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Image courtesy of Etan Comics.

'Hawi' is Ethiopia's first female superhero comic book.

Ethiopia’s First Female Superhero Comic 'Hawi' Nominated for 'Best Graphic Novel'

Ethiopian writer Beserat Debebe's 'Hawi' has been nominated for the annual NOMMO Awards for African Speculative Fiction.

Founder of Etan Comics and Ethiopian writer, Beserat Debebe, has been been nominated for this year's NOMMO Awards for African Speculative Fiction for his Hawi comic in the category of "Best Graphic Novel". The Nommo Awards are presented in four categories namely "Best Novel", "Best Novella", "Best Short Story" and "Best Graphic Novel". Hawi is the first female comic to ever come out of Ethiopia. Additionally, Debebe's Jember, which was the country's first ever comic, made it onto the long-list in the same category.


Hawi, as described in OkayAfrica's interview with Debebe, "centers a female superhero, a young Ethiopian woman named Ement Legesse, who is tasked with having to rescue her mother after she's abducted. The colorful visuals are stunning and showcase Debebe's talented team of African artists and their unique ability to capture the vibrancy of Ethiopia. A story about returning to one's roots and having the courage to rise above the challenges that come with seeking reconciliation and belonging, it's one we can all relate to whether literally or figuratively."

Following its wildly successful kickstarter which covered the remaining costs of production, Hawi has become a beloved work of art not just for Ethiopians but Africans across the continent and the diaspora.

Speaking about the recent nomination, Debebe says, "This is incredible." He adds that, "I loved fantasy stories but I'd never considered myself as a writer. All I wanted was to see a story with places I recognize and characters that think like me. To see this journey balloon from a simple "what if" into a community of passionate fans is exciting and motivating. Last year, Nnedi Okorafor took this award for writing Shuri (Marvel's Black Panther). She is a Hugo-Award winner. To be recognized as a finalist in the same category as her means so much."

Writers who have been nominated for the NOMMO Awards in the past include Akwaeke Emezi, Biram Mboob and T.L. Huchu among several others.

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Photo: Spark Creative

Meet the Ghanaian-British Designer Behind Janet Jackson's Latest Cover Look

For her most recent cover shoot, Janet Jackson donned a headpiece co-created by Ghanaian-British designer Chrissa Amuah, who tells us more about how she finds inspiration in her parents' homeland.

After rocking a LaviebyCK design by Cameroon's Claude Kameni in her 2018 'Made for Now' music video, Janet Jackson has turned to another talented African creative for her latest look. On the February 2022 cover of Allure Magazine, in which Jackson talks about executive-producing her documentary, Janet, the multiple Grammy-winning artist is pictured wearing an Ògún headpiece, co-designed by Ghanaian-British textile and furniture designer, Chrissa Amuah.

"I’ve always been a fan and respected her craft and work ethic,” Amuah told OkayAfrica. “For Ms Jackson to wear the Ògún in promotion of her new documentary sends a powerful message of enduring brilliance, integrity, and walking in the strength of our true voices.”

Of Ghanaian, Togolese, and Beninese heritage, Amuah was born to Ghanaian parents in London and draws inspiration from the Ghanaian Adinkra symbol in her work as the founder and Creative Director of AMWA Designs, a luxury homeware and interiors brand established in 2014. Making her international debut at the Milan Design Week, she gained worldwide acclaim in 2015, and a few years later, was named “Consumer and Luxury Rising Star” at the 2017 Black British Business Awards.

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