Zainab A. Omaki
Zainab A. Omaki is a Nigerian prose and screenwriter. She has a Masters degree from the University of East Anglia where she was the recipient of the Miles Morland African Writer’s award. Her short stories and essays have appeared in numerous prominent publications. Longlisted for the BBC writer’s room in 2020 and an AMAA award, she is the writer of two films and a forthcoming television series. Her prose explores issues like class, identity, familial dynamics, feminism and religion within the context of West African societies.
- ‘You Are Not Black in Nigeria,’ Essay, Forthcoming in Transition Magazine at Harvard.
- ‘An Immigrant’s Checklist,’ Essay, published in Passages North, 2020
- ‘Barren Spaces,’ Essay, published in The Rumpus, 2019
- Third Mainland, Short Story, published in TSS Publishing, 2019
- 4th Republic, Feature Film, Available on Netflix, 2019
To access the lecture by Zainab Omaki, please click here.
Written in non-standard English, the novel I am working on (provisionally titled ‘Nigeria Boy’) is an exploration of class inequality, poverty and language in West Africa. It follows the story of a young Nigerian man forced to emigrate to Ghana in search of a better life than the one he was dealt at birth. Searching for a way to change his harsh circumstances, he discovers the boxing neighbourhood of Bukom, in Accra, known for its long legacy of producing fierce boxing champions. With nothing but the clothes on his back, two good friends, the hope of reuniting with the woman he loves back home, and determination to make something of himself, he falls into the boxing world. Quickly, he discovers it is neither easy nor simple. There are dark shadows, complex rivalries, unexpected temptations and the loss of what he holds most dear cluttering his path. Will he transcend all these and rise to the pinnacle of the world he has chosen? Or are his dreams doomed to remain just out of reach, causing him to fall back into the abyss of the life he came from? The novel is a study of human will and extreme hope in the midst of trying circumstances.