Nommo Awards 2020: These Are The Shortlisted Graphic Novels

May 15, 20209 min read

The Nommo Awards 2020 shortlist for Speculative Fiction by Africans has been released. It features comics from Kenya, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Uganda and Rwanda.

Last month, the African Speculative Fiction Society announced the longlist for this year’s Nommo Awards for Speculative Fiction by Africans (ASFS). This covered 4 categories namely graphic novel/comics, short story, novella and novel.

There were a total of 13 longlisted comics with 2 nominations by the same person/team, namely Bill Masuku and Etan Comics. In the shortlist, Bill leads with 2 nominations. The shortlist also features newcomers TAG Comics with Danfo and Rwandan creator Mika Hirwa with Kami. This year’s shortlist although heavily skewed towards West Africa, is more representative of the continent compared to last year. It features comics from West, Southern and Eastern Africa, but no nominations from North Africa.

The shortlisted works will be voted for by ASFS members on the ASFS website. Below are the shortlisted comics.

For the long list of works in other categories, please visit the 2020 Nommo Awards for Speculative Fiction by Africans Long List

2020 Nommo Awards Graphic Novel Longlist Nominees

Beast From Venus

Beast from Venus social media cover photo

Author: Kiprop Kimutai

Artist: Salim Busuru

Publisher: Avandu Vosi

Origin: Kenya

Year: 2019

Beast from Venus is a comic which explores folklore from the Nandi community in Kenya about mysterious beasts that once roamed the plains. It tells the tale of Pkurui, who loves his father but is abandoned by him, and lives a hard life with his aunty who treats him as if he isn’t family. (Read a short review of Beast from Venus).

Captain South Africa (Part 1: Origins)

Captain South Africa by Bill Masuku Nommo Awards nominee

Author: Bill Masuku

Artists: Bill Masuku

Publisher: Enigma Comix Africa

Origin: Zimbabwe

Year: 2019

Captain South Africa was the pinnacle of superheroism in the country. He was a police officer that stepped up to take down crime to a record low and became the dam wall that kept evil at bay. He suddenly vanished forever and just like that, crime and villainy flooded the streets. As cities fell into ruin with rising inequality and unemployment, something new had to be the change, someone new. 

Three years later a new Captain South Africa has made her debut, she speaks of putting an end to all crime, not just saving the day, but saving the future.

Buy/read Captain South Africa.


Danfo comic by TAG comics. NOMMO Awards 2020 nominee

Author: Morakinyo Araoye, Steven Akinyemi

Artist: Ogim Ekpezu

Publisher: TAG Comics

Origin: Nigeria

Year: 2019

Danfo is the story of Emeka, a naive and kindhearted but weak and struggling Danfo driver in Lagos, Nigeria, who gains the blessing and protection of the Irawo Mejo. The Irawo Mejo are 9 ancient and powerful beings who hold the balance of the universe in their hands. Emeka loses two of these beings to dishonest people, who will stop at nothing to gain control over them.

Far off the coast of Lagos, a worldwide organization continues its hunt for the Irawo Mejo for their own nefarious desires. Will Emeka gain the strength to command these beings, ward off his pursuers and protect the world? (Read our Squid CoW review on Danfo by TAG Comics).

Read Danfo


Hawi by Etan Comics, Nommo Awards 2020 nominee

Author: Beserrat Dbebe

Artist: Stanley Obende

Publisher: Etan Comics

Origin: Ethiopia

Year: 2019

When a mysterious stranger kidnaps the mother of 20-year-old Ement Legesse on their first trip back to Ethiopia, she must embark on a life-altering adventure embedded with historical conflict. Written in 2 languages & Created by an ALL AFRICAN team!

Buy/Read Hawi.


Kami Rwandan comic by Mika Hirwa. Nommo Awards 2020 nominee

Author: Mika Hirwa

Artist: Mika Hirwa

Publisher: Mika Hirwa

Origin: Rwanda

Year: 2019

Kami is a 13-year-old orphan living in Anatwe Village with his only two friends. He has toiled so hard to earn gold and can’t wait to start his quest to find his true parents. The ancestral spirits, however, interrupts his plans and chooses him be the keeper of their power. As with all great power, there’s a greedy psychopath who’ll stop at nothing to take it forcibly in order to be immortal. Kami is now faced with a choice, run away and cower or continue his quest to find his true parents and risk falling into the hands of the fearsome Msomajis. 

Read Kami #1 and Kami #2.


Nani by Ziki Nelson. Nommo awards 2020 nominee

Author: Ziki Nelson

Artist: Jasonas Lamy

Publisher: Kugali

Origin: Nigeria

Year: 2019

Set in Nigeria, the story is centred on Mina, a young girl struggling to recover from the trauma of being assaulted and robbed at gunpoint. The incident leaves Mina feeling powerless so she takes up martial arts. Several years later history repeats itself as a two kidnappers attempt to abduct both Mina and her sister Lamin. 

In their attempt to escape the kidnappers the girls run into the forest but are soon transported to the magical world of Dama, a parallel world rife with magic, mythological creatures and beings inspired by African myths and Legends. 

Read Nani Part 1 and Nani Part 2 free for a limited time.


Sanu, nommo awards 2020 nominee

Author: Charles Sentongo

Artist: Charles Sentongo

Publisher: Elupe Uganda

Origin: Uganda

Year: 2019

Sanu (means warrior in Sierra-leone) is a Ugandan superhero whose shocking past is not only going to change him but also the whole world in his quest to rescue his people from their own mentalities.

Sanu is available to purchase at Uganad Museum. Digital copies can be bought by contacting elupeug@gmail.com.

Welcome to Dead World

Welcome to Dead World by Bill Masuku

Author: Bill Masuku

Artist: Bill Masuku

Publisher: Sam Graphico Anthology/ComicUp Anthology

Origin: Zimbabwe

Year: 2019

Welcome to Dead World is a love letter to Afrofuturism. The story is set in a composite post-apocalyptic world, rich with tribal tattoo tactile technology, spirit radiation, spell drives, soulware, and more. So much more. It serves as a small window into a grand sci-fi fantasy adventure by Bill Masuku.

Read Welcome to Dead World in either the Sam Graphico Anthology or ComicUp Anthology of Zimbabwean Comics

Congratulations to the nominees and best of luck.

About Nommos

Nommo Awards logo

Every year, the Nommo Awards for speculative fiction highlights and rewards words of speculative fiction by Africans. This covers short stories, novellas, novels and our favorite, graphic novels and comics. The awards, now in its fourth year is organized by the African Speculative Fiction Society (ASFS) and awards up to $1,000 in the graphic novel category.

The awards, now in its fourth year is organized by the African Speculative Fiction Society (ASFS) and awards up to $1,000 in the graphic novel category. This prize money is made possible by Tom Ilube, who has been the benefactor for the Nommo Awards since it started. 

Previous Nommo awards winners for comics and graphic novels include:

  • 2019 – Shuri: The Search for Black Panther (Nnedi Okorafor and Leonardo Romero)
  • 2018 – Lake of Tears (Kobina Ofei and Setor Fiadzigbey)
  • 2017 – Chimurenga’s ‘Chronic: The Corpse Exhibition and Older Graphic Stories’ – Chronic no. 3 (Various writers and artists. Edited by Ntone Edjabe)

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