2020 has been an incredibly difficult year for all kinds of reasons. But it has also been a year of remarkable cultural accomplishments, during which many in the African literary community stepped up to meet the challenges of moment. We want to recognize a few of these individuals—and platforms—who, in spite of the challenges of a year gutted by pandemic, brought people together, stood up for a cause, created opportunities for others, expanded our knowledge of African literature, and used technology to uplift the culture.

African Literary Person of the Year: ZUKISWA WANNER

Zukiswa Wanner is an accomplished writer; yet, over the years, she has made considerable contributions to the advancement of literary institutions that benefit African writers and expand the continent’s reading culture. Read more.

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Writer-Activist of the Year: MONA ELTAHAWY

Mona Eltahawy is unflinching in wielding her words to destroy all manifestations of patriarchy, be it at the level of the state, the street, or the home. Read more.

 

Academic of the Year: PROF. ATO QUAYSON

Prof. Ato Quayson’s new role as a youtube content creator shatters the norms of Academic culture. Whereas many in academia see social media as an inferior space for public discourse, Quayson understands the power of meeting readers where they are! Read more.

 

Social Media Influencer of the Year: SARAH OZO-IRABOR

Sarah Ozo-Irabor, founder of the Instagram page and podcast Books & Rhymes, uses social media to redefine literature as more than just a reading experience. Read more.

Publishing House of the Year: HUZA PRESS

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Kigali-based publishing house Huza Press is deserving of this honor for bringing Rwandan stories to the world, thereby ensuring the national diversity of African literary culture. Read more.

Literary Platform of the Year: DOEK!

Doek! claims space for Namibian literature within African literary culture through its primary focus on publishing content produced by Namibian writers and artists, especially black writers and artists. Read more.