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The 2018 Gerald Kraak Award anthology cover collage.

Nigeria’s Pwaangulongii Dauod has won the 2018 Gerald Kraak Award for his fierce nonfiction piece, “Africa’s Future Has No Space for Stupid Black Men.” A shortlist of 15 artists and 22 pieces of journalism, fiction, nonfiction, photography, and poetry had been announced in December of last year.

Founded in 2016 by the Jacana Literary Foundation and the Other Foundation, in honour of the late activist Gerald Kraak, the R25 000 Gerald Kraak Award aims to honour writing and photography by Africans which “provoke thought on the topics of gender, social justice and sexuality.” The inaugural award went to Ugandan-born Kenyan photographer Sarah Waiswa and Kenyan writer Farah Ahamed. The inaugural anthology, Pride and Prejudice: African Perspectives on Gender, Social Justice and Sexuality, was launched in May of last year.

Dauod’s “Africa’s Future Has No Space for Stupid Black Men” was first published by Granta in July 2016 and unapologetically roused conversations about queerness and safe spaces. It was named among Brittle Paper‘s Notable Pieces of 2016 and shortlisted for the inaugural 2017 Brittle Paper Award for Creative Nonfiction. Here is what we wrote about it:

Seldom do so much heart and fierceness converge with such beauty as they do in this tear-jerking tribute to a dear friend in which the struggles of a confident, fearful community of LGBTIQ creatives is laid bare. Its calculated, crisp language compresses and releases anger in a build-up to an explosive climax, and all with an efficient balance of the political and the emotional.

This year’s Gerald Kraak Award judges were Sisonke Msimang, author of Always Another Country and winner of the inaugural Brittle Paper Award for Essays; Professor Sylvia Tamale, a leading feminist who teaches law at Makerere University in Uganda; and South African author and journalist Mark Gevisser. Here is how they described Dauod’s winning work:

An angry, mournful and confrontingly triumphant essay about the life and death of the author’s friend, a man called C-Boy, in a city in northern Nigeria and the queer subculture he built around him; an anthem for the queer Afro-Modern.

The Judges also commended the top entries in each genre:

For photography, Tshepiso Mabula’s “Human Settlements”:

a series of quiet, unsettling images of a forced eviction in downtown Johannesburg, particularly compelling in the way they explore the play of gender.

For poetry, Sarah Lubala’s “6 Errant Thoughts on Being a Refugee,” which was published by us, “Portrait of a Girl at a Border Wall,” and “Notes on Black Death and Elegy”:

Taught, lyrical, devastating meditations on forced migration and gender-based violence.

For fiction, Kiprop Kimutai’s “The Man at the Bridge,” now available in The Johannesburg Review of Books:

an exquisitely rendered short story about a man trying to juggle his homosexual desire with his married life; one that eschews easy judgement but rather dissects the compromises that its protagonist is forced to make.

The 22 shortlisted pieces are collected in an anthology titled As You like It and published by Jacana Media. Here is their description of the collection:

As You Like It is a collection of the shortlisted entries from over 400 submissions received from thirteen African countries. It showcases some of the most provocative works of fiction, poetry, journalism, photography and academic writing. This anthology series has become an act of protest, affirmation and love. It represents a new wave of fresh storytelling that stimulates thought and expression on the subject of gender, social justice, sexuality and self-expression.

The 2019 Gerald Kraak Award is open for submissions: HERE.

Congratulations to Pwaangulongii Dauod, and to Kiprop Kimutai, Tshepiso Mabula, and Sarah Lubala.

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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. He sits on the judging panels of The Miles Morland Writing Scholarships and of The Gerald Kraak Prize. 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. He is currently nominated for the inaugural The Future Awards Prize for Literature. 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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