The prize, administered by Sevhage Publishing, celebrates African diversity in literature.
By Helena Olori
Afrocritik staff writer and culture journalist, Chimezie Chika, has been longlisted for the inaugural Sevhage Literary Prize for Africans as the publisher announces collated entries from across the continent for this year’s competition.
“After critical readings and reviews of the several entries submitted for the four categories of the Sevhage Literary Prizes, on behalf of the distinguished judges, we are honoured to unveil the longlisted authors for the Sevhage Prizes in the following categories”, announced the publisher via a post on Instagram.
The four categories include:
- The Sevhage Prize for Short Fiction
- The Sevhage Prize for Creative Non-Fiction
- The Sevhage/KSR Hyginus Ekwuazi Prize for Poetry, and
- The E. E. Sule/SEVHAGE Prize for African Literary Criticism
Chika’s entry, Against the Weather, claims a well-deserved spot for the Sevhage Prize for Creative Nonfiction, alongside 13 other entries.
Against the Weather is a personal essay that examines his mother’s life through the lens of the sacrifices she has made over the years for her children. It relays Chika’s earliest impressions of her as a happy woman, following her resilience in grief and hardship as a widow. It is “essentially, the lovesong of a man who wants to see his mother smile again”.
Chimezie Chika is a culture connoisseur versatile in fiction and nonfiction works many of which have been featured in publications like The Question Marker, The Shallow Tales Review, and The Lagos Review. He was a finalist for the Africa Book Club Short Reads Competition in 2013 and a 2021 Fellow of the Ebedi International Writer’s Residency.
Aside from Chika’s work, the unveiled longlist also features an array of talented voices and diverse narratives that explore the complexities of African identity, history, and societal dynamics, among others, reflecting the incredible depth and breadth of the continent’s literary prowess.
The Sevhage Literary Prize for Africans, administered by Sevhage Publishing, celebrates African diversity in literature.
The shortlist for the various categories will be announced later in November.
See all longlisted entrants here.