Adaobi Tricia Obinne Nwaubani (born in 1976) is a Nigerian novelist, humorist, essayist and journalist. Her debut novel, I Do Not Come to You by Chance, won the 2010 Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best First Book (Africa), a Betty Trask First Book award, and was named by the Washington Post as one of the Best Books of 2009. Nwaubani is the first contemporary African writer on the global stage to have got an international book deal while still living in her home country.
Nwaubani was born in Enugu, Nigeria. Her mother is a cousin of Flora Nwapa, the first female African writer to publish a book. At the age of 10, she left home to attend boarding school at the Federal Government Girls College Owerri. She studied Psychology at the University of Ibadan, Nigeria’s premier university. As a teenager, Nwaubani secretly dreamed of becoming a CIA or KGB agent. She earned her first income from winning a writing competition at the age of 13.
Nwaubani was one of the pioneer editorial staff of Nigeria’s now defunct NEXT newspapers, established by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Dele Olojede. She was the editor ofélan, the fashion and style magazine of NEXT. She was later appointed to the position of opinion editor.
Nwaubani is the first writer in the history of world literature to capture the 419 scams phenomenon in a novel. She is also the first African writer to have got an international publishing deal while still living in her home country. She does not have any formal writing training.
In 2012, Nwaubani was selected as one of 15 emerging leaders in government, business and civil society from across West Africa, to attend a “Leadership for Change” training program sponsored by the Private Investors for Africa (PIA). Managed by the African Leadership Institute (AfLI), the program aims to create a network of “world class, pan-African, high potential, emerging leaders across all sectors, working in partnership as catalysts for change in Africa”.
She lives in Abuja, Nigeria, where she works as a consultant.