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Friday 13 March 2015

Etisalat to Announce Winner of 2014 Prize for Literature

Nigeria’s most innovative telecommunication company, Etisalat, will conclude the search for Africa’s best debut fiction writer, the Etisalat Prize for Literature at a prestigious awards ceremony on Sunday, March 15th at the Intercontinental Hotel in Lagos.

The ceremony will feature performances by Grammy award winning singer and song-writer, Angelique Kidjo who is billed to thrill a selection of high profile guests including writers, book critics and academics from across Africa.

The shortlisted writers who would be battling for the prize and their books are Nadia Davids, An Imperfect Blessing published by Random House Struik-Umuzi; Chinelo Okparanta, Happiness Like Water published by Granta Publication and Songeziwe Mahlangu, Penumbra published by Kwela Books, Imprint of NB Publishers. The three contenders were selected from a long list of nine writers after a long judging process chaired by Sarah Ladipo Manyinka.

In addition to the Prize for Literature, the winner of the Flash Fiction Category will be announced from the trio of Chinua Ezenwa-Ohaeto, I saved my Marriage; Irabor Justin Ikhide, These Words I Do Not Speak and Neemah Komba, Setting Babu on Fire.

The Prize aimed at recognizing and celebrating writers and other members of the literary community across Africa saw Zimbabwean NoViolet Bulawayo emerge winner of its maiden edition for her book We Need New Names.


Chief Executive Officer, Etisalat Nigeria, Matthew Willsher has expressed optimism that the second edition will reveal yet another literary talent because the competition attracted high quality writers. He noted that the company through the Prize is poised to encourage talents and improve literacy in the African continent.

“We are delighted to have created this Prize that celebrates African fiction writers and the publishing industry. We believe that with this Prize, we will reward new talents and encourage further involvement in literature”, he said.

Meanwhile the three shortlisted writers will conclude their book review tour on Friday, March 13th at Terra Kulture in Lagos where they will read, share and autograph their works.

The winner of the Etisalat Prize for Literature 2014 will be presented with a cheque of £15,000, an engraved Montblanc Meisterst├╝ck and will attend the Etisalat Fellowship at the prestigious University of East Anglia, mentored by Prof Giles Foden, author of the Last King of Scotland.

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