- 2016/2017 apexart New York City (NYC) Fellow
- 2014 Winner Burt Award for African Literature, Kenya Chapter
- 2010 Penguin Prize for African Writing nominee
- Ist Prize, Adult Fiction Category – NBDCK Literary Awards, September 2008 Book Week
2015 Etisalat Prize for Literature Long-List Announced
- Written by Moraa Gitaa
Last Updated: 13 November 2015
The Etisalat Prize long-list is out! This year’s longlist of nine books have been chosen from a field of over 100 titles submitted from across the continent.
The longlist for the 2015 Etisalat Prize for Literature:
Ifeoluwapo Adeniyi (Nigeria), On the Bank of the River
Penny Busetto (South Africa), The Story of Anna P, as Told by Herself
Z P Dala (South Africa), What About Meera
Kurt Ellis (South Africa), By Any Means
Paula Marais (South Africa), Shadow Self
Fiston Mwanza Mujila (Democratic Republic of Congo), Tram 83
Masande Ntshanga (South Africa), The Reactive
Chigozie Obioma (Nigeria), The Fishermen
Rehana Rossouw (South Africa), What Will People Say?
The longlist was selected by an esteemed three-member judging panel: Professor Ato Quayson (chair of judges), Professor of English and inaugural Director of the Centre for Diaspora Studies at the University of Toronto (Chair of Judges); Molara Wood, writer, journalist, critic and editor; and Zukiswa Wanner, author of Men of the South and London Cape Town Joburg.
Judging Panel’s comments:
Professor Ato Quayson: “The range of submissions for the Etisalat Prize this represents the vitality of literary writing on the continent, and the longlist is a selective showcase of the best to be found. The subjects covered in the longlist are so fascinating and varied that it would take another novel just to describe them all. Magnificent!”
Zukiswa Wanner: “The books on the longlist evoked many emotions in me as a judge and as a reader for the originality of their plots and the beauty of the language used. I know I shall be revisiting and gifting to friends many of them long after the winner has been announced.”
Molara Wood: “The longlisted books push the boundaries in their themes and inventive use of language. This is a rich array of bold new writing on what it means to be human in the world today, by irresistible African voices.”
The judges now have the task of selecting a shortlist of three at a retreat in the Seychelles in December. The shortlisted writers will go on a multi-city sponsored tour to be announced in December 2015 and will also have 1,000 copies of their books purchased by Etisalat for distribution to schools, libraries and book clubs across the Continent.
The winner of the 2015 Etisalat Prize for Literature will receive £15,000, an engraved Montblanc Meisterstück pen and will attend an Etisalat sponsored fellowship at the University of East Anglia, mentored by Professor Giles Foden, author of The Last King of Scotland.
The Etisalat Prize for Literature launched in June 2013 is the first pan-African prize that is open solely to debut fiction writers of African citizenship and has now established itself as the most prestigious literary prize for African fiction.
The distinguished Patrons of the Etisalat Prize are noted African writer Ama Ata Aidoo (Ghana), Pulitzer Prize winner Dele Olojede (Nigeria), Former deputy editor of Granta magazine and former senior editor at Jonathan Cape, Random House, Ellah Allfrey, OBE (UK, Zimbabwe), Writer and Intellectual best known for his works of fiction, Kole Omotoso (Nigeria), Editor, writer, broadcaster, consultant and co-founder of Allison & Busby, Margaret Busby, OBE (UK/Ghana) and Novelist, Poet and Playwright, Zakes Mda (South Africa).
Jamaican Marlon James wins 2015 Man Booker Prize
- Written by Moraa Gitaa
Last Updated: 15 October 2015
Jamaican author Marlon James has won the Man Booker Prize for his novel inspired by the attempted assassination of Bob Marley in the 1970s. James was announced as the winner of the £50,000 prize in London on Tuesday.
Michael Wood, chair of the judges, described A Brief History of Seven Killings as the "most exciting" book on the shortlist.
The 680-page epic was "full of surprises" as well as being "very violent" and "full of swearing".
James is the first Jamaican author to win the Man Booker Prize. Receiving the award, he said a huge part of the novel had been inspired by reggae music.
"The reggae singers Bob Marley and Peter Tosh were the first to recognise that the voice coming out of our mouths was a legitimate voice for fiction and poetry."
He admitted it was "so surreal" to win and dedicated the award to his late father who had shaped his "literary sensibilities".
Set across three decades, the novel uses the true story of the attempt on the life of reggae star Marley to explore the turbulent world of Jamaican gangs and politics.
Wood said the judges had come to a unanimous decision in less than two hours.
He praised the book's "many voices" - it contains more than 75 characters - which "went from Jamaican slang to Biblical heights".
He said: "One of the pleasures of reading it is that you turn the page and you're not quite sure who the next narrator will be."
But he acknowledged that some of the content might be too much for some readers.
More judges comments: ‘This book is startling in its range of voices and registers, running from the patois of the street posse to The Book of Revelation. It is a representation of political times and places, from the CIA intervention in Jamaica to the early years of crack gangs in New York and Miami. ‘It is a crime novel that moves beyond the world of crime and takes us deep into a recent history we know far too little about. It moves at a terrific pace and will come to be seen as a classic of our times.’
In addition to his £50,000 prize and trophy, James also receives a designer bound edition of his book and a further £2,500 for being short-listed.
In subsequent interviews since his Booker win, James has said that he almost gave up on writing after his debut novel was rejected by publishers almost 80 times.