Nuzo Onoh
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Nuzo Onoh

Nuzo Onoh (born 22 September 1962) is a British-Nigerian writer. She is a pioneer of the African horror subgenre.[1] Onoh's books, The Reluctant Dead[2] and Unhallowed Graves[3] are both collections of ghost stories depicting core Igbo culture, traditions, beliefs and superstitions within a horror context. She is also author of The Sleepless and Dead Corpse[4][5][6]

Early life

Born in Enugu, Nigeria, Nuzo Onoh grew up the third of the eight children of the late Chief Mrs. Caroline Onoh, a former headteacher. She experienced the Biafran war with Nigeria (1967 - 1970) as a child refugee[7] and at age 13, she was the victim of an attempted "exorcism" by a local pastor. Because of this experience, she now advocates for greater awareness of ritual child abuse in African communities.[8]


Nuzo Onoh attended Queen's school, in Enugu Nigeria, as well as The Mount School, York, a Quaker boarding school in York and later, St Andrew's Tutorial College, Cambridge, England. Onoh holds a law degree and a master's degree in writing from Warwick University.[9]


Nuzo Onoh's works have featured in numerous magazines and to date, she is the only African Horror writer to have featured on Starburst Magazine, the world's longest-running magazine of cult entertainment.[10][11] She is listed in the reference book, "80 Black women in Horror" and her stories have featured in several anthologies including Black Magic Women Anthology, which features stories by some writers listed in the 80 Black Women in Horror. She has also featured on multiple media platforms, discussing her unique writing and African Horror as a genre. She has written several blogs for Female First Magazine.[12][13] Nuzo Onoh has been mentioned as one of the new British horror writers bringing a positive change to how black and minority races are portrayed in mainstream horror fiction.[14]

Nuzo Onoh writes about ghosts, vengeful African ghosts with unfinished business. Hailed as the "Queen of African Horror",[15] Nuzo Onoh's writings have been described as works of "magical realism and horror", which explores the "philosophical positions that define the reality of Africa and Africans in a world that is bent towards Western globalization and the annihilation of African roots in culture."[15] Her writing showcases both the beautiful and horrific in the African, mainly, Igbo culture and doesn't shy away from tackling issues of Religious hypocrisy, child abuse, ritual killings, dangerous superstitions, corrupt politicians, evil witchdoctors and the plight of widows in the broader African culture, all within a fictitious horror context.[15] Her book, The Sleepless, a ghost story tackling both the ritual abuse of children and the horrors of the Biafran War, has been described as "a genuine powerhouse of horror storytelling"[11] and as a work that "Goes beyond magical realism".[15] "What distinguishes her genre as "African Horror" is the detailed exploration of African beliefs on the mysterious and the spiritual, which reveals a lot about the 'African Self'".[15]


Onoh has two children, Candice Onyeama (Actor, writer and film director)[16] and Jija Orka-Gyoh (Student)


  1. ^ "Nigerian-British Nuzo pioneers new literary genre, Horror Books - Vanguard News". Vanguard News. 30 June 2015. Retrieved 2016.
  2. ^ Onoh, Nuzo (1 May 2014). "The Reluctant Dead". Canaan-star publishing, UK.
  3. ^ Royce, Eden (11 July 2015). "Unhallowed Graves - Book Review". Hellnotes. Retrieved 2016.
  4. ^ Onoh, Nuzo (31 Oct 2017). "Dead Corpse". Canaan-star publishing, UK.
  5. ^ "Ralph Fiennes, Nuzo Onoh, Gilberto Gil, The Arts Hour - BBC World Service". BBC.
  6. ^ "Dead Corpse by Nuzo Onoh". Retrieved 2018.
  7. ^ "Here is my interview with Nuzo Onoh". 11 March 2016. Retrieved 2018.
  8. ^ McCrum, Kirstie (24 June 2016). "Terrifying exorcism of writer accused of being POSSESSED by church pastor". Mirror.
  9. ^ "Interview with Nuzo Onoh". authorsinterviews. 11 March 2016.
  10. ^ "Nuzo Onoh - THE SLEEPLESS - STARBURST Magazine". Retrieved 2018.
  11. ^ a b "THE SLEEPLESS - STARBURST Magazine". Retrieved 2018.
  12. ^ "6 Beautiful African Death Rituals". Retrieved 2018.
  13. ^ "An African Witchdoctor - The Good, The Bad and The Bumbling Idiot! by Nuzo Onoh". Retrieved 2018.
  14. ^ "Fascist Ghosts: Racism and the Far Right in British Horror, Part Three - Bookmarked". Retrieved 2018.
  15. ^ a b c d e "Beyond the Magical and the Horrific: Reading Nuzo Onoh's The Sleepless -". 14 November 2016. Retrieved 2018.
  16. ^ "Maroon News". Maroon News. Retrieved 2018.

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