Itanile is delighted to announce the shortlist for the Dec 2020 edition of the Collins Elesiro Prize for Literature. The shortlist, made up of eight sterling entries, was selected from a longlist of twenty by our judges: Henneh Kweku and Seun-Lari Williams.

The Collins Elesiro Prize is awarded for the best literary work, poetry or prose, by an African writer. For this edition, we received 176 entries from countries across Africa, with themes touching on prevalent issues such as identity, loss, and police brutality.

In her poignant TED Speech, the novelist and author Chimamanda Adichie remarks, “The single story creates stereotypes, and the problem with stereotypes is not that they are untrue, but that they are incomplete.” The beauty of the works contained in the shortlist is in their diversity and broadness. The entries from the shortlist showcase an eclectic range of interpretations, observations, and style. The writers, through a deft use of language, take us through journeys of hope and perseverance.

Our judges had a difficult time selecting the shortlist because the entries were remarkable. We hope you have as good a time reading them as we have had compiling them.

The shortlist:

  • The Crick and Crack of the Old Man’s Back – Rina Maria
  • How Our Hearts Become a Haven for Hate – Anu Soneye
  • She is My Abiku – Faruk Alfe
  • The Nigerian Convention on Nude Mice – Alex Nderitu
  • Death Porn 101 – Fatimat Okhuosami
  • Of Strange Men that Bear My Father’s Face – Miracle Quist
  • I Know You – Lydia Amadi
  • Where Do People Go When They Die – Achi Godspower


Our winner for this edition of the Prize is Anu Soneye, with the entry “How Our Hearts Become a Haven for Hate”. We have the Joint Runner Ups as “Death Porn 101” by Fatimat Okhuosami and “Of Strange Men That Bear My Father’s Face” by Miracle Quist. They will receive the split cash prize of N100,000, and our Itanile Publishing deal worth N75,000.


You can now download Issue 8 of the Freedom Magazine, Expanse, here. The top three entries for this edition are likewise highlighted in the magazine. The winners would be contacted to process their prizes. Congratulations to the winners.