Rafeeat Aliyu was part of the main wave of African SFF from the beginning. Her story “Ofe” was in the first volume of the AfroSF series, published in 2013. Her story “4:15 Appointment” was in the first issue of Omenana, back in 2014. When I asked her what story she wanted to kick off her interview, she chose this.
Rafeeat: “I really liked writing it and a lot of people have liked reading it. Chinelo [Onwualu] reached out to me. I really like that she actively reaches out to women who write SF—so she reached out to three of us and she’s like, ‘You need to write something for Omenana, it’s coming out, you need to put something up.’ I was like, ‘Sure, let me try to come up with something.’
“I wasn’t working on any story before she asked, so there was a bit of time, about six months, that I had to sit down and come up with one, and it’s weird, the story came up from a dream. The first part of the story where there’s a woman giving a massage and her hand slips through the skin of the person she’s massaging, I had a dream about that, and had a chance to develop it.”
It seems so long ago now, when I sat down with Geoff Ryman to talk writing and African science fiction and fantasy. That interview is now available to read on Strange Horizons. I’m thrilling to be part of Geoff’s 100 African writers of SFF, an ambitious project that has taken him across the African continent interviewing writers like me. If you’d like to know more about my writing journey and what motivates me to write SF, read it!