Nigerian writer, Kanyinsola Olorunnisola, wins the 2020 K & L prize for his story, Abija, the Architect of Mayhem.
The 2020 prize is based on the theme of ‘Africanfuturism’ and is judged by the academic Chigbo Arthur Anyaduba and dramatist Dione Joseph. Currently in its second year, the $1000 NZ prize was founded and sponsored by New Zealand-based Nigerian writer Myles Ojabo and is awarded to the best piece of unpublished fiction by an African.
The writers who made the shortlist in 2020 are:
Audrey Obuobisa-Darko (Ghana), for her story, Araba.
Kanyisola Olorunnisola (Nigeria), for his story, Abija, the Architect of Mayhem.
Izuchukwu Udokwu (Nigeria), for his story, The New Colours.
Yvonne Nezianya (Nigeria), for her story, The Wonders of Spirits.
The longlist featured writers from Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Ghana and Cameroon. Commenting on the entries, Anyaduba said: “the stories are a piece of imaginative wonder: remarkable depth of imagination, mellifluous narrative, the stories stay with you long after you move on with your life.” Joseph said: “it was a pleasure to read such a variety of different and compelling stories from the youth of our great continent of Africa. The stories demonstrate an exercise in developing one’s own voice, shifting from description to dialogue and reaching into our ancestral knowledge to look into the future.” All longlisted stories including this year’s winning story, Abija, the Architect of Mayhem, are in the anthology Black Skin, No Mask and can be acquired via amazon.
Kanyinsola Olorunnisola is an experimental poet, essayist, and writer of fiction. His work has appeared in Popula, Gertrude, Bakwa, The Account, Bodega, Kalahari Review, Brittle Paper, and elsewhere. He is the founder of SprinNG, a literary platform for amplifying the voices of young writers, as well as Nation of Mad Men, a social justice project. He is the recipient of the 2016 Albert Jungers Poetry Prize and the 2017 Fisayo Soyombo National Essay Prize. He was shortlisted for the 2019 Koffi Addo Prize for Creative Non-Fiction. He has published a chapbook: “In My Country, We’re All Crossdressers” (Praxis, 2018). He is currently working on a full-length poetry collection and a fantasy novel. He writes from Lagos, Nigeria.