Akunna James-Ibe has won the 2022 ACT Award with the short story, “Ndubuisi”.
The Awele Creative Trust announced the winner saying the judges chose the story set in a dystopian future where oxygen is a luxury, for its “accessible, precise prose,” as “James-Ibe gives us a compelling, heartbreaking story in which a protagonist who’s lost almost everything else must make a choice between his dignity and his life.”
The winner beat off stiff competition from nine other writers such as;
Daniel Ogba for “Mockingbird”
Ifeoma Aroh for “Uloma”
Nnamdi Vin-Anuonye for “I Hope You Dance”
Osahon Izeiyamu for “Me, a Catalyst”
Godwin Adah for “Shine Shine Bobo”
Cole Olasubomi for “How to Love You Again”
Michael Emmanuel for “Everything Ends in Cycles”
Chinenye Anwunah for “Mirror On The Wall”
Rafiat Lamidi for “Traveller”
According to the Trust founded by award winning writer, Chike Unigwe, who is also its creative director, the longlisted writers “impressed with the quality of writing, and some of the writers’ willingness to take risks (and successfully so)”.
The annual short story prize was conceived to encourage aspiring writers in Nigeria.
Awele Creative Trust, a non-profit organisation, was set up in 2014 with Prof. Akachi Ezeigbo, Prof. Femi Osofisan, Kanene Dieobi and Ichie Nnaeto Orazulike as board members.
The first ACT was awarded in January 2015 to Caleb Adebayo. The judges have included Justine Labalestier, Brian Chikwava, Toni Kan Onwordi, Madeleine Thien, Joe Dunthorne, Chibundu Onuzo, Vamba Sherif and Monica Arac d’Nyeko.