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Abubakar Adam Ibrahim

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Abubakar Adam Ibrahim
Abubakar Adam Ibrahim
Jos, Nigeria
Alma materUniversity of Jos
Occupation(s)Writer, journalist
Notable workSeason of Crimson Blossoms
AwardsNigeria Prize for Literature (2016)

Abubakar Adam Ibrahim is a Nigerian writer and journalist. He was described by German broadcaster Deutsche Welle as a northern Nigerian "literary provocateur" amidst the international acclaim his award-winning novel Season of Crimson Blossoms received in 2016.[1]


Abubakar Adam Ibrahim was born in Jos, North-Central Nigeria, and holds a BA degree in Mass Communication from the University of Jos.[2]

His debut short-story collection The Whispering Trees was longlisted for the inaugural Etisalat Prize for Literature in 2014,[3] with the title story shortlisted for the Caine Prize for African Writing.[4] The collection was re-published by Cassava Republic Press for international distribution in 2020[5] and a French translation was published in 2022.[6]

In 2014 he was selected for the Africa39 list of writers aged under 40 with potential and talent to define future trends in African literature,[7][8] and was included in the anthology Africa39: New Writing from Africa South of the Sahara (ed. Ellah Allfrey).[9] He was a mentor on the 2013 Writivism programme and judged the Writivism Short Story Prize in 2014.[10] He was chair of judges for the 2016 Etisalat Flash Fiction Prize.[11]

Ibrahim has won the BBC African Performance Prize[12] and the ANA Plateau/Amatu Braide Prize for Prose. He is a Gabriel Garcia Marquez Fellow (2013),[13] a Civitella Ranieri Fellow (2015)[14] and a 2018 Art OMI Fellow.[15] In 2016, Ibrahim was the recipient of the Goethe-Institut & Sylt Foundation African Writer's Residency Award[16] and in March 2020 he was a Dora Maar Fellow.[17]

His first novel, Season of Crimson Blossoms, was published in 2015 by Parrésia Publishers in Nigeria and by Cassava Republic Press in the UK (2016).[18] It was translated into French by Marc Amfreville, published by L'Editions de l'Observatoire in 2018 [19] and nominated for the Prix Femina Étranger.[20] The German translation was published by Residenz Verlag in 2019.[21] Season of Crimson Blossoms was shortlisted in September 2016 for the Nigeria Prize for Literature, Africa's largest literary prize.[22] It was announced on 12 October 2016 that Ibrahim was the winner of the $100,000 prize.[23][24]

His second short story collection, Dreams and Assorted Nightmares was published by Masobe Books in 2020.[25]

His short story A Love Like This, narrated by Georgina Elizabeth Okon, Nene Nwoko and Ike Amadi, was published as an Audible Original Story in 2021.

Ibrahim worked at the Daily Trust newspaper for over a decade in a variety of roles, latterly as Features Editor, before leaving to pursue postgraduate studies.[26] He continues to write a weekly column entitled 'Line of Sight'.[27] Ibrahim's reporting from North-East Nigeria has won particular critical acclaim. In May 2018 he was announced as the winner of the Michael Elliot Award for Excellence in African Storytelling, awarded by the International Center for Journalists, for his report "All That Was Familiar", published in Granta magazine in May 2017.[28] Ibrahim was a 2018 Ochberg Fellow at the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma at Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism.[29]

He has spoken at numerous events, conferences and festivals including the Hay Festival, Edinburgh International Book Festival, the British Library, Jaipur Literature Festival, PEN World Voices and at the Library of Congress.[30]

He lives in Abuja, Nigeria.


  • "Night Calls" in Daughters of Eve and Other New Short Stories from Nigeria (CCC Press, 2010)
  • "Echoes of Mirth" in Africa39: New Writing from Africa South of the Sahara (London: Bloomsbury Publishing, 2014)
  • The Whispering Trees (Parrésia Publishers, 2012; ISBN 978-9789237258)
  • Painted Love in Valentine's Day Anthology 2015 (Ankara Press, 2015)
  • Season of Crimson Blossoms (Nigeria: Parrésia Publishers, 2015; UK: Cassava Republic Press, 2016)
  • "All That Was Familiar" (Granta, 2017)
  • La Saison des fleurs de flamme (Editions de l'Observatoire, 2018)
  • Wo Wir Stolpern und Wo Wir Fallen (Residenz Verlag, 2019)
  • Dreams and Assorted Nightmares (Masobe Books, 2020)
  • A Love Like This (Audible, 2021)
  • When We Were Fireflies (Masobe Books and logistics Limited, 2023)


  1. ^ Gwendolin Hilse. "Nigeria's Literary Provocateur". Deutsche Welle. Retrieved 13 January 2018.
  2. ^ "Abubakar Adam Ibrahim". Parrésia Publishers. 2015. Archived from the original on 23 June 2015. Retrieved 4 June 2015.
  3. ^ "The Inaugural Etisalat Prize for Literature Longlist". Etisalat Nigeria. 20 December 2013. Retrieved 4 June 2015.
  4. ^ "Fourteenth Caine Prize shortlist announced". The Caine Prize for African Writing. April 2013. Archived from the original on 7 June 2015. Retrieved 4 June 2015.
  5. ^ "The Whispering Trees | Abubakar Adam Ibrahim | Cassava Republic Press". 14 April 2020. Retrieved 25 December 2021.
  6. ^ Les arbres qui murmurent (in French).
  7. ^ Margaret Busby, "Africa39: how we chose the writers for Port Harcourt World Book Capital 2014", The Guardian, 10 April 2014.
  8. ^ "Africa 39 list of artists". Hay Festival. 2014. Retrieved 4 June 2015.
  9. ^ Mukoma Wa Ngugi, "Beauty, Mourning, and Melancholy in Africa39", Los Angeles Review of Books, 9 November 2014.
  10. ^ "Writivism Short Story Prize 2014 Longlist". Books Live. Times Media Group. 22 May 2014. Retrieved 4 June 2015.
  11. ^ "Etisalat Prize for Literature". Etisalat Prize for Literature. 14 October 2016. Retrieved 9 January 2017.
  12. ^ "African Performance 2007". BBC World Service. 2007. Retrieved 4 June 2015.
  13. ^ "Selected for the Gabriel García Márquez fellowship in cultural journalism". Fundacion Gabriel Garcia Marquez para el Nuovo Periodismo Iberoamericano. FNPI. 25 October 2012. Retrieved 4 June 2015.
  14. ^ "Civitella Announces 2015 Fellows". Civitella Ranieri Foundation. Civitella Ranieri Foundation. 2015. Archived from the original on 20 July 2018. Retrieved 4 June 2015.
  15. ^ "Art OMI". 6 June 2018. Retrieved 6 June 2018.
  16. ^ "Winner of the 2016 Goethe-Institut & Sylt Foundation African Writer's Residency Award announced!". Sylt Foundation. 17 August 2016.[permanent dead link]
  17. ^ "Adam Ibrahim Abubakar". La Maison Dora Maar et L'Hôtel Tingry. Retrieved 25 December 2021.
  18. ^ "Abubakar Adam Ibrahim". Archived from the original on 9 September 2015. Retrieved 26 August 2015.
  19. ^ "La Saison des fleurs de flamme". www.editions-observatoire.com (in French). Retrieved 25 December 2021.
  20. ^ "Abubakar Adam Ibrahim dans la sélection du Prix Femina Étranger". www.editions-observatoire.com (in French). Retrieved 25 December 2021.
  21. ^ "Wo wir stolpern und wo wir fallen, Abubakar Adam Ibrahim, Susann Urban, Abubakar Adam Ibrahim, Susann Urban. Residenz Verlag". www.residenzverlag.com (in German). Retrieved 25 December 2021.
  22. ^ Eresia-Eke, Kudo (31 October 2016). "Shortlist of three for NLNG sponsored US$100,000 literature prize emerges". Nigeria LNG Ltd.
  23. ^ Odeh, Nehru (12 October 2016). "2016 Winner of $100,000 NLNG Nigeria Prize for Literature announced". Premium Times.
  24. ^ AWT (13 October 2016), "Abubakar Adam Ibrahim wins the 2016 Nigerian Prize for Literature", African Writers Trust.
  25. ^ Guest, Africa in Words (1 December 2020). "Q&A: Uchechukwu Peter Umezurike interviews Abubakar Adam Ibrahim about his latest collection "Dreams and Assorted Nightmares" (2020)". Retrieved 25 December 2021.
  26. ^ "Abubakar Adam Ibrahim | School of Journalism and Mass Communication - The University of Iowa". journalism.uiowa.edu. Retrieved 8 February 2022.
  27. ^ "Pardon Our Interruption". muckrack.com. Retrieved 25 December 2021.
  28. ^ ICFG (8 May 2018). "Nigerian Reporter Wins 2018 Michael Elliott Award for Excellence in African Storytelling". International Center for Journalists.
  29. ^ "Dart Names Abubakar Adam Ibrahim,13 Others Ochberg Fellows". Daily Trust. 7 November 2017 – via All Africa.
  30. ^ "Events | Abubakar Adam". Retrieved 25 December 2021.

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