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Events

The Best Photos From Global Citizen’s 2018 Festivals and Events

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Global Citizens came together across the globe in 2018 to take action and envision a world without extreme poverty.The year started off strong with Global Citizen Live events in London and Vancouver in the spring, showcasing performances by talented singers like Emeli Sandé and The Elwins.

Take Action: This Inequality Cannot Go On. Ask the World’s Richest People to Help End Extreme Poverty

In September, the Global Citizen Festival in New York brought together activists and fans of Shawn Mendes, Cardi B, Janelle Monáe, The Weeknd, and Janet Jackson in Central Park. Tens of thousands of attendees sprawled across the Great Lawn as major gender equality and education commitments were made.

To top off the year, thousands attended the Global Citizen Festival: Mandela 100 in Johannesburg, South Africa, and celebrated Nelson Mandela’s legacy at the end of his centenary year. A plane flyover kicked off the festivities at FNB stadium, and Trevor Noah hosted the action-packed day, which included moving words from world leaders and influential figures like Prime Minister of Norway Erna Solberg and Oprah Winfrey. The crowd’s energy was contagious as they cheered and danced to Beyoncé, JAY-Z, Ed Sheeran, Tiwa Savage, Cassper Nyovest, and other artists between impactful speeches delivered by world leaders, the Mandela family, and more.

See the best photos that captured these highlights below.


Global Citizen Festival: Mandela 100

Mandela100_MainEntrance_MpumeleloMacuForGlobalCitizen-4.jpgA general view of the FNB Stadium before the start of the Global Citizen Festival: Mandela 100 at FNB Stadium on December 2, 2018 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Image: Mpumelelo Macu for Global Citizen

Mandela100_Crowd_GulshanKhanForGlobalCitizen_0201 (1).jpgGuests in the audience during the Global Citizen Festival: Mandela 100 at FNB Stadium on December 2, 2018 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Image: Gulshan Khan for Global Citizen

Mandela100Crowd_BarryChristiansonForGlobalCitizen-41.jpgAttendees dance in the audience during the Global Citizen Festival: Mandela 100 at FNB Stadium on December 2, 2018 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Image: Barry Christianson for Global Citizen

1067584908.jpgSoweto Gospel Choir perform during the Global Citizen Festival: Mandela 100 at FNB Stadium on December 2, 2018 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Image: Jemal Countess/Getty Images for Global Citizen

Mandela100_ShoMadjozi_GulshanKhanForGlobalCitizen_007.jpgSho Madjozi performs during the Global Citizen Festival: Mandela 100 at FNB Stadium on December 2, 2018 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Image: Gulshan Khan for Global Citizen

1067593228.jpgUsher performs during the Global Citizen Festival: Mandela 100 at FNB Stadium on December 2, 2018 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Image: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Global Citizen

Mandela100_Pharrell_JodiWindvogelForGlobalCitizen_010.jpgPharrell Williams performs during the Global Citizen Festival: Mandela 100 at FNB Stadium on December 2, 2018 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Image: Jodi Windvogel for Global Citizen

1067469018.jpgThe Global Citizen plane does a flyover over FNB Stadium during the Global Citizen Festival: Mandela 100 at FNB Stadium on December 2, 2018 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Image: Jemal Countess/Getty Images for Global Citizen

Mandela100_TrevorNoah_GulshanKhanForGlobalCitizen_002.jpgTrevor Noah speaks onstage during the Global Citizen Festival: Mandela 100 at FNB Stadium on December 2, 2018 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Image: Gulshan Khan for Global Citizen

Mandela100Crowd_BarryChristiansonForGlobalCitizen-26.jpgAttendees cheer in the audience during the Global Citizen Festival: Mandela 100 at FNB Stadium on December 2, 2018 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Image: Barry Christianson for Global Citizen

Mandela100_Crowd_GulshanKhanForGlobalCitizen_008.jpgAttendees at the Global Citizen Festival: Mandela 100 at FNB Stadium on December 2, 2018 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Image: Gulshan Khan for Global Citizen

1067714478.jpgDanai Gurira speaks on stage during the Global Citizen Festival: Mandela 100 at FNB Stadium on December 2, 2018 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Image: Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Global Citizen

Mandela100_TiwaSavage_JodiWindvogelForGlobalCitizen_002.jpgJay Breeze and Tiwa Savage perform during the Global Citizen Festival: Mandela 100 at FNB Stadium on December 2, 2018 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Image: Jodi Windvogel for Global Citizen

1068518650.jpgTumi Sisulu (C) speaks onstage during the Global Citizen Festival: Mandela 100 at FNB Stadium on December 2, 2018 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Image: Jemal Countess/Getty Images for Global Citizen

1067601830.jpgD’banj performs during the Global Citizen Festival: Mandela 100 at FNB Stadium on December 2, 2018 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Image: Jemal Countess/Getty Images for Global Citizen

1067619684.jpgZama Mandela (C) and other members of the Mandela family speak on stage during the Global Citizen Festival: Mandela 100 at FNB Stadium on December 2, 2018 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Image: Jemal Countess/Getty Images for Global Citizen

Activation Images-193.jpgGuests in the audience during the Global Citizen Festival: Mandela 100 at FNB Stadium on December 2, 2018 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Image: Kgomotso Neto for Global Citizen

1067734970.jpgPrime Minister of Norway Erna Solberg (R) presents Graca Machel (L) with the inaugural Global Citizen Prize for World Leader, on stage during the Global Citizen Festival: Mandela 100 at FNB Stadium on December 2, 2018 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Image: emal Countess/Getty Images for Global Citizen

Mandela100_WizKid_GulshanKhanForGlobalCitizen_005.jpgWizKid performs during the Global Citizen Festival: Mandela 100 at FNB Stadium on December 2, 2018 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Image: Gulshan Khan for Global Citizen

1067697330.jpgEd Sheeran performs during the Global Citizen Festival: Mandela 100 at FNB Stadium on December 2, 2018 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Image: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Global Citizen

Mandela100_CassperNyovest_MpumeleloMacuForGlobalCitizen-65.jpgCassper Nyovest performs during the Global Citizen Festival: Mandela 100 at FNB Stadium on December 2, 2018 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Image: Mpumelelo Macu for Global Citizen

1067726258.jpgOprah Winfrey speaks on stage during the Global Citizen Festival: Mandela 100 at FNB Stadium on December 2, 2018 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Image: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Global Citizen

1067724620.jpgA general view of the FNB Stadium during the Global Citizen Festival: Mandela 100 at FNB Stadium on December 2, 2018 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Image: Michelly Rall/Getty Images for Global Citizen

Global Citizen Festival 2018 in NYC

180929_GlobalCitizen_MengwenCao_286.jpgThe Weeknd performs onstage during the 2018 Global Citizen Festival in Central Park on September 29, 2018 in New York City.
Image: Mengwen Cao for Global Citizen

GCF18_JanelleMonae_KholoodEidForGlobalCitizen_013.jpgJanelle Monáe performs onstage during the 2018 Global Citizen Festival in Central Park on September 29, 2018 in New York City.
Image: Kholood Eid for Global Citizen

GCF18_Crowd_KholoodEidForGlobalCitizen_052.jpgAttendees cheer in the audience during the Global Citizen Festival in Central Park on September 28, 2018 in New York City.
Image: Kholood Eid for Global Citizen

GCF18_Crowd_KholoodEidForGlobalCitizen089.jpgAttendees at the Global Citizen Festival 2018 in Central Park on September 29, 2018 in New York City.
Image: Kholood Eid for Global Citizen

180929_GlobalCitizen_MengwenCao_126.jpgShawn Mendes performs onstage during the 2018 Global Citizen Festival in Central Park on September 29, 2018 in New York City.
Image: Mengwen Cao for Global Citizen

180929_GlobalCitizen_MengwenCao_173.jpgCardi B performs onstage during the 2018 Global Citizen Festival in Central Park on September 29, 2018 in New York City.
Image: Mengwen Cao for Global Citizen

GCF18_Crowd_MohamedSadekForGlobalCitizen_038 copy.jpgA little girl reacts to a performance at the Global Citizen Festival 2018 in Central Park on September 29, 2018 in New York City.
Image: Mohamed Sadek for Global Citizen

GCF18_JanelleMonae_KholoodEidForGlobalCitizen_011.jpgJanelle Monáe performs onstage during the 2018 Global Citizen Festival in Central Park on September 29, 2018 in New York City.
Image: Kholood Eid for Global Citizen

180929_GlobalCitizen_MengwenCao_267.jpgThe Weeknd performs onstage during the 2018 Global Citizen Festival in Central Park on September 29, 2018 in New York City.
Image: Mengwen Cao for Global Citizen

DSC_0093.jpgAn attendee poses for a photograph at the Global Citizen Festival 2018 in Central Park on September 29, 2018 in New York City.
Image: Kholood Eid for Global Citizen

GCF18_ShawnMendes_MengwenCaoForGlobalCitizen_015.jpgShawn Mendes performs onstage during the 2018 Global Citizen Festival in Central Park on September 29, 2018 in New York City.
Image: Kholood Eid for Global Citizen

1043271620.jpgJanet Jackson performs onstage during the 2018 Global Citizen Festival in Central Park on September 29, 2018 in New York City.
Image: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Global Citizen

GC Week, New York City

GCWeek_YourVoiceYourVoteMaegan Gindi for Global Citizen_014.jpgImage: Maegan Gindi for Global Citizen

180922_1151_GlobalCitizen_Vote_0181.jpgRobert De Niro and Rachel Brosnahan speak to the crowd gathered at the Maine Monument in Central Park.
Image: Maegan Gindi for Global Citizen

180922_1151_GlobalCitizen_Vote_0394.jpgAttendees listen to the speakers at the ‘Your Vote is Your Voice!’ rally in Central Park.
Image: Maegan Gindi for Global Citizen

GC_Week_Riverside_Jeenah Moon for Global Citizen_067.jpgKimbra performs onstage with The Howard Gospel Choir during Global Citizen Week: The Spirit Of A Movement at Riverside Church.
Image: Jeenah Moon for Global Citizen

GC_Week_Riverside_Jeenah Moon for Global Citizen_014.jpgKeyon Harrold performs onstage during Global Citizen Week: The Spirit Of A Movement at Riverside Church.
Image: Jeenah Moon for Global Citizen

1038083954.jpgNaomi Wadler accepts the Legend Award onstage during Global Citizen Week: The Spirit Of A Movement at Riverside Church on Sept. 22, 2018 in New York City.
Image: Noam Galai/Getty Images for Global Citizen

GCWeek_Apollo_Jeenah Moon for Global Citizen_005.jpgSpeakers onstage during Global Citizen Week: At What Cost? at The Apollo Theater on September 23, 2018 in New York City.
Image: Jeenah Moon for Global Citizen

GCWeek_Apollo_Jeenah Moon for Global Citizen_037.jpgMaimouna Youssef performs onstage during Global Citizen Week: At What Cost? at The Apollo Theater on Sept. 23, 2018 in New York City.
Image: Jeenah Moon for Global Citizen

GCWeek_Apollo_Jeenah Moon for Global Citizen_052.jpgAttendees listen to the speakers onstage during Global Citizen Week: At What Cost? at The Apollo Theater on September 23, 2018 in New York City.
Image: Jeenah Moon for Global Citizen

Global Citizen Live in London

GCLiveLondon_LittleSimz_Emma Viola Lilja for Global Citizen_001.jpgLittle Simz performs on stage for Global Citizen Live London, at the O2 Academy Brixton on April 17, 2018 in London, England.
Image: Emma Viola Lilja for Global Citizen

GCLiveLondon_EmeliSande_Emma Viola Lilja for Global Citizen_013.jpgEmeli Sandé performs on stage for Global Citizen Live London, at the O2 Academy Brixton on April 17, 2018 in London, England.
Image: Emma Viola Lilja for Global Citizen

Global Citizen Live in Vancouver

GlobalCitizenVanelwins2-2613.jpgThe Elwins at Global Citizen Live Vancouver.
Image: Rebecca Blissett for Global Citizen

GlobalCitizenVan-crowd_HERO-2945.jpgA scene at Global Citizen Live Vancouver on April 12 at the Commodore Ballroom.
Image: Rebecca Blissett for Global Citizen

Source: The Best Photos From Global Citizen’s 2018 Festivals and Events

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Art

Check Out The Song That Took ‘Song Of The Year’ At The 2019 NAMA

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It was a night of glitz and glamor on Saturday 13th April 2019 at the Harare International Conference Center for the 18th National Arts Merit Awards (NAMA). Celebrities and dignitaries were spotted at the center in scintillating outfits. There were musical performances by music stars like Enzo. However, the climax of the event was the award of plaques in different categories for outstanding works.

The music category always draws the most attention. However, this year had lots of surprise entries. The gospel sensation, Mai Patai was voted the best in the People’s Choice category. Patai recently broke the jinx in the Coca-Cola Radio Zimbabwe Top 50 by becoming the first woman to make it to the top three. Another female gospel musician whose hard work continues to pay off is Janet Manyowa. Manyowa won the Outstanding Female Musician award.

ALSO READ: Zimbabwe Artists Unite To Raise Funds For Cyclone Idai Victims

A Battle For Experience And Fame

One of the keenly contested categories at NAMA is the Outstanding Male Musician. Three superstars Baba Harare, Enzo Ishall and ExQ contended the award. However, many believe the ‘Nzenza’ crooner ExQ’s longevity and experience set him apart from his competitors. It was double honors for ExQ as his album ‘Tseu Tseu’ won the Outstanding Album. Although losing out of this category, Enzo’s hit track, ‘Kanjiva’ won the ‘Song of the Year’. Speaking to NewsDay Life & Style Enzo said,

“It is such a great honor to receive this award which I dedicate to my son and I would like to thank friends, family, and my fans as well as my producers for supporting me.”

Surprise Name On The Award List

Long John

One of the surprise names on the NAMA Award list was Long John, a rib-cracking comedian. Not many saw this coming. From John’s reactions, it is obvious he did not see it coming too. The vibrant comedian took to his Facebook to share his joy.

“Ladies and gentlemen, I’m in shock. I’ve never won anything in my life. But today I am so happy to announce that I’ve just Won the Outstanding Comedian Award. This is so unreal. I even have a certificate and everything. Thank you so much, everyone, for your support #VillageBoy.”

List OF NAMA Award Winners

Spoken Words Award

  • Outstanding Poet: Likhwa Ncube
  • Outstanding Comedian: Learnmore “Long John” Mwanyenyeka

Literary Arts Awards

  • Outstanding First Creative Published Book: Gather the Children by Batsirai Chigama (Ntombekhaya Poetry)
  • Outstanding Children’s Book: The City Girl by Elisha July and Tendai K. Rudanda (Pass-Point Publishers)
  • Outstanding Fiction: Mazai Emheni by Daniel Mutendi (DanTs Media Publishing)

Theatre Awards

  • Outstanding Actor: Teddy Mangawa in Ukama
  • Actress: Qeqeshiwe M’thembo in The Hostel
  • Outstanding Theatrical Production: Ukama by Savanna Trust
  • Outstanding Director: Lloyd Nyikadzino for Zandezi

Dance Awards

  • Outstanding Female Dancer: Vein N Alfazema in Black Sheep
  • Male Dancer: Martin Chabuka in 100% Afro
  • Outstanding Dance Group: Real Flex Dance Group directed by Martin Chabuka
  • Outstanding Choreographer: Macintosh Jerahuni and Chaleen Chimara – Iwe Neni Tinebasa

Visual Arts

  • Outstanding 2 Dimensional Work: The Demolition by John Kotze
  • 3 Dimensional Work: Zvirimudombo by Shelton Mubayi
  • Outstanding Mix Media Work: The Watchman and the Fence by Greg Shaw
  • Outstanding Exhibition: The Grotesque by Alan Sibanda and Talent Kapadza

Film and Television Awards

  • Outstanding Actor: Eddie Sandifolo as Clive in Bhachi
  • Special Mention: Admire Kuzhangaira – in Death and Other Complications
  • Outstanding Actress: Tendaishe Chitima as Anesu in Cook Off
  • Outstanding Music Video: Dzamutsana ft. Jah Prayzah produced by Vusa Hlatshayo (aka Blaq)
  • Outstanding Screen Production (Television Series): Kuchina The Genesis directed by Blessing Gatsi
  • Special Mention: Gaza directed by Ben Mahaka
  • Outstanding Screen Production – Short Film: Bhachi directed by Shupai Kamunyaru
  • Outstanding Screen Production – Full-Length Film: Cook Off directed by Thomas Brickhill

Media Awards

  • Outstanding Journalist – Print: Fred Zindi – The Standard
  • Television: Patience Nyagato – ZTV
  • Radio: Babongile Sikhonjwa (aka uMrifiti) – Sky Metro FM
  • Outstanding Online Media: Capitalk

Music Awards

  • Outstanding Female Musician: Janet Manyowa
  • Male Musician: Enoch “ExQ” Munhenga
  • Outstanding Album: Tseu Tseu by ExQ
  • Outstanding Song: Kanjiva by Stephen “Enzo Ishall” Mamhere
  • People’s Choice Award Winner: Mai Patai

Special Awards

  • Artist in the Diaspora: Danai J. Gurira
  • Outstanding Promoter: Unplugged Zimbabwe
  • Arts Personality Award of the Year: Mokoomba
  • Arts Service Award: The Standard Newspaper
  • Lifetime Achievement Award: Charles Mungoshi

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Celebrities

Mo Abudu Is First African To Receive Prestigious Médailles d’Honneur

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Mo Abudu

On 8th of April 2019, celebrities across the globe gathered in Cannes, France for the MIPTV ceremony. MIPTV recognizes and honors senior executives for their impact on the global television industry. Among those honored at the event is Mosunmola ‘Mo’ Abudu, the CEO of EbonyLife Media. This makes Mo Abudu the first African to receive the prestigious Médailles d’Honneur award.

Mo Abudu is one of the most prolific producers in the continent. However, she launched EbonyLife TV in 2013. The TV network became the first global network for black entertainment and lifestyle. However, EbonyLife TV is notable for a slew of original features and series including ‘The Governor’, ‘Sons of the Caliphate’ and ‘Castle & Castle’.

Recipients of the MIPTV Award

Mo Abudu is not the only media executive to receive the award. She shared the stage with Jane Millichip (managing director of Sky Vision), Ilene Chaiken (producer, writer, and showrunner), and Stephane Courbit (chairperson of the Banijay Group). While on stage to receive the award, the obviously emotional Abudu said,

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank MIPTV for this incredible award. My big dream was and still is, to change the narrative about my continent. As a continent, Africa has remained creatively silent for centuries. Our stories seldom told outside of our families and villages and often from the perspective of ‘someone’ looking in. It is therefore with great pride that we, at EbonyLife Media, bring our stories to the world with our TV series and our films.”

Mo Abudu’s Previous Recognitions

Mo Abudu is not a stranger to accolades and awards. CNN described her as “Africa’s Queen of Media who conquered the continent”. Forbes, on the other hand, labels her “Africa’s Most Successful Woman”. Consequently, she also featured on the 2018 Powerlist, a selection of the most influential people of Caribbean and African heritage.

Mo Abudu

In 2018, the convener of the Emmy Awards, the International Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, named Mo Abudu as a director. However, in the same year, she was honored with the honorary degree of Doctor of Arts by the University of Westminster. The honorary degree was in recognition of her contributions to the Nigerian broadcasting industry.

Achievements and Future Projects

Mo Abudu currently heads five divisions of the EbonyLife Media which encompass EbonyLife Productions Limited (UK), EbonyLife Studios, EbonyLife ON, EbonyLife Films, and EbonyLife TV. Consequently, she has produced Nigeria’s highest grossing movie including Chief Daddy (2018), The Wedding Party 2: Destination Dubai (2017), The Wedding Party (2016), and Fifty (2015).

Mo Abudu has international collaboration with Netflix. However, she recently entered a 3-project deal with Sony Pictures Television (SPT). The deal is the first of its kind in the continent. A movie based on the women soldiers that served in present-day Benin over 200 years ago.

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Books

3 Nigerian Authors Make The 16 Author Longlist For The Most Prestigious Literary Prize In The UK For Women

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L-R: Diana Evans, Oyinkan Braithwaite, Akwaeke Emezi

The Women’s Prize for Fiction is the most prestigious literary prize in the United Kingdom. Formerly known as the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction, the prize goes to female authors of any nationality for full-length English novel published in the United Kingdom the preceding year. There are 163 entries this year but the judges painstakingly cut it down to 16. However, three Nigerian authors (Oyinkan Braithwaite, Akwaeke Emezi, and Diana Evans) made it to the longlist.

The Women’s Prize for Fiction was founded in 1996. The inspiration for the prize was prompted by the 1991 Booker Prize which sidelined female authors in the six shortlisted books. However, that year it was on record that sixty percent of books were by female authors. That event made journalists, librarians, booksellers, agents, and publishers to take action.

About the prize and judging panel

The winner of the Women’s Prize for Fiction will go home with £30,000 and a bronze sculpture, ‘Bessie’. Consequently, this year’s award ceremony will take place on June 5 in Central London. This year’s judging panel consists of Sarah Wood (a digital entrepreneur), Leyla Hussein (campaigner and psychotherapist), Dolly Alderton (author, broadcaster, and columnist), and Arifa Akbar (journalist and critic). The chairperson of this year’s judging panel is Professor Kate Williams. In a statement after the release of the longlist, Williams said,

“I am thrilled to share this longlist – 16 incredible books by a diverse group of women, from the UK and countries across the world, all brilliant stories that sweep you into another world. Each of them has been a privilege to read, and they have taken us into places a million miles from each other, exploring the lives of women and men in so many different but utterly compelling ways.”

Brief bio of the Nigerian authors and summary of their stories

Oyinkan Braithwaite

Oyinkan Braithwaite is a Kingston University graduate of Creative Writing and Law. In 2016 her story was part of the Commonwealth Short Story Prize shortlist. “My Sister, the Serial Killer” explores the tale of Korede, whose younger sister Ayoola kills her boyfriends in the name of self-defense. Korede loves her sister and finds it difficult reporting to the police. All that changes when Ayoola starts dating the doctor where Korede works as a nurse. Korede is in love with the doctor and doesn’t want him to be one of Ayoola’s victims. However, saving one will mean sacrificing the other.

Diana Evans

Diana Evans is a Nigerian-British novelist living in London. She has three novels to her name. “Ordinary People” follows the tale of two couples at the brink of revolution or surrender. Everything changes when Melissa gives birth to a new baby. Michael still loves her but is finding it hard to stay faithful. In the suburbs, Stephanie and Damian are happy with their three children until the death of Damian’s father.

Akwaeke Emezi

Akwaeke Emezi is an Igbo and Tamil writer. “Freshwater,” tells the story of Ada, a child prayed into existence. Her parents struggle to contain the contradictory and volatile spirits within her. While in college an assault leads to crystallization of her selves. Subsequently, Ada’s life takes a dangerous and dark dimension.

The longlist

Books and their authors that made it to the longlist this year’s Women’s Prize for Fiction include;

  • The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker
  • Remembered by Yvonne Battle-Felton
  • My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite
  • The Pisces by Melissa Broder
  • Milkman by Anna Burns
  • Freshwater by Akwaeke Emezi
  • Ordinary People by Diana Evans
  • Swan Song by Kelleigh Greenberg-Jephcott
  • An American Marriage by Tayari Jones
  • Number One Chinese Restaurant by Lilian Li
  • Bottled Goods by Sophie van Llewyn
  • Lost Children Archive by Valeria Luiselli
  • Praise Songs for the Butterflies by Bernice L. McFadden
  • Circe by Madeline Miller
  • Ghost Wall by Sarah Moss
  • Normal People by Sally Rooney

Freshwater is first non-binary inclusion

Freshwater by Akwaeke Emezi earlier in 2018 won the Quartz Africa’s as the best African book. The inclusion of Emezi’s ‘Freshwater’ is the first time a non-binary trans author will make it to the long list of the Women’s Prize for Fiction. The same day of the longlist announcement, the competition judges published an editorial believed to put an end to the controversy surrounding the inclusion of the novel on the list. Reacting to the novel, one of the judges, Arifa Akbar said,

Emezi’s novel takes the conversation about female-only spaces and non-binary identities out of an often inward-looking, white, Western enclave, to give it new meaning.”

Past African winners

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is the only African to have won the coveted Women’s Prize for Fiction (then Orange Prize for Fiction). The multiple-award-winning writer took home the prize in 2007 for her novel, ‘Half of a Yellow Sun’. If Oyinkan Braithwaite, Akwaeke Emezi or Diana Evans should win, it will be the second time the prize will come to Africa. The announcement for the shortlist will be on April 29.

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