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In a year that greatly affected the mentality of so many through the coronavirus pandemic and lockdowns, Nigerians found a way to thrive and make the society seem normal. One group, Nigerian writers, were not to be left out.  Every year, they have thrived both at home and on the world stage and 2020 was not to be a different year despite the challenges that followed its wake. Here is a list of Top 10 Nigerian Authors in the year 2020.

Wole Soyinka

Wole Soyinka's little known musical endeavors
Africa Is A Country
Nobel laureate, Wole Soyinka, shook the world with the release of his first novel in 48 years. The first African to win the Nobel Prize for Literature (1986) released his third novel ‘’Chronicles Of The Happiest People On Earth,’’ a 524-page piece this year. Soyinka’s previous novels, The Interpreters (1964), and The Season of Anomy (1972) were exceptional and the globe is thrilled that Soyinka who is notable for plays and poetry has decided to return to his roots, storytelling.
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Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie talks colonialism, politics and pop culture
The African Report
Chimamanda broke her seven-year silence on fiction by releasing ‘’Zikora,’’ this year. Aside from the release of Zikora (a short story), the McArthur genius among other awards, won the Winner of Winners Prize for Fiction this year and was named the Woman of the Decade by THISDAY newspaper. Chimamanda also won the Friedrich Naumann Foundation Africa Freedom Prize for 2020.

Irenosen Okojie

Irenosen Okojie wins the Caine prize for 'stunning' short story Grace Jones  | Caine prize | The Guardian
The Guardian
Irenosen’s short story ‘’Grace Jones,’’ bagged her 2020 Ako Caine Prize for African Writing. Grace Jones which tells the tale of ‘Sidra,’ a Grace Jones impersonator with a dark past won Irenosen the prestigious prize which comes with a 10,000 Euros cash prize.

Chigozie Obioma

Why Jay?': Chigozie Obioma on the haunting death that inspired his novel |  Books | The Guardian
The Guardian
Chigozie Obioma’s 2019 work An Orchestra of Minorities won him the 2020 International Literature Award by Germany’s House of World Cultures and Stiftung Elementarteilchen. The award recognizes an exceptional piece of prose translated into German for the first time. Obioma bagged home a cash prize of 20,000 Euros for winning this award.

Akwaeke Emezi

Freshwater by Akwaeke Emezi review – a remarkable debut | Fiction | The  Guardian
The Guardian
Since her shot into fame in 2018 for her debut novel, Freshwater, Emezi has been consistent in the literary space. Emezi’s work ‘’Pet,’’ saw her win the 2020 Walter Honors, Teen Category. The 33-year-old who grew up in Aba, Abia State, is currently one of the best writers in Nigeria.
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Chibundu Onuzo

Chibundu Onuzo and the story of Lagos -
Houston Chronicle
Since Chibundu debuted her first novel ‘’The Spider King’s Daughter,’’ which went on to win the 2013 Betty Trask Award, made the shortlist for the Dylan Thomas Prize, Commonwealth Book Prize, Desmond Elliot Prize, Etisalat Prize for Literature, among others,  she has remained relevant in shaping the future of the globe with her pen. At the 2020 American Black Film Festival, Dolapo Is Fine, which Chibundu co-wrote the screenplay, and was based on her short story ‘’Sunita, won the HBO Short Film Competition.

Innocent Ilo

Innocent Chizaram Ilo Awarded 2020 Commonwealth Short Story Prize for  Africa Region
Brittle Paper
At the age of 23, Innocent Chizaram Ilo became the first Nigerian to win the Regional Commonwealth Short Story Prize for Africa. His short story “When a Woman Renounces Motherhood,” saw him crowned the winner of the 2020 Commonwealth Short Story Prize for Africa.

Oladejo Oluyemisi

2020 African Writers Award for Creative Nonfiction: A Dialogue with Oluyemisi  Oladejo – Africa in Dialogue
Africa In Dialogue
Oluyemisi made the headlines after winning the African Writers Awards for Creative Non-Fiction. The Nigerian’s work ‘’Each Little Win,’’ grabbed her the prestigious prize. A master’s degree holder in English from the University of Ibadan, Oluyemisi is a virtual teacher of the English language.

Asoko Gloria Akayi

Akayi – Africa in Dialogue
Africa In Dialogue
Akayi received the 2020 African Writers Award for Drama with her exceptional work ‘’Who Knows Amanda.’’

Duru Nneka Joyce

2020 African Writers Award for Poetry: A Dialogue with Joyce Nneka Duru –  Africa in Dialogue
Africa In Dialogue
Duru Nneka’s Ode to the Blackbird saw her top Africa’s best poet list as the winner of the 2020 African Writers Award for Poetry. A University of Lagos graduate of English, Duru started writing at the age of nine and had written her first novel at the age of 13. Aside from being an ardent advocate of women and children’s rights, Duru is a member of the Association of Nigerian Authors, Port Harcourt, River State. Sources: Brittle Paper Writers Space Africa In Dialogue Featured Image Source: The Guardian NG
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This article was first published on 23rd December 2020


I am a Lion, I love to hit heights that seem impossible so I can motivate others and prove doubters wrong. For me, impossible is nothing. I'm open to learning and I love to read, travel and meet new faces.

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