Nigeria is a country with such a rich literary history and blessed with immense talent. The country has churned out the likes of Achebe, Soyinka, Ekwensi and Elechi Amadi to Adichie, Ben Okri, Akwaeke Emezi and Nnedi Okoroafor who have made a notable mark in the literary world.
A host of talented Nigerian authors are still being discovered on a daily basis, both at home in Nigeria and in diaspora. basis. Some already under the radar of world literature, others still finding their way to the top. Here’s a list of up and coming Nigerian authors to watch out for.
Saddiq is a Nigerian poet who was born in Niger State, Nigeria. His father is also a writer and one-time Secretary-General of the Association of Nigerian Authors. Saddiq started writing poems while he was in primary six. The Nigerian poet got his bachelor’s degree in Mass Communication from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria.
Saddiq is a man of many laurels. 2005 saw him win the National Museum and Monument Poetry Prize. In 2007, he won the inaugural ANA/Mazariyya Teen Authorship Prize for poetry. His poem, little diamonds won the ABU Zaria poem of the year, 2010. His second book titled Canvas came second in the ANA Poetry Prize for 2012. He was shortlisted for Brunel Poetry Prize in 2017 for his chapbook, Inside the flower room. His poems have been published in Kenyon Review, Oxford Poetry, Prairie Schooner and World literature today.
Currently, Saddiq is a PhD student at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, US where he won the Vreeland Poetry prize and a received the Othmer Fellowship. He has a poetry collection that was released in March 2021 titled, Your Crib, My Qibla. This collection is built on his experience as a father, who lost his young daughter to the cold hands of death. The poems tell tales about loss, death, grief, and healing.
Luvie is a witty writer and digital strategist born in Nigeria in the year 1985. She moved to the US with her family in 1994 and graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a degree in Psychology.
Her first book, I’m Judging You: The Do-Better Manual was published in 2016. It was a collection of essays that encouraged people to live healthy lives. Luvie is a master at using humour to pass important life messages. On the 2nd of March 2021, Luvie published her second book titled The Professional Troublemaker: The Fear-Fighter Manual. In this new book, the author shares experiences she had with her grandmother and how the lessons from those experiences helped her and can help everyone overcome the barrier of fear.
Amayo is another great writer whose work has earned her a spot on this list. She was born in the UK to Nigerian parents. With her father being is a medical doctor and her mother a midwife, she was expected to join them in medical profession. She chose her own path by venturing into aeronautic engineering. Writing on the other hand was her way of coping with stress from work and not necessarily a profession.
She toes the line of Nnedi Okoroafor in writing fantasy, science fiction and African futurism. Her first book, Daughters of Nri was published in 2019 and was well received by readers.
She is about to release yet another book in October 2021 titled “Descendants of the first”. It is a continuation of her first book. The book tells the story of two girls who were chosen to use their magical powers to reunite and repair the Nri kingdom which was undergoing a tumultuous time due to the death of their king. There is battle between deadly successors to take over the throne. The survival and prevention of further breakdown of law and order in the kingdom is heaped on the shoulders of twin goddesses. They must reunite to bring peace to the kingdom and prevent violence.
Femi Kayode is a Nigerian clinical psychologist. He was practicing in Nigeria before he delved into media and advertising. He is known for writing many primetime shows. Femi Kayode just graduated from the Creative writing program of The University of East Anglia. Currently he resides in Namibia with his family.
Kayode published his first book titled Lightseekers on the 2nd of March 2021. Lightseekers follows the ordeal of three students in a Nigerian university. They are murdered and the news about the murder circulated on social media. Philip Taiwo, an investigative psychologist is contacted to unravel the mystery behind the murder. However, he is an investigative psychologist and not a detective and was quite confused on how to go about the process of resolving the case. The story, which was set in Port Harcourt, Southern Nigeria is a heart-breaking one that shows the disparity between first and third world countries. It paints a correct picture of the socio-political outlook of the country.
Yuri is an upcoming writer that has taken to a unique genre in literature. He was born on January 6, 1992. He graduated from the University of Bolton, UK and has created a career out of comedy and writing. Yuri originally started with doing stand-up comedy, but he has also started putting humour to paper.
Yuri’s works aren’t entirely comical, though, he’s often had works with a serious and interesting plot, sometimes macabre even. However, he finds a way to make it humorous. Yuri has authored two books, Chimamandel’s Murderer which was published on the 1st of December 2019. The second was also published in December 2019, is a novella titled The Souls That Said No.
On the 26th of December 2020, Yuri announced via his Facebook page that he has a new novelette which would be published in 2021. The book is titled Two Lovers and A Genie. Yuri calls the work a book pf puns, and promises lots of laughter, cheeky romance and ‘a journey into the existence of humans as spirit beings.’ Yuri loves his readers to connect with him on IG with Snikoggs.
Nigeria’s enormous wealth of talent is not lacking in any field of study, but that of literature just has a touch of genius. There’s still a lot of talented authors unnoticed and untapped. Their works will definitely speak for them like other legends of the field have.