The Nigerian artist Vincent Kolo has been awarded the $50,000 Nefertiti Grand Prize for Creativity on the inaugural Africa Integration Day, for his art work The Cords of Yesterday. Former president Olusegun Obasanjo, appearing in a virtual ceremony marking the end of the Boma of Africa Festival, presented Kolo the cash prize.
“The grand prize was awarded for work that passionately highlights the contemporary quest for Africa to learn from its past, take charge of its present and build its own unique vision of a united, prosperous, future,” a statement from the organizers read.
The Kenyan writer Peter Wambua won the $5,000 Prize for Literary Excellence, the Malawian artist Bertha Munthali received the $10,000 prize for African Renaissance, and the Swazi photographer Sinenkosi Msomi was awarded the $15,000 Prize for Social Justice.
The Boma of Africa Festival is organized by the AU Commission and the AfroChampions Initiative, with the Grand Prize sponsored by Afreximbank and Commercial International Bank.
Otosirieze Obi-Young is a writer, editor, journalist, and curator. He is Editor of Folio Nigeria, where he profiles innovators and facilitators in culture, art, photography, business, activism, and health. He has vast experience working in literature. He has sat on the judging panels of The Gerald Kraak Prize and of The Morland Writing Scholarship. He is an editor at 14, Nigeria's first queer art collective, and Curator at The Art Naija Series, a sequence of e-anthologies exploring different aspects of Nigerianness. For three years, Nov. 2016 to Apr. 2020, he led the transformation of the literary blog Brittle Paper into a continental powerhouse, ideating and administering The Brittle Paper Awards, the first by an African publication. His work in queer advocacy has been profiled in Literary Hub. In 2019, he won The Future Awards Africa Prize for Literature. In 2020, he was named among "The 100 Most Influential Young Nigerians." He completed a collection of short stories in 2016 and his novel in 2020. Find him on otosirieze.com or on Twitter & Insta: @otosirieze.