2021 Nommo Awards Short List


Below are the Short List Nominees in each of the 4 categories and ALL respective nominees for the 2021 Nommo Awards:



Akwaeke Emezi

Riverhead Books, 2020

Akwaeke Emezi is an Igbo and Tamil writer and video artist. A recipient of the National Book Foundation's 5 Under 35 Award for 2018, Emezi has been awarded a Global Arts Fund grant and a Sozopol Fellowship for Creative Nonfiction. They won the 2017 Commonwealth Short Story Prize for Africa, and their novel Freshwater was longlisted for the Andrew Carnegie Medal. Read more at akwaeke.com.

The Death of Vivek Oji:

One afternoon, in a town in southeastern Nigeria, a mother opens her front door to discover her son’s body, wrapped in colorful fabric, at her feet. What follows is the tumultuous, heart-wrenching story of one family’s struggle to understand a child whose spirit is both gentle and mysterious...

Riverhead Books


Nikhil Singh

Luna Press Publishing, 2020

Nikhil Singh is a South African artist, writer and musician. His graphic novels include The Ziggurat and Salem Brownstone written by John Harris Dunning and longlisted for the Branford Boase Award. His work has been featured in various magazines including Dazed, i-D Online and Creative Review, and in the anthology Pictures and Words: New Comic Art and Narrative Illustration. His debut novel Taty Went West was released with an accompanying soundtrack and was shortlisted for the inaugural Ilube-Nommo Award for Best Novel. He was invited to submit a story to The Unquiet Dreamer, a Harlan Ellison tribute collection. His story ‘The Re-Evolution of Cloud 9’ was long listed for the 2020 Nommo Award for Best Short Story.  Club Ded has also been shortlisted for Best Novel in the 2021 British Science Fiction Association Awards. His short story ‘Malware Park’ will be published in a forthcoming anthology by Titan Books, edited by Preston Grassman. Read more at facebook.com/witchboy.

Club Ded:

Brick Bryson, iconic African-American 90s action star, is fresh out of rehab and shooting the doomed sci-fi blockbuster CLUB DED with his old drinking buddy, bad boy and #metoo’d director, Croeser. But all is not as it seems. Behind the scenes, operatives of Oracle Inc., an elite, all-female information-gathering organisation, have gone rogue...

Luna Press Publishing


Stephen Embleton

Guardbridge Books, 2020

Stephen Embleton was born and lives in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. His background is Graphic Design, Creative Direction and Film. His first short story was published in 2015 in the "Imagine Africa 500" speculative fiction anthology, followed by the "Beneath This Skin" 2016 Edition of Aké Review, and more followed. Find him at stephen.embleton.co.za and @spembleton

Soul Searching is Stephen's debut novel. 


Science has learned to understand the soul, and can track souls through this life and beyond. A specialist unit of the South African police is using a Soul Tracker device in a harrowing search for a serial killer. Who can be trusted with the power to look inside the soul?

Guardbridge Books


*Lauren Beukes's book AFTERLAND would have been short listed. The author however recused herself from the short list, saying "I'd like to make way for new and vital voices."



David A. Atta

Makere Books an imprint of Masobe Books. 2020

Born in Zaria and raised in Lagos, David A. Atta is a trained architect who lives in Abuja with his wife and four daughters, he believes that literature must first serve to influence people positively, contributing to the building of healthy mindsets and constructive culture.

Guardians: The Awakening is his first novel (first published with Okada Books in 2019 and now available from Makere Books, an imprint of Masobe Books.

Read more at @the_davidatta.

Guardians: The Awakening:

Hunted and mortally wounded by an ancient foe, Queen Amina casts her fate, mantle, and relics of power 400yrs into the future, into the hands of a teenage girl: Hadiza.

More about The Guardians from Dragonfly Media


Dilman Dila

Guardbridge Books, 2020

Dilman Dila is a writer, filmmaker, all round storyteller. He's author of an acclaimed collection of short stories, A Killing in the Sun, shortlisted for the Commonwealth Short Story Prize (2013). His stories feature in several anthologies. His films include What Happened in Room 13 (2007) and The Felistas Fable (2013), winner of four major awards at Uganda Film Festival. Read more at dilmandila.com.


An orphaned girl tries to survive on her own and understand her emerging magical powers, while a sorcerous plague sweeps the country. She may hold the key to its cure, but what she really wants to find is home and family.

Guardbridge Books, 2020


Oghenechovwe Donald Ekpeki

Dominion, Aurelia Leo, 2020

Oghenechovwe Donald Ekpeki is an African speculative fiction writer, slush reader and editor from Nigeria with a background in Law. He has won the Nommo award, the Horror Writers Association diversity grant and been a finalist in the This is Horror, British Science Fiction Association, Locus, and Nebula awards. Read more at ekpeki.wordpress.com.

Ife-Iyoku: The Tale of Imadeyunuagbon:

A third world war wipes out nearly all life in Africa. Survivors gather in Ife-Iyoku, spiritual capital of the ancient Oyo empire where they evolve, developing powers to survive.

Dominion, Aurelia Leo, 2020


Tlotlo Tsamaase

Pink Narcissus Press, 2020

Tlotlo Tsamaase's works have appeared in Clarkesworld, Terraform, The Best of World SF Volume 1, Apex Magazine, Strange Horizons, and other publications. Her novella, The Silence of the Wilting Skin, is a finalist for the 2021 Lambda Literary Awards. You can find her on twitter at @tlotlotsamaase and at tlotlotsamaase.com.

The Silence of the Wilting Skin:

In an African city, a nameless woman's skin is peeling off and people are becoming invisible as she fights city plans to destroy the train where they bury their dead.  Struggling to hold onto a fluctuating reality, she prescribes herself insomnia...

Pink Narcissus Press, 2020


Tochi Onyebuchi

Tor/Forge and Tordotcom, 2020

Tochi Onyebuchi is the author of the young adult novel Beasts Made of Night, which won the Ilube Nommo Award, its sequel, Crown of Thunder, and War Girls. He holds a B.A. from Yale, a M.F.A. in screenwriting from the Tisch School of the Arts, a Master's degree in droit économique from Sciences Po, and a J.D. from Columbia Law School. Read more at tochionyebuchi.com.

Riot Baby:

Ella sees things that haven't happened yet. Kev, born while Los Angeles burned around them, wants to protect his sister from a power that could destroy her. But when Kev is incarcerated, Ella must decide what it means to watch her brother suffer while holding the ability to wreck cities in her hands...



Innocent Chizaram Ilo

2 March 2020, Strange Horizons

Innocent Chizaram Ilo was a shortlistee for the Wilbur Smith 2019 Author of Tomorrow award, and a Gerald Kraak Award finalist for his story “Limbo”. His stories have been published in a variety of publications, including Transcendent 4: The Year's Best Transgender Speculative Fiction, and the SSDA ID anthology. Read more at @ethereal_ilo.

Rat and Finch Are Friends:

I understand that school will never be the same. Mr. Okeke, the Dorm Master, had resounded in my ears that when the new term resumes, I must never talk to Rat, I must never come close to him, that the both of us are not to talk to each other...

Read the full story here.

2 March 2020, Strange Horizons


T L Huchu

Fiyah, Issue 12, 2019

T. L. Huchu is a writer whose short fiction has appeared in publications such as 'Lightspeed', 'Interzone', 'AfroSF', and elsewhere. He is the winner of a Nommo Award for African SF/F, and has been short-listed for the Caine Prize and the Grand Prix de l'Imaginaire. Between projects, he translates fiction from Shona into English and the reverse. "The Library of the Dead" is the first novel in his 'Edinburgh Nights' fantasy series. Find him @TendaiHuchu


Settlers on a new planet discover they have to contend with microbial life there...

Read the full story here.

1 October 2019, Issue 12 Fiyah


Tiah Marie Beautement

30 August 2020, Issue 15, Omenana

Tiah Marie Beautement is the author of two novels, including This Day, and numerous short stories. She lives in South Africa with her family, two dogs, and a small flock of chickens. Diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome and fibromyalgia, she is outspoken about living life with chronic conditions and disability. Read more at tiahbeautement.wordpress.com.

The Bend of Water:

Xiomara glanced over her shoulder at those in her care, while the water folded itself at her command like a length of ribbon, the charged electrons shrinking the distance between hell and freedom...

Read the full story here.

30 August 2020, Issue 15, Omenana


Tlotlo Tsamaase

16 October 2020, Africanfuturism Anthology published by Brittle Paper

Tlotlo Tsamaase's works have appeared in Clarkesworld, Terraform, The Best of World SF Volume 1, Apex Magazine, Strange Horizons, and other publications. Her novella, The Silence of the Wilting Skin, is a finalist for the 2021 Lambda Literary Awards. You can find her on twitter at @tlotlotsamaase and at tlotlotsamaase.com.

Behind Our Irises:

Every eye in our firm runs surveillance programs behind its pupil. Connected through the authenticated enterprise cloud network to the central servers of the Firm. Able to detect corporate theft, infraction, abuse of work assets and more. Much more...

Read the full story here.

16 October 2020, Africanfuturism Anthology published by Brittle Paper


Tobi Ogundiran

September 2020, The Dark

Tobi Ogundiran is a writer of Yoruba extraction. Nominated for the British Science Fiction award, his dark and fantastical tales have appeared in The Dark, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, FIYAH, Tor.com among others. He currently resides in Penza, Russia where he's studying to become a medical doctor. Find him at tobiogundiran.com and @tobi_thedreamer on Twitter.


A widow and mother of two living on a farm finds goats eating her yams one day and seeks to drive them off. But of course the goats aren't EXACTLY goats and her act inadvertently sets loose a chain of horrendous events which forever changes her life.

Read the full story here.

September 2020, The Dark



Anna Mbale (writer) and Mwiche Songolo (artist)

Black Hut Comics

In a strange yet fascinating world called the Alex, a young cadet called Benjamin is caught up in the chaos that unknown travellers bring...


Mwiche Songolo (writer & artist)

Black Hut Comics

Malaika is a delinquent trying to change her ways but is haunted by an ability that stands in the way of her redemption. She can see people's inner demons...


Qinto Collab (various writers & artists)

MaThoko's Books, an imprint of GALA Queer Archive

Meanwhile… brings together contemporary stories, affirming and disquieting stories, urban and rural stories. The collection celebrates the diversity and fluidity of queer and African identities, offering a sometimes radical re-imagining of life on the continent... 


Nana Akosua Hanson (writer) AnimaxFYB Studios (art)

Drama Queens Collective

In the year 2019 of the New World Order of the Council of the Seti, the Moongirls are four African Supersheroes who fight a physical and philosophical war...


Murewa Ayodele (writer) and Dotun Akande (artist)

Action Lab - Danger Zone


In Africa, you prove a threat to the government’s rule, you get whacked. No questions asked. 

It’s the near future, and the common news is those who face death without fear are given the abilities of gods – superpowers. Citizens are running into burning buildings in an attempt to gain these powers. Few succeed. Most die.

Governments see these surviving superfreaks as a threat. They are not going to have it. That’s why they hire SHADE to hunt and kill these superhumans. And she is okay killing whatever they point her to… as long as she has a drink first.

This is the world of NEW MEN. This is the action-packed biopunk thriller not to miss.

Murewa Ayodele and Dotun Akande are Nigerian comic book creators and the founders of Collectible Comics NG (award nominated comic book studio). Best friends and frequent collaborators – they are the creators of the Action Lab published series, NEW MEN, and the Webtoons series, My Grandfather Was A God.


Mazuba Chimbeza (writer and artist)

Black Hut Comics


TITAN is a story that follows teenager felix mwiinga as great power is thrust upon him, but now the question remains, how will he use his new gifts?

Mazuba chimbeza is a 22 year old writer and artist from Lusaka Zambia. He’s been drawing amateur comics since his high school days, he first got into comics through the book supa strikas and hasn’t looked back since. He cites Kenneth rocafort, David Marquez and Ivan reis as having influenced his art style.