Afritondo is the 2022 Brittle Paper Literary Platform of the year for fostering a space for African and Black literature to thrive.
Afritondo is a media and publishing platform operating from Nigeria and Canada. It was co-founded in 2020 by brothers Allwell & Confidence Uwazuruike, with input from Nigerian writer Munachim Amah. The aim was to “connect with and tell the stories of Africans and black minority populations across the globe.”
To achieve this, they launched the inaugural Afritondo Short Story Prize in the same year, which was open to emerging writers of African and Black descent writing on the theme of ‘Love’. The $1,000 cash award went to South Africa’s Jared Thompson for his story titled “A Good Help is Hard to Find,” an affecting portrayal of a relationship amidst class divide. The following year, writing on the prize theme of identity, Ethiopian short story writer Desta Haile clinched the prize for “Ethio-Cubano.” The 2022 prize, themed ‘spirituality,’ was won by Cameroonian writer Howard Meh-Buh for “Grotto.”
There is so much to admire about Afritondo, but, perhaps, a stand-out quality is their reliable consistency with regards to their operation, while attuned to improvement. For the first two editions, for instance, only the winning writers got cash rewards. Beginning from the third however, the prize money was increased by $400 to reward the four other finalists. Additionally, selected writers from the longlist, alongside the winner are automatically offered publishing contracts for their works in progress. Each prize edition culminates in an anthology featuring all the longlisted stories, providing most of the writers with their first major publication.
You can safely adjudge an institution’s worth by the subsequent success of its alumni, especially when the institution is directly responsible for said success. For Afritondo, the evidence is noteworthy. Several of the writers affiliated with Afritondo in the nascent stages of their careers have gone on to successful literary careers. The inaugural winner Jared Thompson went on to secure a publishing deal, the Rwandan writer Remy Ngamije founded his own literary magazine, was shortlisted for the Caine Prize, and won the Commonwealth Short Story Prize. Most telling of all, however, is the Nigerian writer Joshua Chizoma who recently became one of the youngest writers to be shortlisted for the Caine Prize for his short story “Collector of Memories,” which was originally shortlisted for the 2022 Afritondo Short Story Prize.
We celebrate their dedication to amplifying and rewarding new and minority voices and setting a standard in both magazine and book publishing. Congrats to Afritondo!