The AFREADA x Africa Writes Competition is back!

As we prepare for #AfricaWrites2019 we are excited to announce that the Africa Writes x AFREADA competition has returned for the third year running!

As part of this year’s programme, we will be in conversation with Man Book shortlisted novelist Chigozie Obioma accompanied by an evocative staged reading of The Fishermen adapted by award-winning playwright Gbolahan Obisesan. Be sure to grab your tickets and get ready to join us on Sunday 7 July for a thrilling discussion on Igbo mythology.

As we engage in conversation, Chigozie will be discussing his latest novel, An Orchestra of Minorities; a story about a young man who sacrifices everything to win the woman he loves. We’ve chosen this journey of love and sacrifice to inspire this year’s competition!

In this particular scene it becomes clear that, despite sharing a reciprocal love, one issue stands in the way:


‘Have you considered that my daughter here is a soon-to-be pharmacist?’

‘Yes, sir.’

‘Have you considered that she is now completing her bachelor’s in pharmacy and will proceed to do her MPhil in the UK?’

‘Yes, sir.’

‘Have you considered, young man, what kind of future you, an unschooled farmer, will have with her?’


This dialogue is a perfect snapshot of one of the central themes in this book. Chinonso and Ndali fall in love but she is from an educated and wealthy family – and he is not. 

We are inviting writers, anywhere and everywhere, to grab hold of this conversation and use it to explore the perceived importance of social class across Africa and beyond.

We only have two rules – the word limit is 500 words and the story must include this dialogue in its entirety.

Your unschooled farmer doesn’t have to be called Chinonso, just like the father in this conversation doesn’t have to be a wealthy Igbo Chief. You decide where your story is set. You decide whether the father’s questions are rhetorical or sincere. You decide what comes before this conversation, and what comes after it. Whatever you decide, you only have six weeks to turn your thoughts into a prize-winning submission – the deadline is Friday, 31 May, 23:59 BST.

This year, we’re doing things slightly differently when it comes to choosing the winner. We’ve decided to introduce a ‘readers choice’ element so, after working our way through your submissions, we’ll spend a week in June publishing our favourite entries on AFREADA’s website. We’ll then hand it over to you to select the final three stories and the overall winner will be announced on the morning of Chigozie’s headline event and will receive £100. The two finalists will each receive £50.

We want to read as many stories as possible so if you think you’ve got what it takes (or even if you’re riddled with fear and self-doubt), we want to encourage you to re-read the dialogue above, paint vivid pictures in your head and submit the resulting story using the link below!


If you have any questions please head to AFREADA’s site and drop your questions in the comments section. Good luck and we look forward to reading your entry.



Photo credit of Chigozie: Scott Soderberg.