Profile of Judges


Chigozie Obioma

Chigozie Obioma is the author of The Fishermen, which was a finalist for the Man Booker prize 2015, and a winner of four other awards, including an NAACP Image award, the FT/Oppenheimer prize for fiction, and several nominations. The novel, which is being translated into 26 languages, is also being adapted into a stage play. Obioma was named one of Foreign Policy's 100 Influential People of 2015. He is a professor of English and Creative Writing at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and in Nigeria where he runs various projects. His second novel, An Orchestra of Minorities was published in January 2019 to wide acclaim and was shortlisted for the 2019 Man Booker Prize. It is being translated into 12 languages.



ONYEKA NWELUE is a Research Associate at the University of Johannesburg and Ohio University and a Visiting Lecturer at universities in India, the United States, Haiti and Hong Kong. He’s author of fiction, non-fiction, plays, poetry and screenplays. His novels include the award-winning The Abyssinian Boy, The Beginning of Everything Colourful and A Country of Extraordinary Ghosts — (which has been described by Nobel Laureate, Wole Soyinka as ‘suis generis’). He has adapted his novel, Island of Happiness into an Igbo language film, Agwaetiti Obiụtọ, which won Best Feature Film by a Director at 2018 Newark International Film Festival. He has edited two works of non-fiction: An Evening Coffee with Arundhati Roy, and co-edited 84 Delicious Bottles of Red Wine for Wole Soyinka. He splits his time between South Africa and the United States of America.

SADE FADIPE holds a first degree in English Linguistics and a Postgraduate in Primary Education. She taught in mainstream primary schools in London, UK from the early 90s, where her love for children’s literature thrived. During her training she sought for appropriately-channelled African content for the African Child in Diaspora. Finding little to satisfy her culture craving, she was happy to live in Abuja for a number of years with her family. During her consultancy work as a Reading Specialist for UBEC, she penned an indigenous ABC script for her Early Years teacher-trainees. Little did she know her ABC rhyme would one day, evolve into A FUN ABC, now in its 3rd edition and titled A Visit to Grandad in the USA. Sade’s work within the rural districts of Abuja has since featured on prestigious world stages: The Royal Festival Hall, The acclaimed annual Africa-Writes, The British Library, The Victoria & Albert Museum of Childhood, The Essex Book Festival and more. She has since released her second book Snowy Joy for readers 7+ while her third book, A Bouncy 123 is due out in Spring 2020. Sade is married with two daughters.

CHIKA ODUAH is a writer, poet and photographer. Oduah is most well known as an award-winning journalist. In the past 16 years, Oduah's experience in journalism includes working as a reporter, foreign correspondent, television news producer, videographer, photojournalist and writer in the United States and across Africa. Oduah's reporting goes beyond the headlines to explore culture, conflict, spirituality, human rights and development in sub-Saharan Africa. Her work has been featured in the New York Times, CNN, Al Jazeera, National Geographic, the BBC, France24 and other global news outlets. Oduah nurtures a deep passion for film, literature, dance, traveling, poetry, performance art, women empowerment and learning about cultures across Africa.

SADDIQ DZUKOGI is the author of Inside the Flower Room, selected by Kwame Dawes and Chris Abani for the APBF New Generation African Poets Chapbook Series. His recent poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Kenyon Review, Poetry Society of America, Gulf Coast, African American Review, Crab Orchard Review, Prairie Schooner, and Verse Daily. He has won fellowships from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and Ebedi International Writers Residency.

TYLER SHORES is a writer, editor, and researcher with a passion for technology and education. He is currently completing a PhD in education at the University of Cambridge, researching how reading in print versus on screen influences our engagement with the books we read. He received his master’s degree from the University of Oxford, and his previous professional experience includes working at Google for the Authors@Google program, serving as a director of digital textbooks at a nonprofit organization, and also working in online education at Stanford University.


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