Literature
Image courtesy of Doubleday Publishing.

These 3 Nigerian Authors Have Been Nominated for the 2019 Women's Prize for Fiction

This year also marks the first time that a non-binary writer has been longlisted for the prize.

Nigerian writers continue to break barriers in the world of literature, as three authors who hail from the country have been longlisted for this year's prestigious Women's Prize for Fiction.

The longlist, which is the UK's foremost award for women in literature, includes 16 women, whose work represents a multitude of themes and perspectives. Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche won the award back in 2007 for Half of a Yellow Sun.


Writer Akwaeke Emezi earned a place on the longlist for their debut novel Freshwater, making them the first non-binary author to earn a nomination for the prize. The author also shared on Twitter earlier today that the acclaimed novel is a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award in trans fiction.

Oyinkan Braithwaite, the author of the Lagos-set crime thriller My Sister, the Serial Killer has also been longlisted for the Women's Prize. We spoke with the 30-year-old author last month about the novel, and working outside of the confines of what is considered traditional 'African Lit' and writing female characters. "Generally, I'm interested in women and in women having their own agency," she told OkayAfrica. "I wasn't trying to write a feminist book, but because I'm a woman who believes that women can do anything, whenever I write characters, that will always come up."

The third Nigerian author nominated on the list is Diana Evans, the journalist, novelist and critic behind Ordinary People, a book that examines suburban black life through major cultural events, beginning with Barack Obama's 2008 presidential victory. She has previously won the Orange Award for New Writers, the Betty Trask Award and the deciBel Writer of the Year award.

Congrats to these literary powerhouses. The shortlist for the Women's Prize in Fiction will be announced on April 29, and the winner on Jun 5.

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Photo: Courtesy of Radswan

Freddie Harrel Is Building Conscious Beauty For and With the African Diaspora

Formerly known as "Big Hair Don't Care", creator Freddie Harrel and her team have released 3 new wig shapes called the "RadShapes" available now.


Photo: Courtesy of Radswan


The normalising of Black and brown women in wigs of various styles has certainly been welcomed by the community, as it has opened up so many creative avenues for Black women to take on leadership roles and make room for themselves in the industry.

Radswan (formerly known as Big Hair Don't Care), is a lifestyle brand "bringing a new perspective on Blackness through hair, by disrupting the synthetic market with innovative and sustainable products." Through their rebrand, Radswan aims to, "upscale the direct-to-consumer experience holistically, by having connected conversations around culture and identity, in order to remove the roots of stigma."

The latest from French-Cameroonian founder and creator Freddie Harrel - who was featured on our list of 100 women of 2020 - has built her career in digital marketing and reputation as an outspoken advocate for women's empowerment. On top of her business ventures, the 2018 'Cosmopolitan Influencer of the Year' uses her platform to advocate for women's empowerment with 'SHE Unleashed,' a workshop series where women of all ages come together to discuss the issues that impact the female experience, including the feeling of otherness, identity politics, unconscious bias, racism and sexism.

And hair is clearly one of her many passions, as Freddie says, "Hair embodies my freest and earliest form of self expression, and as a shapeshifter, I'm never done. I get to forever reintroduce my various angles, tell all my stories to this world that often feels constrained and biased."

Armed with a committee of Black women, Freddie has cultivated Radswan and the aesthetic that comes with the synthetic but luxurious wigs. The wigs are designed to look like as though the hair is growing out of her own head, with matching lace that compliments your own skin colour.

By being the first brand to use recycled fibres, Radswan is truly here to change the game. The team has somehow figured out how to make their products look and feel like the real thing, while using 0% human hair and not negotiating on the price, quality or persona.

In 2019, the company secured £1.5m of investment led by BBG Ventures with Female Founders Fund and Pritzker Private Capital participating, along with angelic contributions from Hannah Bronfman, Nashilu Mouen Makoua, and Sonja Perkins.

On the importance of representation and telling Black stories through the products we create, Freddie says, "Hair to me is Sundays kneeling between your mothers or aunties legs, it's your cousin or newly made friend combing lovingly through your hair, whilst you detangle your life out loud. Our constant shapeshifting teaches us to see ourselves in each other, the hands braiding always intimately touching our head more often than not laying someone's lap."

"Big Hair No Care took off in ways we couldn't keep up with," she continues, "RadSwan is our comeback.It's a lifestyle brand, it's the hair game getting an upgrade, becoming fairer and cleaner. It's the platform that recognises and celebrates your identity as a shapeshifter, your individuality and your right to be black like you."


Check out your next hairstyle from Radswan here.

Radswan's RadShape 01Photo: Courtesy of Radswan


Radswan's RadShape 02Photo: Courtesy of Radswan


Radswan's RadShape 03Photo: Courtesy of Radswan

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