride and Prejudice, an anthology by The Jacana Literary Foundation and The Other Foundation. His essays appear in Interdisciplinary Academic Essays and in Brittle Paper where he is Deputy Editor. His interviews appear in Africa in Dialogue, Bakwa Magazine, SPRINNG, and Dwartonline. He is the curator of the Art Naija Series, a sequence of themed e-anthologies of writing and visual art exploring different aspects of Nigerianness. The first, Enter Naija: The Book of Places (October 2016), focuses on Nigerian cities. The second, Work Naija: The Book of Vocations (June 2017), focuses on professions in Nigeria. A postgraduate student of African Studies, he currently teaches English at Godfrey Okoye University, Enugu, Nigeria. When bored, he blogs pop culture at naijakulture.blogspot.com or just Googles Rihanna.

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I hold a doctorate in English from Duke University and recently joined the Marquette University English faculty as an Assistant Professor. I love teaching African fiction and contemporary British novels. Brittle Paper is the virtual space/station where I play and experiment with ideas on how to reinvent African fiction and literary culture.

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