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Black Panther spin-off author Nnedi Okorafor's African inspiration

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US-based science fiction and fantasy writer Nnedi Okorafor is in high demand. She is the award-winning author of 12 books, the brains behind a forthcoming Black Panther spin-off series, and one of her stories is soon to be adapted for television by the creator of Game of Thrones.

But her rise to the top was not easy. Okorafor's family was among the first black families to move into a white neighbourhood in Chicago's suburbs during the 1980s, and her school classmates and teachers would go out of their way to make it "clear that to be black was to be less than," the 44-year-old says.

It was her frequent trips to Nigeria, where her parents come from, that grounded her.

"And in that way, I also experienced an entire country of people who looked like me, where racism didn't exist, where I had family," she says.

Those trips developed a love for "my own people's stories, mythologies, cosmologies", which she began incorporating into her works of fiction.

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