Nommo Awards to be Presented at DisCon III; Sheree Reneé Thomas Will Host Ceremony

The Nommo Awards are Africa’s leading science fiction and fantasy awards. For the first time in their five-year history, the Nommos ceremony will be held at the World Science Fiction Convention, as File 770 reported in October. This year’s Worldcon is being held in Washington D.C. from December 15 to 19.

DisCon III announced today that the Master of Ceremonies for the Nommos will be Sheree Reneé Thomas, a special guest of DisCon III and a co-presenter of the Hugo Awards. 

Sheree Renée Thomas

She says, “As a reader and a writer who loved the genre, I hoped to see a time when the work of Black writers would be widely embraced in the field, a time when discussions about our perceived absence or invisibility could begin to be put to rest. It’s an honor to present the exciting Nommo Awards this year at our very first WorldCon, and I hope that this will be a fun tradition that will carry on in the years ahead.”

Previously the Nommos ceremony was held every year at the Ake Books and Culture Festival in Nigeria.  But the time had come for a change, says Geoff Ryman, the Awards administrator. 

“Almost every major SFF magazine has now published work by African writers.  It just seemed the right time to move the awards onto the international stage to highlight the work there. Being at a WorldCon also means we can have such a star-studded team of presenters.” 

In addition to Sheree Reneé Thomas, the presenters include Suyi Davies Okungbowa, who won the 2020 Ilube Nommo Award for his novel David Mogo, GodhunterIquo Diana Abasi, editor of Africa’s leading SFF magazine Omenana, and Tochi Onyebuchi, who won the Ilube Nommo in 2018 and this year won the Ignyte Award for his novella Riot Baby.

They and many other African writers will participate in a stream of panels focussing on African SFF.  Says Thomas, “The programming stream which the Nommos are part is not only historic but promises to be dynamic and well-rounded.”

The Nommo Awards are nominated every year by the roughly 200 African Speculative Fiction Society members, who are all published authors or comics artists.  The membership then votes for the winners out of shortlists in four categories: comics or graphic novels, short stories, novellas, and novels.

This year the nominees include previous winner Akwaeke Emezi for her novel The Death of Vivek Oji, Tochi Onyebuchi for his novella Riot Baby, filmmaker and award-winning author Dilman Dila also in the novella category, T. L. Huchu, another previous Nommo winner and Oghenechovwe Donald Ekpeki winner of this year’s Otherwise Award and co-editor of the much-honored anthology Dominion.

A complete list of the nominated works is on the ASFS website. The 2021 Nommo shortlist follows the jump.

NOVEL

  • Akwaeke Emezi — THE DEATH OF VIVEK OJI
  • Nikhil Singh — CLUB DED 
  • Stephen Embleton — SOUL SEARCHING 

NOVELLA

  • David A. Atta — GUARDIANS: THE AWAKENING
  • Dilman Dila — A FLEDGLING ABIBA 
  • Ekpeki Oghenechovwe Donald — IFE-IKYOKU: THE TALE OF IMADEYUNUAGBON 
  • Tlotlo Tsamaase – THE SILENCE OF THE WILTING SKIN
  • Tochi Onyebuchi – RIOT BABY

SHORT STORY

  • Innocent Chizaram Ilo — RAT AND FINCH ARE FRIENDS
  • T L Huchu — CORIALIS
  • Tiah Marie Beautement — THE BEND OF WATER
  • Tlotlo Tsamaase — BEHIND OUR IRISES
  • Tobi Ogundiran — THE GOATKEEPER’S HARVEST

GRAPHIC NOVEL

  • ALEX — Anna Mbale (writer) and Mwiche Songolo (artist) – Black Hut Comics
  • BLACK SHEEP — Mwiche Songolo (writer & artist) – Black Hut Comics
  • MEANWHILE… — Quinto Collab (various writers & artists), MaThoko’s Books, an imprint of GALA Queer Archive
  • MOONGIRLS — Nana Akosua Hanson (writer) AnimaxFYB Studios (art) – Ghana Drama Queens Collective
  • NEW MEN — Murewa Ayodele (writer) and Dotun Akande (artist) – Collectible Comics.
  • TITAN — Mazuba Chimbeza (writer & artist) – Black Hut Comics.

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