Nnedi Okorafor and Kolade Arogundade

The Nommo Awards 2017 were handed out at the opening ceremony of the Ake Festival 2017.In 2016, the African Speculative Fiction Society announced itself on the African literary scene with a new initiative they called the Nommo Awards. The new awards were aimed at recognising works of speculative fiction by Africans, defined as “science fiction, fantasy, stories of magic and traditional belief, alternative histories, horror and strange stuff that might not fit in anywhere else.” The award got its name from the image that makes up its logo: the Nommo, from Dogon cosmology, “twins who on land can take the form of fish walking on their tails.”

The awards would be handed out in four categories; a) The Ilube Award for Best Speculative Fiction Novel by an African ($1,000) b) The Nommo Award for Best Speculative Fiction Novella by an African ($500) c) The Nommo Award for Best Speculative Fiction Short Story by an African ($500) and d) The Nommo Award for Best Speculative Fiction Graphic Novel by Africans ($1,000 to be shared).

The awards had already announced those in the running for the prize and it was a who’s who in the speculative fiction field. In the Best Novel category was Azanian Bridges by Nick Wood, Azotus, The Kingdom by Shadreck Chikoti, Blackass by A. Igoni Barrett, Rosewater by Tade Thompson, and Taty Went West by Nikhil Singh.

In the running for best Novella were Binti by Nnedi Okorafor, The Flying Man of Stone by Dilman Dila, Hell Freezes Over by Mame Bougouma, Diene The Last Pantheon by Tade Thompson and Nick Wood, and Ta O’Reva by Muthi Nhlema

Those in the running for Best Short Story were The Marriage Plot by Tendai Huchu, Ndakusuwa by Blaize Kaye, Sundown by Innocent Immaculate Acan, Wednesday’s Story by Wole Talabi, and Who Will Greet You At Home by Lesley Nneka Arimah.

The Best Graphic Novel contenders were Avonome by Xavier Ighorodje & Stanley Obende, The Corpse Exhibition by Chronic no. 3 Various writers and artists ed. Ntone Edjabe, June 12 by Ibrahim Ganiyu, Chike Newman Nwankwo & Akinwade Ayodeji Akinola, and Might of Guardian Prime by Jide Martin & Toheeb Deen Ipaye.

Tony Ilube
Tony Ilube

The address to the Ake Festival was addressed by British entrepreneur and educational philanthropist Tony Ilube who has agreed to fund the award for the next four years. With the help of Nnedi Okorafor he would announce the winners of the awards. They are;

Best Novel

  • Rosewater by Tade Thompson

Best Novella

  • Binti by Nnedi Okorafor

Best Short Story (Tie)

  • “The Marriage Plot” by Tendai Huchu
  • “Who Will Greet You At Home” by Lesley Nneka Arimah

Best Graphic Novel

Avonome by Xavier Ighorodje & Stanley Obende The Corpse Exhibition by Chronic no. 3 Various writers and artists ed. Ntone Edjabe