The 2019 Jury

By day, Soonest Nathaniel works as a journalist and by night he transforms into a Poet/Spokenword artist. He is the author of “Teaching Father How To Impregnate Women,” selected as winner of the 2017 RL Poetry Award. He was poet Laureate for Korea Nigeria Poetry Festival 2014. His poems appear or are forthcoming in Rattle, Fiyah, The Pedestal Magazine, Praxis Mag, Raven Chronicles, Wiki Column, Saraba, Loudthotz, Northridge Review, Reverbnation, Elsewhere Lit Mag, Scintilla, Erbacce UK, Kalahari Review, Sentinel Nigeria, and Many more. For Soonest, Poetry is a tool for saving the planet, so he knits words to give warmth to many and he forges verbs to recreate new worlds where humans can better exist.

Sada Malumfashi is a writer living in Kaduna, Nigeria. His works of fiction have appeared in Transition Magazine, New Orleans Review’s African Literary Hustle Issue and Bombay Review. His essays and creative nonfiction have appeared or are forthcoming in The Africa Report, Saraba Magazine, Enkare Review, This Is Africa and Music in Africa amongst others. He was shortlisted for the Kofi Addo Prize for Creative Nonfiction administered by Writivism in 2017 and was among the participants in the Goethe Institute Nigeria-Cameroon Literary Exchange Program. He has been selected for a residency at Sylt Foundation through the Literary Exchange Program. He is interested in the intricacies of languages and works on translations bilingually in Hausa and English. His poem and translations from Hausa have appeared in the National Translation Month Issue of 2017.

Sada Malumfashi, Writer

Rasaq Malik is a graduate of the University of Ibadan. His chapbook, “No Home In This Land”, selected for Chapbook Box edited by Kwame Dawes and Chris Abani has been published. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Rattle, New Orleans Review, Spillway, Poet Lore, Michigan Quaterly Review, One, Minnesota Review, and elsewhere. He won Honorable Mention in 2015 Best of the Net for his poem Elegy, published in One. He was shortlisted for Brunel International African Poetry Prize in 2017. He was a finalist for Sillerman First Book Prize for African Poets in 2018.

Rasaq Malik, Poet

Akpan-Nya, Alexandra Emem is an aspiring writer, pretend-poet and editor from Nigeria. She loves to scribble and play with original ideas and has a fascination for speculative fiction and children literature. Her interests include sarcasm, travelling and sneakers. She dreams of writing norm-breaking bestsellers that will inspire deep thought and the occasional chuckle.

Akpan-Nya, Alexandra Emem; Editor

Omoregie Osakpolor is an independent documentary photographer based in Lagos, Nigeria. Osakpolor started photography in 2015 with the intent to tell stories of people, places, and events that are not adequately or accurately portrayed by mainstream media. Born in 1990, in the city of Benin, Edo State, in Southern Nigeria, he became a mentee at the ongoing Nlele Institute Mentorship Programme in 2016, and in 2017, he was a nominee of The Future Africa Awards for The Edwin George Prize for Photography. In June 2017, Omoregie Osakpolor was one of 10 young photographers nominated to participate in the Canon Visual Storytelling Workshop with Canon Master Gary Knight in Lagos State, Nigeria. On the 28th of April 2018, Omoregie Osakpolor commenced a three-city photography exhibition, titled The Journey of an African Monarch, where he used visuals to tell the story of the coronation of the Oba of Benin Kingdom, Oba Ewuare II, to his audience in Lagos, Abuja and Benin Cities, all in Nigeria. A recipient of the Twenty5Wishes grant, he has enjoyed the audience and followership of international diplomacts, Edo State government officials, international NGOs and traditional leaders. Omoregie believes photography is a powerful tool that can be used to bring about societal change. This is what motivates him to create works that critically engage society in the hopes that his photographs would be part of the spark that ignites positive change in Africa, and the world at large. His work focuses on culture and globalization (its effects on the African culture and the urban poor).

Omoregie Osakpolor; Documentary Photographer