Hey music lovers, it’s another month of March and we are officially celebrating Women’s History month. In this month carved out to highlight the contributions of women to events in history and contemporary society, we shine the light on four amazing Nigerian women in Arts and Media owning their creative spaces.
In this first article of our Four part women series, our spotlight is on Nigerian-American sci-fi, magical realism and fantasy writer, Nnedi Okorafor. Her name Nnedi is short for Nnedimma. She describes her work as Africanfuturism and Africanjujuism for children and adults.
The American born daughter of Nigerian parents desired to be an entomologist due to her fascination with insects as a child. She was also a nationally known athlete. However, a rare spine complication after a spine fusion surgery she had to do to deal with the Scoliosis she was diagnosed with at the age of 13 rendered her immobile from the waist down. Turning to writing to provide her succour, she developed an interest and took creative writing classes after she had regained her walking ability through physical therapy although now unable to continue her athletic career. Nnedi holds a PhD in Literature and two MAs in Journalism and Literature.
Her African heritage take center place in her writings and she is highly influenced by Nigerian Myths, folklore and stories. Desiring more diversity in the fantasy space, she writes mostly about black female heroes while navigating serious social issues. With her work, she redefines the genre of Fantasy with Africans at the heart.
Nnedi has won a Hugo, a Nebula, a World Fantasy Award and a Locus Award. Her novels include WHO FEARS DEATH, AKATA WITCH, ZAGRAH THE WINDSEEKER, THE SHADOW SPEAKER, LAGOON, KABU KABU, THE BOOK OF PHOENIX, LONG JUJU MAN and many more.
Nnedi has also written comics for Marvel, including BLACK PANTHER: LONG LIVE THE KING and WAKANDA FOREVER and the SHURI series, an Africanfuturist comic series LAGUARDIA (from Dark Horse) and her short memoir BROKEN PLACES AND OUTER SPACES. Nnedi is also copywriting the adaption of Octavia Butler’s WILD SEED with Viola Davies and Kenyan film director Wanuri Kahiu.
We celebrate Nnedi Okorafor for breaking barriers in the Fantasy genre with focus on African storytelling and Characters. Not only has she carved a niche for herself, she stands out as a contemporary Nigerian writer. She makes us proud and we hope her work is inspirational to all those who come across it.