Trish Lorenz is the winner of the 2021-22 Nine Dots Prize. The Nine Dots Prize is a prize for a book that has not yet been written. Every two years, its Board sets a question and invites people to respond with a 3,000-word essay and a book proposal. The winner receives a financial award which enables them to spend time researching, developing their ideas, and turning their essay response into a full-length book which is published by Cambridge University Press.
Lorenz’s winning essay argued that no question of what it means to be young in the 21st century should overlook the significant youth populations of sub-Saharan African countries including Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Rwanda, and Ethiopia. Focusing on Nigeria – one of the youngest countries in the world, where more than 42% of the population is under 14 years old – as a case study, she proposes to conduct in-depth interviews and discussions with the youth population to explore the following topics:
- The role urbanisation is playing in defining this generation, and how this generation is in turn redefining the notion of an African city
- The emergence of a distinct generational identity across music, fashion, design, art, and culture
- How this generation is employing technological solutions to become self-sufficient and solve pan-African and global issues
- The discrepancy between the average age of the population and the age of its leaders, who are amongst the oldest in the world
- The activists challenging traditional societal norms and carving out a new vision of what it means to be African
Patricia (Trish) Lorenz has been a journalist for more than 15 years. She is a regular contributor to titles including The Guardian, The Financial Times and The Telegraph, among others, and her reporting has included covering stories in Senegal, Mali and Burkina Faso. Formerly a design columnist at The Independent and the Lisbon correspondent for Monocle magazine, she covers subjects ranging from design, art and culture to travel, politics and human interest. She moved to Berlin in early 2020. Prior to that she lived in Lisbon for eight years, working as a correspondent in Portugal and the Portuguese speaking world, a role that involved travel and reporting on African Portuguese speaking countries such as Cape Verde.