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Celebrating African Literary Achievements in 2024: A Beacon for African Writers

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The literary landscape of 2024 has been illuminated by the remarkable achievements of African writers, each making significant strides on the global stage. These successes not only underscore the richness of African narratives but also inspire a new generation of writers from the continent— what a time to be an African writer, light at the end of the tunnel. Here, we highlight some of these distinguished writers and explore what their accomplishments mean for aspiring African writers and their recognition.

Caleb Azumah Nelson: A Ghanaian Literary Star

Ghanaian writer Caleb Azumah Nelson clinched the 2024 Dylan Thomas Prize for his novel SMALL WORLDS. This £20,000 prize is one of the most prestigious awards for young writers, celebrating innovation, creativity, and excellence. Nelson’s victory is a testament to the power of African storytelling and the global recognition it can achieve. His success serves as a beacon of hope and encouragement for young African writers, proving that their voices and stories have a place on the world stage.

Scholastique Mukasonga: Bridging Cultures with Translation

French-Rwandan author Scholastique Mukasonga made it to the shortlist of the 2024 Internationaler Literaturpreis, a highly esteemed German translation prize. Mukasonga was recognized for the German translation of her novel KIBOGO. This acknowledgement not only highlights the importance of translation in bringing African stories to a broader audience but also showcases the universal themes that resonate across cultures. For aspiring African writers, Mukasonga’s achievement underscores the value of multilingual storytelling and the potential reach of their work.

Atinuke: Celebrating African Heritage

Nigerian-born author Atinuke won the 2024 British Book Awards in the Children’s Nonfiction Category for her book BRILLIANT BLACK HISTORY. Her work, which delves into the rich and diverse history of Black people, serves as an educational tool and a source of pride. Atinuke’s success highlights the importance of writing that educates and empowers, encouraging young African writers to explore and celebrate their heritage through literature.

Mildred Kiconco Barya: Poetry with a Purpose

Ugandan poet Mildred Kiconco Barya received an Honorable Mention in the Poetry category of the Eric Hoffer Awards for her 2023 collection THE ANIMALS OF MY EARTH SCHOOL. The Hoffer Award is one of the largest international book awards for small, academic, and independent presses. Barya’s recognition is a reminder of the power of poetry to convey profound messages and connect with readers on an emotional level. Aspiring poets can look to Barya’s journey as an example of how dedication to their craft can lead to international acclaim.

Adams Adeosun: A Promising Future in Fiction

Nigerian writer Adams Adeosun has been awarded a prestigious fellowship from the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing. As the 2024-2025 Carol Houck Smith Fiction Fellow, Adeosun will reside at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and receive a stipend of at least $40,000. This fellowship not only provides financial support but also offers a platform for Adeosun to hone his craft among a community of writers. For emerging African writers, such fellowships represent invaluable opportunities for growth, mentorship, and exposure.

The Island Prize: Spotlight on Emerging Talent

The shortlist for the 2024 Island Prize includes writers Simbarashe Steyn Kundizeza from Zimbabwe, Ruby Excel from Ghana, and Mali Kambandu from Zambia. This prize celebrates new and emerging voices from the continent, highlighting the diverse stories and perspectives that Africa has to offer. Recognition through such awards can be a crucial stepping stone for writers at the beginning of their careers, providing them with the visibility and validation needed to continue their literary journeys.

Literary Leadership for Emerging African Authors

The 2024 fellows for the Literary Leadership for Emerging African Authors are Habiba Dokubo-Asari from Port Harcourt, Nigeria, and Chimezie Chika from Onitsha, Nigeria. Started by author Suyi Davies Okungbowa, this fellowship aims to provide underrepresented emerging African authors with professional support and infrastructure. Initiatives like this are vital for nurturing new talent and ensuring that diverse voices are heard and celebrated.

Encouraging Aspiring African Writers

The achievements of these African writers in 2024 serve as a powerful source of inspiration for aspiring writers across the continent. They demonstrate that African stories, voices, and perspectives are not only valuable but also have the potential to gain international recognition and acclaim. Aspiring writers should take heart from these successes and continue to pursue their literary dreams with determination and passion.

To support this next generation of writers, it is crucial to provide access to resources, mentorship, and platforms that can help them develop their skills and showcase their work. Initiatives such as fellowships, writing prizes, and translation opportunities play a significant role in this process, offering both financial support and validation.

In conclusion, the literary triumphs of African writers in 2024 highlight the continent’s vibrant and diverse literary talent. These achievements encourage aspiring writers to tell their stories, celebrate their heritage, and seek out opportunities for growth and recognition. So dear writers, write; contribute to the rich tapestry of global literature and ensure that African narratives continue to shine on the world stage.

Books & Film

Scariest Horror Movies You Need to Watch

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We all have that one friend who pretends not to be scared by horror films, mocking us for jumping at the slightest scare. Well, this list is for them! Share and watch them revere horrors. Here are ten of the scariest horror films that will challenge even the bravest souls. Remember to share your list in the comments.

1. The Moor

Set in the eerie Yorkshire moors, “The Moor” follows the story of a grief-stricken father and a guilt-ridden friend searching for answers about a long-lost child. The atmospheric setting and unsettling folklore elements create a haunting experience that will stick with you long after the credits roll.

2. Baghead

Ever wondered what you’d do for a chance to speak with a loved one who’d passed on? “Baghead” explores this terrifying concept with a basement-dwelling monster that offers brief reunions with the dead at a high price. The tension and horror escalate quickly, making it a must-watch for any horror enthusiast.

3. A Quiet Place: Day One

A prequel to the popular series, this film delves into the chaotic first day when the terrifying creatures emerged. The suspense and survival elements are intense, with Lupita Nyong’o and Joseph Quinn delivering gripping performances as strangers navigating this new world.

4. I Saw the TV Glow

This film combines the nostalgia of 90s horror TV shows with a modern coming-of-age twist. Following two teens who are fans of a horror TV show, the movie explores their nightmarish realities blending with the show’s terror, making for a unique and chilling experience.

5. The Watchers

When artist Mina gets stranded in a forest in Ireland, she finds herself trapped with three strangers and stalked by mysterious creatures. The isolation and the supernatural threats in “The Watchers” will have you on the edge of your seat.

6. Speak No Evil

A family’s dream vacation turns into a psychological nightmare in this remake. The tension between the idyllic setting and the unfolding horror creates a deeply unsettling experience that challenges the boundaries of psychological horror.

7. Alien: Romulus

A new chapter in the Alien franchise, this film is set on a distant planet where a crew discovers ancient alien technology. The encounter with the unknown brings a fresh and terrifying take on the classic alien horror theme.

8. Smile 2

Building on the eerie premise of its predecessor, “Smile 2” delves deeper into the origins of the sinister smile that curses its victims. The psychological terror is amplified, making it a chilling sequel that digs into your fears.

9. Nosferatu

This reimagining of the classic vampire tale combines stunning visuals with eerie storytelling. “Nosferatu” follows an ancient vampire haunting a secluded village, blending horror with artful cinematography for a truly terrifying experience.

10. Trap

Directed by M. Night Shyamalan, “Trap” takes place at a concert where attendees find themselves caught in a psychological thriller. With Shyamalan’s signature twists and turns, this film is sure to keep you guessing and scared throughout. Set for release on August 9, this psychological thriller by M. Night Shyamalan stars Josh Hartnett​

Each of these films brings something unique to the table, whether it’s atmospheric dread, psychological horror, or supernatural terror. So gather your bravest friends, turn off the lights, and see who can last through these terrifying tales.

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Books & Film

Supacell, Stream it or Skip it?

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To be honest, it took me the entire week watching an episode a day of “Supacell,” Netflix’s sudden breakout superhero series that has been garnering high praise and impressive viewership numbers. Being a limited series it went by pretty fast regardless so now I am fiending for a second season, desperately.

“Supacell” presents a refreshing twist on the traditional superhero narrative, I promise it’s not what you’re expecting or something you’ve seen before. With its solid foundation and an intentionally well-cast, each of the six episodes in Season 1 goes deeper into the characters and their intertwined destinies, building up an intriguing mystery around their extraordinary abilities. This inaugural season marks a remarkable start to an original superhero saga that manages to distinguish itself in a crowded genre landscape.

The storyline of “Supacell” centres on a group of Black Londoners who unexpectedly acquire superpowers without any discernible rhyme or reason, uniting them in a shared mission to safeguard their loved ones.

In a departure from the typical solo Black hero representation in media, “Supacell” features not just one but five Black superheroes, each grappling with their newfound powers in distinct ways. The gradual unravelling of the origin and significance of these abilities adds a fresh perspective to the superhero genre, showcasing a well-crafted narrative that captivates audiences.

Drawing parallels to the renowned series “Top Boy,” “Supacell” intertwines superhuman abilities with grounded portrayals of Black characters, probing themes of race without overshadowing other storylines.

While the possibility of a second season remains uncertain, both fans and critics are eager to see the continuation of this captivating series on Netflix. Creator Rapman envisions a multi-season arc for “Supacell,” likening the first season to the origin story of Batman and hinting at intricate plans for future instalments.

With its record-breaking viewership and sustained popularity, the prospects for a renewal of “Supacell” for a second season appear promising, leaving most audiences eagerly awaiting further developments in this unique superhero saga.

If you have a Netflix subscription and like drama, Supacell is your next weekend binge-watch. Or you know, there are a few other places to watch it from if you know what I mean.

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Books & Film

Top 10 Must-Watch Medieval Movies and Series for Fans of Epic Tales

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Are you a fan of medieval set shows? If so, you’re in for a treat! Here’s a list of the best medieval movies and series of all time, perfect for immersing yourself in the gritty, glorious world of knights, battles, and ancient lore.

  1. The Green Knight (2021)
    Dive into this visually stunning retelling of the Arthurian legend. Dev Patel stars as Sir Gawain, embarking on a quest to confront the mysterious Green Knight. The film’s dreamy, haunting atmosphere makes it a standout.
  1. The Northman (2022)
    Directed by Robert Eggers, this epic saga of Viking revenge follows a young prince avenging his father’s murder. With Alexander Skarsgård leading the cast, it’s a brutal yet beautifully shot journey into Norse mythology.
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  1. Kingdom of Heaven (2005)
    Ridley Scott’s epic film takes you to the Crusades, where Orlando Bloom’s character, Balian, defends Jerusalem. The director’s cut is especially recommended for its deeper storytelling and character development.
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  1. Vikings (2013-2020)
    This popular TV series chronicles the legendary Norse hero Ragnar Lothbrok and his descendants. Full of battles, explorations, and Viking lore, it’s a must-watch for history and action enthusiasts.
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  1. The Pillars of the Earth (2010)
    Based on Ken Follett’s novel, this miniseries follows the construction of a cathedral in the fictional town of Kingsbridge. With a rich plot and compelling characters, it offers a detailed look at medieval life and politics.
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  1. Outlaw King (2018)
    Chris Pine stars as Robert the Bruce in this gritty historical drama about Scotland’s fight for independence. The film captures the brutality and rawness of medieval warfare beautifully.
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  1. Vinland Saga (2019-)
    This anime series, inspired by historical events, follows Thorfinn’s journey during the Viking invasions of England. With intense battles and deep character arcs, it’s a gripping watch for anime and history fans alike.
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  1. The Last Kingdom (2015-2022)
    Based on Bernard Cornwell’s “The Saxon Stories,” this series follows Uhtred of Bebbanburg as he navigates his Saxon and Viking heritage. It’s a thrilling ride through the battles and politics of medieval England.
This may contain: the last kingdom movie poster with a man in armor holding two swords and standing on fire
  1. Shogun (2024)
    Based on James Clavell’s novel, tells the story of an English navigator shipwrecked in Japan. It’s a fascinating look at the clash and melding of Eastern and Western cultures during the early 1600s.
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  1. Outlander (2014-)
    Though not strictly medieval, this time-travel series starts in the 1940s and takes you back to 18th-century Scotland. With its rich historical setting and epic romance, it offers a unique blend of genres that captivates audiences.
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Whether you’re looking for intense battles, intricate political plots, or deep character development, these films and series offer a window into the tumultuous and fascinating medieval world. Happy watching!

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