Lake of Tears Wins NOMMO Award for Best Graphic Novel
LAGOS, Nigeria (26 October 2018) – Earlier today, at the opening ceremony for the 2018 Aké Arts and Book Festival at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Ikeja, Ghanaian graphic novel Lake of Tears won the 2018 NOMMO Award for Best Graphic Novel.
Written by Kobe Ofei and illustrated by
For artist Fiadzigbey, a previous finalist in illustration for the Golden Baobab Prize and head of Accra’s BZL Studios, it reaffirms the original vision: to bring the highly complex yet largely invisible phenomenon of child trafficking and forced child labour out of the shadows, into the bright light popular culture.
“Young people tend to gravitate toward action-adventure stories,” says the illustrator. “Our goal from the start was to take the reader on an unforgettable ride, while also underscoring the persistent – but highly preventable – tragedy of modern child slavery.”
“It’s one part speculative fiction, one part social cause,” echoes managing editor and publisher, John Schaidler. “We wanted to hook people in with bold,
Indeed, an entire criminal sector caters to the whims of unrepentant slave masters. Shadowy middlemen prey upon destitute families with too many mouths to feed or impoverished single mothers struggling to survive. Twisting Ghanaian traditions of kinship, patronage and vocational apprenticeship to suit their corrupt purposes, these traffickers buy and sell children as young as five and send them to Lake Volta.
Surprisingly, perhaps, though comics and graphic novels have been used all over the world to educate and inform people about a vast array of subjects, Lake of Tears appears to be the first project of it’s kind from Ghana.
“I think for those of involved with the project,” says Kobe Ofei, who penned the action-packed script, “if readers walk away from this story wanting to learn more about the problem and how they can become some small part of a the solution, it will be a huge success. Hopefully the NOMMO Award will give us a massive signal boost.”
“To be honest,” says
“We are tremendously proud of this book,” says Schaidler. “As anyone who follows African comics and graphic novels well
“Lake of Tears” was originally released digitally, in four free installments via Facebook and the Lake of Tears Ghana website. Part One was released in November 2017, with Parts Two and Three hitting the web in early 2018. The fourth and final chapter was released in July, 2018.
A special Aké Arts and Book Festival edition of “Lake of Tears” was produced in conjunction with
To learn more about how you can help to end child trafficking and forced child labour in Ghana’s fishing industry, wherever you are in the world, visit the Challenging Heights website. There, you can download Challenging Heights Ambassador Toolkit which features social media images to share on your personal feed, a fundraising flyer, FAQ sheet and more.
About the NOMMOs
The Nommo Awards recognise works of speculative fiction by Africans. This encompasses science fiction, fantasy, stories of magic and traditional belief, alternative histories, horror and strange stuff that might not fit in anywhere else. Members of the African Speculative Fiction Society nominate works and vote for winners on the ASFS website. The award is 2 years old with the maiden edition launched at the Aké Festival in Lagos in November last year.
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