Bulawayo wins maiden Etisalat Prize for Literature

Posted: February 26, 2014 in arts/culture

etisalat prize winnerZimbabwean-born writer NoViolet Bulawayo last Sunday last Sunday at the Federal Palace Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos, ended the intensive search for Africa’s most prolific debut fiction writer, when she was announced winner of the maiden edition of the Etisalat Prize for Literature.

At a befitting celebration of first time writers of published fiction books, Bulawayo with her book titled; We Need New Names, beat two other finalists Yewande Omotosho with Bom Boy, and Karen Jenning with Finding Soutbek.

According to the Acting Chief Executive Officer of Etisalat Nigeria, Matthew Willsher, the Etisalat Prize for Literature was designed to recognize and reward debut writers of fiction in Africa, with the objective of discovering new creative talents from Africa and promoting the growing publishing industry on the continent.

“As a rite of passage, published and unpublished literary works of art have been passed down from generation to generation in Africa. Etisalat Nigeria is indeed pleased to celebrate all authors in the African literary spectrum. As such, Etisalat Nigeria is proud to use its maiden pan-African Prize for Literature to recognize and celebrate the amazing work done by these unique individuals.” He said.

The Zimbabwean-born winner of the Etisalat Prize for Literature, Bulawayo, in addition to the cash prize of £15,000, was presented with an engraved Montblanc Meisterstück pen, a Samsung Galaxy Note and will attend the Etisalat Fellowship at the prestigious University of East Anglia as well as being mentored by Giles Foden – Author of the “Last King of Scotland”. She will also have book tours in three African cities and get the chance to start work on her second book.

An elated Bulawayo specially thanked the judges, patrons, and Etisalat Nigeria for the award and for the opportunity the Etisalat Prize for Literature afforded her.

“I am thankful to the organizers of this event, Etisalat Nigeria for this most excellent and necessary prize. We are all aware of the shortage of literary prizes and it is heart-warming to know that Etisalat Nigeria sees and values the significance of such literary works in Africa,” she said.

Runners-up, Yewande Omotosho and Karen Jenning were presented with Samsung Galaxy notes. They also won book tours to two African cities.

To spice up the occasion, there was a special performance from celebrated African music legend, the Senegalese singer Youssou N’Dour, who performed six songs, including Redemption Song and New Africa.

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