Abdulrahim Hussani was declared the winner of the Toyin Fálọlá Prize 2022 on Friday, February 17, 2023.
The Toyin Fálọlá Prize is an award from Nigerian-based Lunaris aimed at honouring distinguished African scholar and foremost historian, Prof Toyin Fálọlá, whose contributions to the field of African history and culture have continued to place Africa on the map and accord it its deserved recognition. It honours his endeavours and contributions to the advancement of African cultures, peoples, myths, and histories. Previous winners of the award set up in 2020 have been Fayssal Bensalah and Tshepiso Mabula.
The finalists for the current edition under the theme of “Freedom” judged by Karen Jennings and Fayssal Bensalah were announced on October 24. The winner of the award is Arewa Boys by Abdulrahim Hussani and he wins the US$1,000 cash prize.
Prize judge Fayssal Bensalah said: “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.”
Abdulrahim Hussani tweeted on the win, “This still feels surreal. Thank you to the organizers, judges and everyone that has believed in this journey. May tomorrow be brighter. ❤️”
Abdulrahim Hussani is a graduate of Pure Chemistry from Usmanu DanFodio University. A writer, editor and freelancer, he is a finalist for the 2022 Gerald Kraak Award and the 2021 Albert Jungers Poetry Prize.