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So how about we help you prune your crush list? You know, this way you can easily decide on who to actually crush on. Well, when using intellect and mental formidability as yardstick, we can say to a reasonably length that Africa is the nucleus of the world.
Wait, don’t sleep on that. But look around you, over the years, African writers have been breaking grounds, mounting clouds and even defeating gravity in the world of art and literature. You don’t agree? Drop your claim!
Well, here at ACEworld, we believe that as much true beauty lies within, it stands on the outside too. And this is why we have compiled a list which contains the 10 most beautiful contemporary female African writers. That is what you’re about to read.
Now note that this is an unordered list. Yes, ignore the numbering. We leave the scaling to you because we believe you know how best to grade.
Sarah Ladipo Manyika was raised in Nigeria and has lived in Kenya, France, and England. She holds a Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, and for several years taught literature at San Francisco State University. Sarah currently serves on the boards of Hedgebrook and the Museum of the African Diaspora in San Francisco. Sarah is a Patron of the Etisalat Prize for Literature and Books Editor at ozy.com. Her second novel “Like a Mule Bringing Ice Cream to the Sun” was shortlisted for the 2016 Goldsmiths Prize.
Nnedimma Nkemdili “Nnedi” Okorafor (formerly Okorafor-Mbachu; born April 8, 1974) is a Nigerian-American writer of fantasy and science fiction for both children and adults. She is best known for Binti, Who Fears Death, Zahrah the Windseeker, Akata Witch, and Lagoon. In 2015, Brittle Paper named her the African Literary Person of the Year.
Kopano Matlwa is a South African writer known for her novel Spilt Milk, which focuses on the South Africa’s “Born Free” generation, or those who became adults in the post-Apartheid era. Coconut, her debut novel, addresses issues of race, class, and colonization in modern Johannesburg. Coconut was awarded the European Union Literary Award in 2006/07 and also won the Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature in Africa in 2010. Spilt Milk made the long list for the 2011 Sunday Times Fiction Prize.
She is also a physician, who wrote her first novel, Coconut, while completing her medical degree.
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie was born in Nigeria on September 15, 1977. She is from Abba, in Anambra State, but grew up in the university town of Nsukka where she attended primary and secondary schools and briefly studied Medicine and Pharmacy.
Her first novel, Purple Hibiscus won the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize and the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award. It was also short-listed for the Orange Prize and the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize and long-listed for the Booker Prize. Her short fiction has appeared in Granta, Prospect, and The Iowa Review among other literary journals, and she received an O. Henry Prize in 2003.
Imachibundu Oluwadara “Chibundu” Onuzo is a Nigerian novelist, Her first novel, The Spider King’s Daughter, won a Betty Trask Award, was shortlisted for the Dylan Thomas Prize and the Commonwealth Book Prize, and was longlisted for the Desmond Elliott Prize and the Etisalat Prize for Literature.
Onuzo was born in Nigeria and grew up there in Lagos.
Onuzo has a bachelor’s degree in history from King’s College London, and a master’s degree in public policy from University College London. As of 2017, she is studying for a PhD at King’s College London.
Maaza Mengiste is an Ethiopian author and Fulbright scholar. Her novel Beneath the Lion’s Gaze, was named by the Guardian as one of the 10 best contemporary African books and appeared on our list of 10 African novels you need on your bookshelf. The novel tells the story of a family in Ethiopia during the last days of the monarchy and amidst the civil unrest that follows. She was a co-writer for the 2013 Girl Rising documentary directed by Richard E. Robbins.
Nadifa Mohamed was born in Hargeisa (now in the Republic of Somaliland) in 1981 and moved as a child to England in 1986, staying permanently when war broke out in Somalia.
She lives in London and her first novel, Black Mamba Boy, based on her father’s memories of his travels in the 1930s, was published in 2010. It was longlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction and the Dylan Thomas Prize and shortlisted for the John Llewellyn-Rhys Memorial Prize and the Guardian First Book Award. It won the 2010 Betty Trask Prize.
Chinelo Okparanta was born in Port Harcourt, Nigeria, and relocated to the United States at the age of ten. She received her BS from The Pennsylvania State University, her MA from Rutgers University, and her MFA from the University of Iowa. She was one of Granta’s six New Voices for 2012 and her stories have appeared in Granta, The New Yorker, Tin House, Subtropics, and elsewhere.
Number 9 and 10 right? We believe we have missed someone very important in this list and we apologize for that. However, apology alone is not enough, and this is why we will be giving you the opportunity to mention that ONE person you believe should be in the list. So kindly use the comment box below.
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