DISCON3 WorldCon 2021: African Panelist Bios

The December 2021 DISCON3 WorldCon features a wide range of panels representing African speculative fiction. 

Visit the DISCON3 site for the full schedule of panels and events.

Ada Nnadi 

Ada Nnadi is presently studying Psychology at the University of Lagos, Nigeria and will one day be the mother of many cats, two birds (because that's the closest they'll ever have to getting a pet dinosaur)—and maybe a small dog. Their story Tiny Bravery co-won the 2020 Nommo Awards for short fiction, and some of their work is forthcoming at Anathema, GigaNotoSaurus and TorDotCom Publishing (AFRICA RISEN, 2022). Find them lurking on Twitter @adaceratops

Chịkọdịlị Emelụmadụ

Chịkọdịlị Emelụmadụ was born in Worksop, Nottinghamshire and raised in Awka, Nigeria. Her work has been shortlisted for the Shirley Jackson Awards, the Caine Prize for African Literature, and won a Nommo award. In 2019, her manuscript DAZZLING, won the inaugural Curtis Brown First Novel prize and will be the lead debut for Wildfire Books in spring 2023. She lives in Newhaven, East Sussex with her children and guinea pigs.

Chinelo Onwualu

Chinelo Onwualu is the co-editor of Anathema: Spec from the margins, and co-founder of Omenana, a magazine of African Speculative Fiction. Her short stories have been featured in Slate.com, Uncanny, and Strange Horizons as well as in several anthologies. She's been nominated for the British Science Fiction Awards, and the Nommo Awards for African Speculative Fiction. She's from Nigeria but lives in Toronto with her partner and child, and she's always happy to pet your dog. Find her on Twitter @chineloonwualu 

Dilman Dila

Dilman Dila is a writer, filmmaker, and all round artist who lives in his home country, Uganda. He is the author of a critically acclaimed collection of short stories, A KILLING IN THE SUN. His two recent novellas are The Future God of Love and A Fledgling Abiba. He has been shortlisted for the BSFA Awards (2021) and for the Nommo Awards for Best Novella (2021), as well as for the Commonwealth Short Story Prize (2013), among many accolades. His short fiction have appeared in many anthologies, including THE BEST SCIENCE FICTION OF THE YEAR: Volume Six, and THE APEX BOOK OF WORLD SF 4. His films include the masterpiece What Happened in Room 13 (2007) and The Felistas Fable (2013), which was nominated for Best First Feature by a Director at AMAA (2014). You can find his short films on patreon.com/dilstories and more about him on his website dilmandila.com

Hannah Onoguwe

Hannah Onoguwe’s stories have been published in Imagine Africa 500, the Strange Lands Short Stories anthology by Flame Tree Press, as well as in PerVisions, The Drum Lit Mag, Eleven Eleven, Omenana, Timeworn Lit Mag, Mysterion Online, among others. She won the Association of Nigerian Authors Bayelsa Chapter poetry competition in 2016 and was shortlisted for the 2020 Afritondo Short Story Prize. She is currently a 2021 CLIMATE IMAGINATION FELLOW at the Centre for Science and the Imagination at Arizona State University. She lives in Yenagoa with her family.

Innocent Chizaram Ilo

Innocent Chizaram Ilo is Igbo. They live in Lagos and write to make sense of the world around them.

Iquo DianaAbasi

Iquo DianaAbasi is a creative writer and performance poet. She writes prose, poetry and scripts for radio and screen. Her writings explore societal issues, womanhood, pain and the need to embrace our humanity as a precursor to healing. Her book, ÈFÓ RÍRÒ AND OTHER STORIES was released in 2020 to much acclaim. Her first collection of poems, SYMPHONY OF BECOMING, was shortlisted for the NLNG Nigeria prize for literature, and the ANA poetry prize. It has also been shortlisted for the Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature. She is an alumnus of Fidelity Bank’s International Creative Writing Workshop, and was writer in residence at the Ebedi International Writers Residency. Her writings appear or are forthcoming in African Literature Today, Kalahari review, AfricaInWords, Saraba magazine, Ebedi Review, ANA Review, and Olisa.tv. She has also been featured in several print and online poetry anthologies. Iquo is known to perform her poems with a touch of Ibibio folklore. Stages she has graced include: Lagos International Poetry Festival, Ake Arts and Book Festival, The Big60 Cultural Exchange, Wole Soyinka @80, Lagos Black Heritage Festival, The Macmillan Literary night, PLAY Poetry Festival and more.  Iquo resides in Lagos, where she has just completed work on a novel, a second volume of poetry, and edits the speculative fiction magazine, omenana.com.

Lesley Arimah

Lesley Nneka Arimah was born in the UK and grew up in Nigeria and wherever else her father was stationed for work. Her stories have been honoured with a National Magazine Award, a Commonwealth Short Story Prize and an O. Henry Award. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, Harper’s, , McSweeney’s, GRANTA and has received support from The Elizabeth George Foundation and MacDowell. She was selected for the National Book Foundation’s 5 Under 35 and her debut collection WHAT IT MEANS WHEN A MAN FALLS FROM THE SKY won the 2017 Kirkus Prize, the 2017 New York Public Library Young Lions Fiction Award and was selected for the New York Times/PBS book club among other honors. Arimah is a 2019 United States Artists Fellow in Writing. She lives in Las Vegas and is working on a novel about you.

Lisa Yvette Ndlovu

Lisa Yvette Ndlovu is a Zimbabwean sarungano (storyteller). Her debut short story collection SWIMMING WITH CROCODILES won the 2021 UPK New Poetry & Prose Series Prize. She is pursuing her MFA at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, where she teaches in the Writing Program

Mame Bougouma Diene

Mame Bougouma Diene is a Franco –Senegalese American humanitarian living in Brooklyn, the US/Francophone spokesperson for the African Speculative Fiction Society, a regular columnist at Strange Horizons, and francophone editor at Omenana magazine. You can find his work in both the aforementioned as well as Fiyah! EscapePod, Tor.com, AfroSFv2 & V3, Dominion and others. He was nominated for two Nommo Awards and his debut collection DARK MOONS RISING ON A STARLESS NIGHT (Clash Books) was nominated for the 2019 Splatterpunk Award. 

Mazi Nwonwu

Mazi Nwonwu is the pen name of Chiagozie Fred Nwonwu, a Lagos-based journalist and writer. While journalism and its demands take up much of his time, when he can, Mazi Nwonwu writes speculative fiction, which he believes is a vehicle through which he can transport Africa’s diverse culture to the future. He is the co-founder of Omenana, a speculative fiction magazine and a Senior Journalist with the BBC. His work has appeared in LAGOS 2060 (Nigeria’s first science fiction anthology), AFROSF (the first PAN-African Science Fiction Anthology), Sentinel Nigeria, Saraba Magazine, It Wasn’t Exactly Love, an anthology on sex and sexuality publish by Farafina in 2015, Brittle Paper's AfricanFuturism anthology, Jalada's Nostalgia anthology and other venues.

Nana Akosua Hanson

With over 12 years of experience as an artist, an advocate and an activist, Akosua Hanson believes in the power of art and artistic expression in changing the world. Her work as an activist has largely centered on pan-African, feminist & environmental activism, through various media -acting & theatre production, writing ( essays, fiction, articles), sex education, community organizing, art installations, comics/ graphic novels, film & music production and traditional media (radio, television, print journalism). She has published articles such as Ebola and the Africa-hating Single Story, A Girl's Hopes for Women's Day, Shashii, Ghanaian Twitter and Slut Shaming, and short stories.

As an actress, Akosua has graced the stages of the National Theatre, Efua Sutherland Drama Studio, Terra Alta in plays such as The Seamstress of St. Francis Street, Vagina Monologues, A Raisin in the Sun amongst others. She has also played roles in popular African film series, such as Nicole Amarteifio's An African City and 40 and Single directed by Leila Dzansi. She has produced and anchored documentaries on topics such as Child Marriage, plastic pollution in the sea & centering Women's narratives in the history of Ghana's Independence struggle against colonialism. She also featured in Oprah Winfrey Network's DARK GIRLS 2, a documentary on Colorism, directed by D. Channsin Berry.

Her current art-ivist project is MOONGIRLS, an adult graphic novel series that revolves around the exploits of four Ghanaian Super-Sheroes fighting for an Africa free from patriarchy, homophobia, hyper-religiosity, neo-colonialism, and corruption…

Nick Wood

Nick Wood is a disabled South African-British clinical psychologist and Science Fiction (SF) writer, with a collection of short stories (alongside essays and new material) in LEARNING MONKEY AND CROCODILE (Luna Press, 2019). Following AZANIAN BRIDGES (2016), Nick’s latest novel is the BSFA shortlisted WATER MUST FALL (NewCon Press, 2020). It’s 2048 – and in a world of disappearing water, who gets to drink? Nick can be found at http://nickwood.frogwrite.co.nz/

Nikhil Singh

Nikhil Singh is a South African artist, writer and musician. Former projects include the

graphic novels: SALEM BROWNSTONE written by John Harris Dunning (longlisted for the Branford Boase Award, Walker Books 2009) as well as THE ZIGGURAT (Bell-Roberts 2003) by The Constructus Corporation (now Die Antwoord). His work has also been featured in various magazines including Dazed, i-D Online, Creative Review, as well as Pictures and Words: New Comic Art and Narrative Illustration (Laurence King, 2005). His debut novel TATY WENT WEST was published by Kwani? Trust (KE) in 2015, Jacaranda Books (UK) in 2017, and Rosarium (US) in 2018. The book was released with an accompanying soundtrack and was shortlisted for Best African Novel in the inaugural Nommo Awards. He was invited to submit a story to The Unquiet Dreamer, the prestigious Harlan Ellison tribute, from PS Publishing in 2019 and Out of the Ruins, the post-apocalyptic anthology, from Titan Books 2021 - both edited by Preston Grassmann.  His story, The Re-Evolution of Cloud 9, has been longlisted for Best Story in the 2020 Nommo Awards. The novel CLUB DED, published by Luna Press Publishing (UK) in June 2020 was shortlisted for Best Novel in the 2021 British Science Fiction Association Awards and Best Novel in the 2021 Nommo Awards.

Oghenechovwe Donald Ekpeki

Oghenechovwe Donald Ekpeki is an African speculative fiction writer and editor from Nigeria. He won the Nommo award for best short story by an African in 2019, was awarded the 2020 Horror Writers Association diversity grant, and won the 2020 Otherwise Award and the 2021 British Fantasy Award. He has been a finalist in the Nebula, Locus, BSFA, Sturgeon and This Is Horror awards. He co-edited the ground-breaking DOMINION anthology, is editing the first ever Year's BEST AFRICAN SPECULATIVE FICTION anthology, the collections issue of Interstellar Flight Press and co-editing the AFRICA RISEN anthology with Zelda Knight and Sheree Renee Thomas, forthcoming on TorDotCom in 2022

Shadreck Chikoti

Shadreck Chikoti writes in both English and Chichewa.  Shadreck has received national and international recognition for his writing. In 2001, he received the Peer Gynt Literary Award for his short story, “The Trap.” In 2011, Chikoti was selected to attend the Caine Prize African Writers’ Workshop in Cameroon, and the story he wrote while there, “Child of a Hyena,” was published in the Caine Prize 2011 anthology, TO SEE THE MOUNTAIN AND OTHER STORIES. Shadreck won the 2013 Peer Gynt Literary Award for his science fiction/fantasy novel AZOTUS THE KINGDOM, published in Malawi by the Malawi Writers Union in 2015. In 2014, Chikoti was nominated by the Africa39 project as one "of the most promising 39 authors under the age of 40 from Sub-Saharan Africa and the diaspora." 

Sheree Rene Thomas

Sheree Renée Thomas is an award-winning short fiction writer, poet, and editor with fellowships and residencies from the Millay Colony of Arts, Bread Loaf Environmental, VCCA, Cave Canem Foundation, and Smith College. She is the author of Nine Bar Blues: Stories from an Ancient Future (Third Man Books, May 26, 2020), her first fiction collection, and two multigenre/hybrid collections, Sleeping Under the Tree of Life (Aqueduct Press), longlisted for the 2016 Otherwise Award and honored with a Publishers Weekly Starred Review and Shotgun Lullabies (Aqueduct). Her widely anthologized works and essays have appeared in places such as the New York Times and The Big Book of Modern Fantasy. She edited the World Fantasy Award- winning speculative fiction volumes, Dark Matter, that first introduced W.E.B. Du Bois’s work as science fiction and was the first black author to be honored with the World Fantasy Award since its inception in 1975. She serves as the Associate Editor of Obsidian: Literature & Arts in the African Diaspora (Illinois State University, Normal).

Stephen Embleton

Stephen's first short story was published in 2015 in the ‘Imagine Africa 500’ speculative fiction anthology. More short fiction followed in the “Beneath This Skin” 2016 Edition of Aké Review, “The Short Story is Dead, Long Live the Short Story! Vol.2”, the debut edition of Enkare Review 2017, The Bloody Parchment, AFROSFV3, and The Kalahari Review. He is a charter member of the African Speculative Fiction Society and its Nommo Awards initiative. He was featured in Part 11 of the 100 African Writers of SFF on Strange Horizons. His debut speculative fiction novel, SOUL SEARCHING, was published in 2020 – and was shortlisted (finalist) for the Nommo Awards by the African Speculative Fiction Society (The Ilube Nommo Award for Best Speculative Fiction Novel by an African), in May 2021. Awarded the James Currey Fellowship at African Studies Centre, Oxford University 2022.

Suyi Davies Okungbowa:

Suyi Davies Okungbowa is a Nigerian author of fantasy, science fiction and general speculative work. His latest novel is SON OF THE STORM, first in the epic fantasy trilogy, THE NAMELESS REPUBLIC. His debut godpunk fantasy novel DAVID MOGO, GODHUNTER (Abaddon, 2019), won the 2020 Nommo Ilube Award for Best Speculative Novel by an African. His shorter works have appeared in various periodicals and anthologies and have been nominated for various awards. He earned his MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Arizona, and is an Assistant Professor at the University of Ottawa.

Terrence Francis

Terrence Francis is a Senior Producer/Director/Writer, working across the genres of documentaries, dramas and feature films. He held the position of Executive Producer at the BBC, managing the diversity strand, Ebony; after which he went on to establish Moonlight Films (UK) ranked amongst the top twenty independent production companies at the time. Terrence produced groundbreaking films such as BAFTA-nominated IN SEARCH OF A STORY-TELLER - NAMBA ROY; iconic BLACK SCIENCE FICTION, CLAUDIA JONES: A WOMAN OF OUR TIMES, RUDOLF DUNBAR and the drama documentary on Steve Biko (THE SPIRIT LIVES), amongst others.

In the mid-1990s, Terrence founded Total Eclipse Films (South Africa) developing international co-productions motivated by distinctive African stories. As an in-house company Total Eclipse Films has gone on to produce a variety of content ranging from documentaries, drama, short films and feature films. He is known for producing, the thrilling drama-documentary series, URBAN PREDATOR, on serial killer Moses Sithole, biopic short film series SHORT CUTS, feature film, DAYLIGHT SHADOW, science and tech series AFRICA CALLING, amongst a list of over thirty titles.

Currently, Terrence is completing the AFRICAN SCI-FI series, a follow-up to his 1992 BLACK SCI-FI documentary; dramas Q CLUB on London’s iconic club and BEARERS OF THE TORCH on Alexander Dumas amongst a diverse slate of projects.

Terrence is a consummate filmmaker motivated by telling unique stories and always striving to achieve creative excellence.

Tlotlo Tsamaase

Tlotlo Tsamaase is a Motswana writer (xe/xem/xer or she/her pronouns) currently living in Botswana. Tlotlo’s novella, THE SILENCE OF THE WILTING SKIN, is a 2021 Lambda Literary Award finalist and was shortlisted for a 2021 Nommo Award. Tlotlo’s short fiction has appeared in The Best of World SF Volume 1, Futuri uniti d'Africa, Clarkesworld, Terraform, Africanfuturism Anthology, The Year's Best African Speculative Fiction (2021); and is forthcoming in AFRICAN RISEN anthology, Apex Magazine’s International Futurists issue and other publications. Xer story, Behind Our Irises, is a Nommo Award finalist for Best Short Story (2021). You can find xem at www.tlotlotsamaase.com and on Twitter and Instagram as @TlotloTsamaase.

Tochi Onyebuchi

Tochi Onyebuchi is the author of RIOT BABY, a finalist for the Hugo, Nebula, Locus, and NAACP Image Awards and winner of the New England Book Award for Fiction; the BEASTS MADE OF NIGHT series; and the WAR GIRLS series. He has earned degrees from Yale University, New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, Columbia Law School, and Sciences Po. His short fiction has appeared in Asimov’s Science Fiction, Omenana Magazine, Black Enough: Stories of Being Young & Black in America, and elsewhere. His nonfiction has appeared in Tor.com and the Harvard Journal of African American Public Policy, among other places. His most recent book is the non-fiction (S)KINFOLK.

Virgilia Ferrao

Virgília Leonilde Tembo Ferrão was born on October 3, 1986, in Maputo City in Mozambique. She debuted in the literature world in 2005 with the novel entitled "O ROMEU É XINGONDO E JULIETA MACHANGANE" under the stamp of the University Press of UEM. In September 2008 she graduated in Law at the Higher Institute of Science and Technology of Mozambique (ISCTEM). In 2011 she left to Melbourne, Australia, to do her master's degree in Environment. Her second work, is a novel entitled "INSPECTOR DE XINDZIMILA", published in 2016 by Brazilian publishing house Selo Jovem. She currently works for TotalEnergies EP Mozambique Area 1, as a legal consultant and she is the administrator of the blog "Diário de Uma Qawwi ". Virgília was awarded the Literary Prize 10 de Novembro, 2019, by the Maputo City Council, being the first woman to win this prize. She is editing the anthology “QUANTUM SPIRITS: A JOURNEY THROUGH STORIES FROM AFRICA IN SPECULATIVE FICTION” scheduled for publication by Diário de Uma Qawwi, in 2022.

Wole Talabi

WOLE TALABI is an engineer, writer and editor from Nigeria. His stories have appeared in Asimov’s, Lightspeed, F&SF, Clarkesworld and several other places. He has edited three anthologies of African fiction: the science fiction collection, AFRICANFUTURISM (2020), the horror collection, LIGHTS OUT: RESURRECTION (2016) and the literary fiction collection THESE WORDS EXPOSE US (2014). His stories have been nominated for multiple awards including the prestigious Caine Prize for African Writing in 2018 and the Nommo Award which he won twice (in 2018, for best short story and in 2020, for best Novella). His work has also been translated into Spanish, Norwegian, Chinese and French. His collection INCOMPLETE SOLUTIONS, is published by Luna Press. He likes scuba diving, elegant equations and oddly shaped things. He currently lives and works in Malaysia.