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2016 List: 100 Most Influential Nigerian Writers Under 40

Nigerian Writes Awards

According to The Nigerian Writers Awards 2016, these are the 100 Most Influential Writers in Nigeria under 40

“After series of interviews, reviews, nominations online and offline, thousands of names were received and finally here are 100 most influential Nigerian writers under 40 making change, impacting lives with their writing, earning national and global achievements in the year under review (May 2015- October 2016).”

Click here to read the full list:

Here is the list in no particular order.   

  1. abimbola dare1. ABIMBOLA DARE (35) – Faith-based writer.

Abimbola Dare, author of the Christian fiction “The Small Print” and “when broken chord sings”. She  was born  on the 31st of  December 1981 in Lagos, Nigeria where she attended Vivian Fowler Memorial College for girls. She later moved to the UK for her first degree and Masters.

The Small print has touched many lives; she was nominated as the Faith Based writer at the Nigerian Writers Awards 2016.

                                           Credit: Unoma Nwankwor, Award winning Author, Speaker & Producer.

2. ABUBAabubakar adam ibrahimKAR ADAM IBRAHIM (37)- Novelist

Abubakar Adam Ibrahim (born 1979) is an award winning Nigerian writer and journalist who shook Northern Nigeria with his debut novel Season of Crimson Blossoms which explores a steaming love affair between an older woman and a y
oung rebel warrior.

Some of his accolades include BBC African Performance Prize and ANA Plateau/Amatu Braide Prize for Prose. In 2015 he was included in the Africa anthology of the most promising sub-Saharan African writers under the age of 40.

His debut short story collection “The Whispering Trees” was long-listed for the inaugural Etisalat Prize for Literature in 2014 and shortlisted for the Caine Prize for African Writing.

In 2016 he won the NNLG prize for literature worth $100,000.


Adaeze Maureen Osuizugbe is a prolific writer, blogger and author, curator of Popularly known as Adaeze Ibechukwu, she discovered her creative genius in writing at the tender age of seven and wrote her first two short stories at the age of nine. She graduated from the prestigious University of Benin.

She was one of the top fifteen writers for the ‘New African Writing’ organized by the Farafina publishers a publishing company founded by the prestigious Nigerian author, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.

Adaeze won the Short Story writer of the year at the 2016 Nigerian Writers Awards.

4. ADAOBI TRICIA NWAUBANI (40)-Author, I do not come by chance.

Adaobi Tricia Obinne Nwaubani born in Enugu, Nigeria in 1976 was named by the Washington Post as one of the Best Books of 2009. She studied Psychology at the University of Ibadan, Nigeria’s premier university.

Adaobi Nwabuani 1

Nwaubani is the first writer in the history of world literature to capture the 419 scams phenomenon in a novel. The first contemporary African writer on the global stage to have got an international book deal while still living in her home country. Her debut novel, I Do Not Come to you by Chance published in 2009, won the 2010 Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best First Book (Africa).

She has won several awards which includes: 2010 Commonwealth Writers Prize for Best First Book (Africa), 2010 Betty Trask First Book Award, 2010 Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature in Africa finalist, (Quadrennial) 2012 Nigeria Prize for Literature shortlist, Washington Post Best Books 2009

5. ADEKUNLE GOLD- Song Writer

Aadekunle Gold 2016 Copy 1Adekunle Kosoko, popularly known by his stage name Adekunle Gold, is a Nigerian singer, songwriter and graphic designer.

He was born into a royal family in Lagos State, Nigeria. He holds a Higher National Diploma in Arts and Design after graduating from Lagos State Polytechnic.

Adekunle describes his genre of music as urban highlife. His 2014 single “Sade” received massive airplays on various Nigerian radio stations.


Adrian Igonibo Badrian Igoni barrettarrett is Nigerian writer born in Port Harcourt, Nigeria, to a Nigerian mother and the Jamaican novelist and poet Lindsay Barrett on the 26th of March 1979.  He studied agriculture at the University of Ibadan.

In 2010, he was awarded a Chinua Achebe Center Fellowship. In 2011, he was awarded a Norman Mailer Center Fellowship as well as a Bellagio Center Residency.

In April 2014 Barrett was named as one of 39 sub-Saharan African writers aged under 40 in the Hay Festival and Rainbow Book Club Africa project celebrating Port Harcourt UNESCO World Book Capital 2014.

His second collection of stories, Love Is Power, or Something Like That, was published in 2013; His debut novel, entitled Blackass, was published in 2015.

7. AINEHI EDORO- Literary blogger. Curator,

AINEHI EDORO2Ainehi Edoro is a literary blogger, founder and curator of, born in Akure, grew up in Benin City and currently resides in Chicago.

She is the editor of Brittle Paper, a literary blog for fans of African literature. Her doctoral dissertation is a study of Africa’s formal contributions to the novel. She is currently an Assistant Professor of English at Marquette University.


  1. ALLI MUTIAT OMONIYI-Entertainment Writer

        Alli MutiatMutiat Alli is an Entertainment Coordinator at Daily Times Newspaper. She is a graduate of Lagos State Polytechnic. She has been reporting the entertainment industry since 2009. She is open-minded, resourceful, and highly motivated.



amaraaAmara Nicole Okolo is a young lawyer from Anambra State. She grew up in Kaduna, Owerri, Akwa Ibom and Umuahia, which she believes helped in making her the writer she is today.

Her novel, ‘Black Sparkle Romance’ was published in 2014 by Ankara Press, an imprint of Cassava Republic. References to her work have appeared on The Guardian UK and Africa, CNN, Africa in Words, Okay Africa, Brittle Paper and Chimurenga the Chronic and Reuters (Africa).


10. AMANDA EPE- Author, Fly Girl

amanda epeAmanda is dynamic writer, author of A Fly Girl; an inspirational memoir of her days working at the British Airways.

She takes her readers on a journey from Las Vegas to India, allowing them explore the world through the eyes of a black British Airways flight attendant.

The author spoke on her book which explores her experience with racism as a flight attendant and Black British.

When asked why she wrote the book she said “I was obliged to write this for my spirit and I didn’t want to take this story unpublished to the grave”.

11. AA- (34) Song Writer

asa 1Aṣa (Bukola Elemide) a Nigerian French singer, songwriter and artiste was born on September 1982 in Paris, France to her Nigerian parents.

In 2004, Aṣa met her manager and friend, Janet, who introduced her to Cobhams Emmanuel Asuquo.

The multi-award winning song writer in 2014 was reported that before the release of Bed of Stone, she sold 400,000 albums worldwide. Her stage name “Aṣa” means “Hawk” in Yoruba Language.

  1. ARUKAINO UMUKORO- Award winning Journalist.

Arukaino UmukoroArukaino Umukoro is a Nigerian journalist and writer, a senior correspondent with the Punch Newspaper where he writes for the feature desk covering economics, education, environment and health issues, environment and sports.

In 2015 he won the Sports Reporting award in the CNN MultiChioce African Journalist Awards for his story on white elephant stadiums in Nigeria.


13. AYODELE OLORUNFUNMI SOGUNRO-Author, Everything in Nigeria is going to Kill You.

Ayo Sogunro author photoAyọ Sogunro is a Nigerian social critic, human rights activist and writer. He is notable as an essayist and satirist with right-wing libertarian tendencies.”

He is the author of three books and co-author of one. His most recent books are the widely-acclaimed short-stories, The Wonderful Life of Senator Boniface and other Sorry Tales; and the not-so-widely-acclaimed collection of critical essays: Everything in Nigeria is going to Kill You.


14. AYOBAMI HANIF MOHAMMED- Author-The Last Days at Forcados High School

Ayobami Hanif MohammedA.H Mohammed was born in Lagos Nigeria. He obtained his medical degree from the University of Lagos and a resident doctor at the Lagos Teaching Hospital. The last days at Forcados High School is his first book. His book, The Last Days at Forcados High School, was adopted by JAMB UTME 2015.



augustina ogAugustina Armstrong-Ogbonna is a Nigerian journalist with almost ten years of experience as a multimedia and environmental journalist. 

In 2015 she was awarded the United Nations Foundation Gold Prize for Development and Humanitarian reporting for her reportage on neglected communities along the Lagos coastline. She investigated how local residents in Okun Alfa and Otodo-gbame in Lagos were threatened with extinction and eviction respectively.

16. AYOBAMI ADEBAYO-Author, Stay with Me

Ayobami Adebayo FacebookAyobami holds B.A and M.A degrees in Literature in English from Obafemi Awolowo University and she was awarded a UEA International Bursary to study Creative Writing (MA Prose fiction) at the University of East Anglia in 2013.  She was shortlisted for the Miles Morland Scholarship in 2014 and 2015.

Her debut novel, Stay with Me, was shortlisted for the Kwani? Manuscript Prize in 2013 and is forthcoming from Kwani? (Kenya, October 2016), Canongate (Spring 2017,UK/ Commonwealth) and Knopf (Spring 2017, USA/Canada).

She is the fiction editor of Saraba Magazine, and a member of its board of directors.

  1. BRYMO (30) Song Writer.

Brymo 2Olawale Ashimi (born 9 May 1986) fondly called Brymo is a talented song writer and artiste whose music is a mixture of Fuji, R&B, pop and rock.

His albums include Brystone (2007), The Son of a Kapenta (2012), Marchents, Dealers & Slaves (2013), Tabula Rasa (2014) and Klitoris (2016).

His songs have received positives reviews from music critics, accolades and loved by many.


18. BOLA AGBAJE (35)- Script Writer

BOLA AGBAJEBola Agbaje is an award-winning British playwright of Nigerian origin, born in London in 1981. A media communications degree holder; she is under commission with Paines Plough and Tiata Fahodzi.

In 2009 Agbaje was commissioned by the Tricycle Theatre alongside Roy Williams and Kwame Kwei-Armah to be a part of the “Not Black and White” season.

Her second play for the Royal Court Theatre, Off the Endz, opened on 19 February 2010, directed by Jeremy Herrin. In 2013 she was commissioned by StoneCrabs Theatre Company to write The Burial, directed by Franko Figueiredo and co-produced by the Albany.

Bola co-wrote the movie “Fifty “with Kemi Adesoye and was released in 2015.


Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is a novelist, nonfiction writer and short story writer. She was born on 15thSeptember 1977.

In 2003, she coCHIMAMDA ADImpleted a Master’s degree in creative writing at Johns Hopkins University. In 2008, she received a Master of Arts degree in African studies from Yale University.

Her novels, Purple Hibiscus (2003), Half of a Yellow Sun  (2006), The Things Around Your Neck (2009), Americanah (2013) We Should All Be Feminists (2014) has received numerous awards like the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best First Book (2005), 2007 Orange Prize for Fiction and the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award. Her third novel, Americana (2013), was selected by the New York Times as one of The 10 Best Books of 2013.

In April 2014 she was named as one of 39 writers aged under 40 in the Hay Festival and Rainbow Book Club project Africa39, celebrating Port Harcourt UNESCO World Book Capital 2014.  In 2015, she was co-curator of the PEN World Voices Festival.

20. CHIDERA NNEOMA OKOLIE (23)- Novelist

chidera okolieChidera Nneoma Okolie is a lawyer and creative writer born on the 27th of March 1993. Her debut Novel When Silence Becomes Too Loud a Crime and Suspense book was written during her university days and was released in December 2014.

The 280 paged macabre tale woven in pellucid prose “when silence becomes too loud” was endorsed by the former president of Nigeria Goodluck Jonathan.

In 2015 she was named by Guinness a Made of Black Hero, she also won the fiction writer of the year at the 2016 Nigerian Writers Awards.

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