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Monday, December 23, 2013

Etisalat proclaims longlist for Literature Prize

Celebrated fastest growing telecommunications services company, Etisalat Nigeria, has given the names of the winners of its inaugural edition of the Etisalat Prize for Literature, ITRealms reports.

The Prize launched in June 2013, ITRealms gathered is the first pan-African prize that is open solely to debut fiction writers of African citizenship and poised to become one of Africa’s most prestigious literary prizes for African fiction.

The longlist made available to ITRealms in alphabetical order includes Bom boy by Yewande Omotoso, Daughters Who Walk This Path by Yejide Kilanko, Finding Soutbek by Karen Jennings, Sarah House by Ifeanyi Ajaegbo, The Great Agony And Pure Laughter Of The Gods by Jamala Safari’s, The Spider King's Daughter by Chibundu Onuzo, The Spiral House by Claire Robertson, The Whispering Trees by Abubakar Adam Ibrahim, and We Need New Names by NoViolet Bulawayo,

The judges for the maiden edition of the Etisalat Prize for Literature included Chair of Judges, Professor Pumla Dineo Gqola; Professor at the University of Witwaterstrand, South Africa; writer and academic Sarah Ladipo Manyika and Managing Editor of Kwani Trust, Billy Kahora.

The judges as gathered by ITRealms, received entries from across the continent and were faced with the daunting task of selecting the nine books to cross the first hurdle.

For Pumla Dineo Gqola, he had never been more in love with the range, depth and wonder that is literature, by writers in this continent.

“There are some writers that I feel really privileged to have discovered through this Prize," he said.

Also speaking, Acting Chief Executive Officer, Etisalat Nigeria, Mr Matthew Willsher, said that the list is unique in several respects and would go a long way in helping to accomplish the purpose of the Etisalat Prize for Literature. 

“The list of nominees is unique in that six of the nine finalists are books authored by women; five of the nine finalists are Nigerian citizens while the global perspective is covered by the fact that three of the nine publishers are non-African,” he said.

The judges will be faced with the next task of selecting a short list of three novels at a retreat in Morocco in January. The shortlisted writers who will have 1,000 copies of their books purchased by Etisalat and go on a multi-city sponsored tour will be announced on Wednesday the 15th of January 2014.


The overall winner of the Etisalat Prize for Literature will receive £15,000, an engraved Montblanc Meisterst├╝ck and will attend an Etisalat sponsored fellowship at the prestigious University of East Anglia, mentored by Professor Giles Foden, author of the Last King of Scotland.

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