Lesotho shortlisted for the first time in the 2021 Commonwealth Short Story Prize

Moso Sematlane

Moso Sematlane, Rémy Ngamije, Ola W. Halim, Vincent Anioke and Franklyn Usouwa are the African writers on the shortlist for this year’s Commonwealth Short Story Prize.

Twenty-five outstanding stories have been shortlisted by an international judging panel for the world’s most global literature prize. This year’s shortlisted writers from the Africa region hail from Nigeria, Lesotho and Namibia. Moso Sematlane‘s Tetra Hydro Cannabinol and Rémy Ngamije‘s Granddaughter of The Octopus are Lesotho and Namibia’s entries respectively.

Moso Sematlane is a writer and filmmaker based between Maseru, Lesotho, and Johannesburg, South Africa. He has been published in Nat Brut and is an Assistant Editor at Lolwe Magazine.

In its tenth year, the Commonwealth Short Story Prize is awarded annually for the best piece of unpublished short fiction from the Commonwealth. It is the most accessible and international of all writing competitions.

This year’s shortlist was chosen from a record 6423 entries from 50 Commonwealth countries, and includes, for the first time, stories from Lesotho and Namibia. The Commonwealth Short Story Prize is administered by the Commonwealth Foundation, through its cultural initiative Commonwealth Writers.

The 2021 shortlisted stories will be published online, in the innovative online magazine of Commonwealth Writers, adda [www.addastories.org], which features new writing from around the globe. The judges will go on to choose a winner for each of the five regions. These regional winners will be announced on Wednesday 12 May, before being published online by the literary magazine Granta. The overall winner will be announced on Wednesday 30 June.

Listen to Moso talk about his submission

The 2021 shortlist


  • “Tetra Hydro Cannabinol” by Moso Sematlane (Lesotho)
  • “Granddaughter of The Octopus” by Rémy Ngamije (Namibia)
  • “An Analysis of a Fragile Affair” by Ola W. Halim (Nigeria)
  • “Ogbuefi” by Vincent Anioke (Nigeria)
  • “A for Abortion” by Franklyn Usouwa (Nigeria)