S. Y. Tetteh Wins First Kofi Addo Writivism Prize for Non Fiction

September 23, 2016
Storymoja Ghana Festival
Accra, Ghana

I am pleased to announce “Lost Futures Or: A Guide to Losing Love” by S.Y. Tetteh as the 2016 Kofi Addo Prize winner. It is a piece that yanks you in with its memorable voice and well-crafted prose, and holds you tight with an open, multi-layered, haunting tale of a frustrating love ship that is fated to never sail.” Congratulations on a promising first year.

Writivism’s inaugural Kofi Addo Prize for nonfiction not only gives us an opportunity to discover and celebrate new voices, but also tries to address the concerning lack of non fiction writing on the continent. It is a worthy project, for part of telling our stories in all their diversity and complexity, and doing so on our terms, means we need to own all the possible modes of expression.

Yewande Omotoso, Nana Darkoa Sekyiamah and I were happy for the breadth and range of possibilities that non fiction holds for telling our stories, and were also excited by the specificity of topics and the unique registers and creativity in the writing. We look forward to seeing the prize grow and get better.

Even with the promise, there is of course always room for improvement. Writivism is already doing tremendous work through workshops and mentoring projects, and we trust that some of these approaches will no doubt benefit the non fiction side of the venture. I will add, having recently attended a workshop where critiqued pieces were later revised and edited for an anthology, that this approach may significantly strengthen the writing, especially for first time writers – if possible, perhaps workshop attendees should automatically enter their pieces to the year’s prize. This way, they are not submitting first drafts (and indeed some stories had the feel of being first attempts versus a re-visoned and re-worked product that we need them to be).

Thank you, team Writivism, for the opportunity to read and judge, it was a pleasure, and reminder for why the work must go on.


NoViolet Bulawayo

The three shortlisted stories, will all be included in the annual Writivism Anthology, edited by Emmanuel Sigauke.