This wave of African authors are unearthing captivating narratives of the continent

In the heart of Africa, a literary renaissance is unfolding. It is giving rise to a new generation of storytellers whose voices resonate with the rhythms of the continent and breathing new narratives into the rich tapestry of African storytelling.

We explore the vibrant world of emerging African authors who give a glimpse of the diverse and dynamic narratives shaping the future of African literature.

Gothataone Moeng

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Gothataone Moeng is part of a new generation of writers coming out of Africa whose voices are ready to explode onto the literary scene. She offers us insight into communities, experiences, and landscapes through stories that are cinematic in their sweep, with unforgettable female protagonists.

Call And Response

In a debut collection set in Botswana, a young widow, reluctant to discard her mourning clothes, expresses wonder at the outside world that continues despite her husband’s death a year prior. An older sister returns home from a confusing time in America, only to explain at every turn why she’s left the land of opportunity. A younger sister hides her sexual exploits from her family, while her older brother openly flaunts his infidelity. But all these stories reveal how women, family, and community intersect—each written with compassion and a deft hand.

Rosanna Amaka

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Rosanna Amaka is a writer from London born to Nigerian and Caribbean parents. Her debut novel “The Book of Echoes” was published by Doubleday in February 2020 and was shortlisted for the Authors’ Club First Novel Award, the RSL Christopher Bland Prize and the HWA Debut Crown Award.

Rose and the Burma Sky

Rose and the Burma Sky was inspired by her grandmother’s tales about the young men from her village who went to war and didn’t come back, Rosanna Amaka’s second novel explores the little-known plight of these fighters and their subsequent treatment by the British authorities.

Zeinab Badawi

Zeinab Badawi via Spirit of Humanity Forum

She is a Sudanese-British television and radio journalist, currently the presenter of Global Questions and Hard Talk for the BBC. She has produced and presented many programs through her own production company. This includes the current definitive TV series on African history in association with UNESCO.

An African History of Africa: From the Dawn of Civilization to Independence

Conducting interviews in over 30 African countries with historians, anthropologists, archaeologists, and local storytellers, Badawi uncovers hidden narratives, providing a comprehensive view of Africa’s role in the global story.

Aiwanose Odafen

Aiwanose Odafen via Ouida Books

Odafen is a Nigerian feminist writer and a certified accountant with the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, United Kingdom. Her first novel, “Tomorrow I Become a Woman,” was published in 2022, and her second novel, “We Were Girls Once,”  in 2024. Her stories are known for their authenticity as they highlight societal issues affecting women.

We Were Girls Once

As the three young women navigate the incessant strikes and political turmoil that surround them, their connection is shattered by a terrible assault. In the aftermath, nothing will remain the same as life takes them down separate paths. Their lives become entwined again but they might not overcome their shared past.

Akwaeke Emezi

Akwaeke Emezi via The New York Times

Akwaeke Emezi is a Nigerian fiction writer and video artist. They exploded onto the literary scene in 2018 with their debut novel, “Freshwater”, and went on to publish several books that have earned several awards.

Little Rot

Aima and Kalu are a longtime couple who have just split. When Kalu visits an exclusive sex party hosted by his best friend, Ahmed, he makes a decision that will plunge them all into chaos. Ola and Souraya, two Nigerian sex workers visiting from Kuala Lumpur, collide into the scene. Sucked into the city’s corrupt and glittering underworld, they’re all looking for a way out.

Adorah Nworah

Adorah Nworah via Dechert LLP

An Igbo storyteller from Anambra State in Eastern Nigeria, Adorah earned her juris doctorate from Temple Law School in 2018. She currently practices commercial real estate finance law in Philadelphia. Her short story, “Broken English”, was long-listed for the 2018 Short Story Day Africa prize.

House Woman

When Ikemefuna is put on a plane from Lagos to Texas, she anticipates her newly arranged marriage and an All-American life. But she soon discovers what it actually means to live with her in-laws.

As family secrets boil to the surface, Ikemefuna must decide how to scrape herself out of an impossibly sticky situation. This is a marriage succumbing to generational cycles of pain and silence. In the end, she may be carrying the greatest secret of all.

Damilare Kuku

The Bookseller - Rights - S&S signs two-book deal for Kuku's 'hilarious' debut

Damilare Kuku is a writer and creative artist. She has worked as a radio presenter, designed sets and costumes, written scripts, and produced and directed films. Her first book, the story collection “Nearly All the Men in Lagos Are Mad”, topped the inaugural The Rovingheights Best Seller List: Presented with Open Country Mag.

Only Big Bumbum Matters Tomorrow

Damilare Kuku brings her signature humor, boldness, and compassion to each member of this loveable but exasperating family. Their lives reveal the ways in which a woman’s physical appearance can dictate her life.

Chukwuebuka Ibeh

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Chukwuebuka Ibeh is a writer from Port Harcourt, Nigeria. He has studied creative writing under Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Dave Eggers, and Tash Aw. He is a student in a fully funded MFA program at Washington University in St. Louis. His writing has appeared in McSweeneys, The New England Review of Books and Lolwe

Blessings

Blessings is a memorable, even if tragic, account of a Nigerian gay man’s life of oppression within and outside his home. This occurs as he navigates his sexuality in a homophobic society. Banished to a Christian boarding school and utterly alienated from the people he loves, Obiefuna begins a journey of self-discovery and blossoming desire. This happens while his mother, Uzoamaka, grapples to hold onto her favourite son, her truest friend. It is an elegant and moving story of love and loneliness.

Ayobami Adebayo

Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ̀ - Women's Prize : Women's Prize

Adebayo is a gifted Nigerian storyteller born in Lagos, Nigeria. Her debut novel, “Stay With Me”, won the 2017/2018 9mobile Prize for Literature, was shortlisted for the Baileys Prize for Women’s Fiction in 2017, and won the Wellcome Book Prize in 2018.

A Spell of Good Things

Like her debut novel, “Stay With Me”, her second book is just as significant. The thin line between low income earners and the wealthy is decimated. This happens when the lives of Eniola, an errand boy for a tailor, and Wuraola, a physician, collide. The violence of elections and the empty promises of politicians, the obscene wealth of the connected, and the hunger and desperation of the have-nots all intersect in this examination of a community in Osun state, Nigeria.

These new authors are not only redefining African storytelling but also challenging traditional narratives and amplifying marginalised voices. The future of African literature shines brightly, with the promise of even more compelling narratives and innovative voices yet to be discovered.

How Well Do You Know These New-Age African Authors? Let's Find Out!

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