This Saturday, May 20, the award ceremony for the 2016 Etisalat Prize for Literature, the biggest and most prestigious in Africa, will hold in Lagos. The final showdown is between Jowhor Ile and Juliet Iromuanya, who are Nigerians, and Jacqui L’Ange, a South African.
At the event, which will be at the Federal Palace Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos the panel of judges will announce the winner of the coveted £15,000 cash prize.
The three shortlisted books include The Seed Thief by Jacqui L’Ange (Umuzi Publishers, South Africa); And After Many Days by Jowhor Ile (Kachifo Limited, Nigeria); and Mr & Mrs. Doctor by Julie Iromuanya (Coffee House Press, USA).
After the winner and the two runners-up have been announced, they are entitled to participate in a multi-city book tour to be sponsored by Etisalat. This is aside from the mouth-watering £15,000, which goes to the winner. Also, the telecom company will buy a thousand copies of the authors’ books and distribute to schools and book clubs across the continent.
Helon Habila, multiple award-winning writer, and chair of judges made it known that the three people on the final shortlisted were selected from a long list of gifted authors with remarkable tales. However, these three displayed ticked the most boxes for the judges. “In addition to the originality of voice and literary excellence, our purpose was to also select a work that portrays an African sensibility,” Habila said.
Other members of the jury are Ivorian writer (Africa39 laureate), and translator, Edwige-Renée Dro and Zimbabwean-born South African writer, Elinor Sisulu.
“The Etisalat Prize entails a rigorous process which the winner and the two runners-up have endured. We are elated by the thoroughness of the entire process; from the call for entries, the long list, the short list and, finally, the award ceremony where the winner will be unveiled,” Matthew Willsher, Chief Executive Officer, Etisalat Nigeria said.