VS50 – Akwaeke Emezi

With laurels in writing commonwealth short stories for Vogue and Dazed Digital, Nigerian born Film Writer, Akwaeke Emezi’s style has earned recognition and rave reviews from top publications like the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and the New Yorker. She identifies as a writer and a video artist.

The Umuahia-born artist, whose concepts explore fantasy worlds and multiple realities, takes readers on a journey through a roller-coaster of sexual, spiritual and emotionally awakening themes in her writing. She grew up in Aba and holds a master’s in public administration from New York University.

She received the Global Art Fund Grant award for The Unblinding – a series of video self-portraits on the progression of an Ogbanje (the name for a reincarnating spirit in Igbo culture) from unawareness to realisation of its true nature.

Her other accomplishments include an Audience Award for Best Short Experimental at the 2014 BlackStar Film Festival for her experimental short film, Ududeagu, the 2017 Commonwealth Short Story Prize in 2017 for her short story, ‘Who is like God?’ and The Center for Fiction’s First Novel Prize in 2018.

Her debut novel, Freshwater, has been lauded for it’s poetic take on mental illness, the realities of multiple personalities, indigenous beliefs and western colonialism. In the book, a college students learns to live with her separate selves and the voices in her head.

Akwaeke Emezi is currently working on her much anticipated next novels – Pet and The Death of Vivek Oji.

The creative industry is a sector that encompasses expressions in art and film to fashion and architecture. It is one of the most rapidly growing sectors globally and social media has allowed creators widen the reach of their message. VS50 merits the achievements of futurists that have inspired us through street culture, film and art and pushed our imagination through design and creative content.

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