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Brittle Paper Announces its Shortlist for This Year's Awards

Keletso Mopai, Panashe Chigumadzi, Maaza Mengiste and Ope Adedeji are among the 25 writers shortlisted in the five categories of the Brittle Paper Awards.

The shortlist for the prestigious Brittle Paper Awards were announced just yesterday. The awards, which were established back in 2017, aim to recognize the "finest original pieces of writing by Africans published online." This year, 25 pieces have been shortlisted in the five categories of Fiction, Creative Non-Fiction, Essays and Think Pieces, Poetry and Anniversary. South African writers Panashe Chigumadzi and Keletso Mopai, Nigerian writers Ope Adedeji and Frances Ogamba as well as Kenyan writers Carey Baraka and Tee Ngugi appear on the shortlist. For the very first time, the shortlist was announced via video by industry heavyweights including Ellah Wakatama Allfrey, the Chair of the Caine Prize, Romeo Origun, Sisonke Msimang, Ato Quayson and Ladipo Manyika.


It's always exciting for the African literary community when it's time to acknowledge and reward great works written in a particular year. This year is no different. The Brittle Paper Awards' shortlist boasts a diverse selection of talented writers who've published works deserving of the highest praise.

Here are the 25 writers who have made it onto the shortlist (as announced on social media) as well as the titles of their qualifying works below. You can also read more about the shortlisted candidates on Brittle Paper here.






Interview

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"Cinema Africa" is your guide to African film. Writer Ciku Kimeria is highlighting new movies and documentaries that tell fascinating stories or questioning prevailing narratives and occasionally returning to the classics that paved the way for a new generation of filmmakers.

Samuel grew up in the Kenyan countryside, where tradition is valued above all else. He is close to his mother but his father, a local pastor, doesn't understand why he isn't married yet. After moving to Kenya's capital in search of work and a new life, Samuel falls in love with Alex and finds community and belonging. Despite the threat of violence in the city and of rejection by Samuel's family in their rural home, the couple move between their co-existing worlds, hoping to win acceptance in both. Samuel's story is one that award winning director Pete Murimi, and well-acclaimed producer, Toni Kamau, beautifully portray in their recently released documentary, I am Samuel. The documentary was edited by Ricardo Acosta C.C.E and Phil Jandaly, two well regarded editors in the international film community.

Filmed in a vérité style over five years, the documentary was made possible through grants from Sundance, Hot Docs, IDFA Bertha, Oak Foundation, Heinrich Boll Foundation, Good Pitch, Afridocs and Docubox. Docubox, headed by award-winning Kenyan filmmaker Judy Kibinge is a documentary and fiction film fund for African filmmakers. Judy also serves as an Executive Producer on the project along with Peter Mudamba and Oscar winning director Roger Ross Williams.

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Photo by SAMSON MOTIKOE/AFP via Getty Images.

Lesotho’s Former First Lady Arrested for Alleged Murder of Husband’s Ex-Wife

In what has been a bizarre sequence of events, Lesotho's former First Lady Maesaiah Thabane has been charged with the alleged murder of her husband's ex-wife.

This past Wednesday, Lesotho's former First Lady Maesaiah Thabane was arrested and charged for the murder of former Prime Minister Thomas Thabane's ex-wife, Liopelo Thabane. In 2017, Liopelo Thabane and a close friend were on their way home when they were both gunned down by a group of unknown men. The friend survived while Thabane died on the scene—two days before her husband's inauguration, according to local reports.

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#WeAreTired: Nigerians Rally Online to Demand Justice for Victims of Police Brutality & Sexual Violence

Artists like Tiwa Savage and Wizkid are being increasingly outspoken about sexual violence and poor leadership in the country, as Nigerians demand more action from their government.