Abdulrahim Hussani wins the 2022 Toyin Falola Prize for his story “Arewa Boys,” which was described as “thought-provoking, insightful, and beautifully crafted, leaving a lasting impression on all of us, including the judges.”

Administered by the literary magazine Lunaris Review, the prize is named after the distinguished professor of African History Toyin Falola. Writers applying must be between the ages of 15 and 35. The cash prize of $2,500 will be shared between the winner and shortlisted writers.

Hussani is a writer, editor, and freelancer with a degree in Pure Chemistry from Usmanu DanFodio University. He has been recognized as a finalist for the 2022 Gerald Kraak Award and the 2021 Albert Jungers Poetry Prize, and was the winner of the 2019 Poetically Written Prose Contest. His works have been published in various publications and anthologies, including The Evergreen Review, Boston Review, and the Africa Book Club Anthology. He is currently working on his debut collection of short stories and resides in Northern Nigeria.

One of the judges of the prize, Fayssal Bensalah, praised the story for its evocative power:

A moving story. ‘Arewa Boys’ is masterfully paced, executed in a hypnotic and seamless prose. The writer provokes sadness, but then unexpectedly replaces it with patience and steadfastness. It’s about the pain of national mobility and naïve ambitions. It’s about an alienation felt within the borders of one’s country. It’s about beautiful creatures who do not ask for attention, who persevere quietly and remain patient in the face of eccentricity and realism. Arewa Boys—eccentric yet ambitious, in pain yet steadfast. It is reminiscent of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s ‘You in America.’ “At LUNARIS, we extend our warmest congratulations to Abdulrahim Hussani on this remarkable achievement. Also, we like to thank all the participants for their efforts and enthusiasm, and wish them success in their writing journey.

Congrats to Hussani on the well-deserved win!