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Chinelo Okparanta.

Chinelo Okparanta has been named in the CAFE 100, “a group of one hundred extraordinary change-makers who are taking action to address some of the most pressing problems in America and around the world.”

CAFE is “a media venture developed in partnership between Preet Bharara and Some Spider Studios.” The platform uses video, text, audio, and live events to connect with people across the world on issues that deal with strengthening democracy, advancing opportunity, and doing justice.

Here is part of their note on the list:

Some of these change-makers have built companies and founded nonprofits. Others have launched campaigns and started movements. But all of them show extraordinary promise as current and future leaders – and all of them are committed to inspiring thoughtful action.

Chinelo is the author of the short story collection Happiness, Like Water (2013) and the novel Under the Udala Trees (2015), both of which won the LAMBDA Literary Award for Lesbian Fiction in 2014 and 2016. Beginning during the brutal Biafran war in Nigeria, Under the Udala Trees follows a young woman as she navigates her sexuality in a world suffocated by religion and expectations. Also a finalist for the 2017 International Dublin Literary Award, it earned Chinelo a place on Granta‘s prestigious 2017 list of the Best of Young American Novelists. The novel, further nominated for the 2015 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work of Fiction and longlisted for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize, was named by The New York Times as among the most impactful works of LGBTQ Literature in the last 20 years.

Having famously declared herself “an activist and an artist,” Chinelo’s continues to do astonishing underground work for persecuted LGBTQ artists in her home country Nigeria.

Congratulations to Chinelo Okparanta.

See the full list HERE.

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Otosirieze is deputy editor of Brittle Paper. He is a judge for the 2018/19 Gerald Kraak Prize and the 2019 Miles Morland Writing Scholarships. He is an 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 the curator of 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 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 combined English and History at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, is completing a postgraduate degree in African Studies, and taught English at Godfrey Okoye University, Enugu. Find him at otosirieze.com, where he accepts writing and editing offers, or on Instagram or Twitter: @otosirieze. When bored, he Googles Rihanna.

One Response to “Chinelo Okparanta Named in CAFE’s List of 100 Extraordinary Changemakers” Subscribe

  1. John Chizoba Vincent April 29, 2018 at 4:53 pm #

    Wow… So happy for you. Keep keeping on.

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