Africans have featured strongly on the BBC International Radio Playwriting Competition 2018 shortlist that was announced on June 12. The five are Iz Mazano, Bode Asiyanbi, Africa Ukoh, Edith Osiro, and Muhammad Addam.

The BBC International Radio Playwriting Competition offers a unique opportunity for playwrights to use the medium of radio drama to reach an international audience. It is an initiative of BBC World Service and the British Council, with co-producers The Open University.

This year the competition featured those who would be considered both for English as a first and second language. Those who were shortlisted in the categories were;

English as a First Language

  • Fields Of Glittering Things, by Iz Mazano (Zimbabwe).
  • Atacama, by Augusto Amador (USA).
  • Stand Pipe, by Derrick Jeffrey (Thailand).
  • Tanty Get Ah Android, by Julien Marvin Neaves (Trinidad and Tobago).
  • By God’s Mercy, by Colette Victor (Belgium).
  • An Incident Over Water, by Paul Charlier (Australia).
  • Fire In The Head, by R Johns (Australia)

English as a Second language

  • The Journey To Fortune? by Bode Asiyanbi (Nigeria).
  • Token Dead White Guy, by Africa Ukoh (Nigeria).
  • My Migingo, by Edith Osiro (Kenya).
  • The Storychild, by Mohamad Aziz Salim (Malaysia).
  • Shadows Of Saint Petersburg, by Xenia Pattberg (The Netherlands).
  • The Checkpoint Recital, by Or Amit (Czech Republic).
  • The Meaning Of Life, by Anna Spatar (Russia).
  • A Boat Story, by Muhammad Addam (Egypt).
  • A Broken Heart In A Warzone, by Aziz H (Yemen).

This year the two first prizes of the competition can come from either the English As A First Language or the English As A Second Language category. Both winners will attend an award ceremony in London and see their plays recorded for broadcast on BBC World Service.

A third award – the Georgi Markov prize – celebrates the most promising script from the competition’s shortlist. The winner of this prize will also travel to London for the award ceremony and spend two weeks with BBC Radio Drama and BBC World Service.

You can read more about the competition here.