“Kami”, the Rwandan comic book shortlisted for continental prize

Rwandan comic book “Kami” is now among the Best 2019-2020 Comics in Africa, and emerges a potential candidate to win a prize at the 2020 Nommo Awards.

The annual awards are an initiative by African Speculative Fiction Society (ASFS), an organisation of African writers, artists, editors, and publishers in science fiction, fantasy, horror, and related genres.

 

Established in 2016, the Nommo Awards recognise the finest fantasy or science fiction works by Africans.

 

The awards are given in four categories, namely Best Novel, Best Novella, Best Short Story, and Best Comic or Graphic Novel.

 

“Kami”, which is an illustration by Rwandan comic book writer Mika Twizerimana Hirwa, is battling for the top prize in the category of Best Graphic Novel/Comic by Africans alongside seven other books.

Hirwa told The New Times that shortlisting ‘Kami’ is something great that shows how fast Rwandan Comic industry is growing but which needs to be further explored.

“It is amazing to see my book outshining works of Ghanaians, South Africans or Nigerians which it was competing with because they have already established industries in terms of producing comic books and literature in general,” Hirwa said in an interview.

 “It showed me that if we keep pushing this industry, Rwanda can produce excellent comic books that can win more prizes in Africa. However, we need more writers to join this industry because the number is still too small to meet the demands of our audience with stories,” he added.

Should the book win the prize, the author will walk away with a cash prize of $1, 000 (over Rwf900,000.)

About “Kami”

“Kami” is Hirwa’s very first comic book that he released in 2018, and his second book in general, after “Simbi the Inventor”, which he released in 2016. 

As per the author, “Kami” an illustration built around a 13-year-old orphan, who lives in a native village. He works so hard every day for more gold to start his journey of finding his true parents.

The author drew the book’s inspiration from the need to want to break the African norms that some things have always been and will remain in a particular order. He is also looking forward to whip up the stunted reading culture in Rwanda.

It is currently available for free online via StoriAfrica app since early January, while hard copies are set to be charged and distributed upon request.

editor@newtimesrwanda.com

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