Etisalat Prize For Literature Finalists Meet With Literary Enthusiasts
Lagos, Nigeria; March 14, 2016: The three shortlisted finalists for the 2015 edition of the Etisalat Prize for Literature, Democratic Republic of Congo’s Fiston Mwanza Mujila and South Africa’s duo of Penny Busetto and Rehana Rossouw, will be meeting with writers and the extended literary community on March 17 in Lagos for an official public reading of their respective books.
The session is a prelude to the grand finale and announcement of the eventual winner of the multi-million prize which includes a fifteen thousand British pound cash reward, an engraved Montblanc Meisterstück pen and an Etisalat-sponsored fellowship at the University of East Anglia, mentored by Professor Giles Foden, author of The Last King of Scotland.
The book reading session provides an avenue for conversations around the thematic thrusts of the books and a peep into the literary world of the shortlisted authors as well as their worldview of African literary culture. It also offers networking opportunities for budding literary talents.
Speaking on this, Head of Events and Sponsorship, Etisalat Nigeria, Modupe Thani, expressed hope that the session will further propagate the company’s vision of adding value to people, especially budding and established writers as well as arts enthusiasts.
“Our vision with the Prize is to tell the story of our ingenuity as Africans through the celebration of contemporary African talents. As it is traditional with us, the Book Reading session brings together the shortlisted authors face-to-face with a select audience to enhance understanding of the messages conveyed in their books, connect aspiring talents to established writers and promote networking among members of the African literary community,” she said.
The third edition of the Etisalat Prize will come to its high point on March 19, 2016, at Intercontinental Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos, with the eventual unveil of the winners in the Fiction Book and Flash Fiction categories. Among expected attendees at the event are a select line of the continent’s up-and-coming as well as established authors, poets and literary enthusiast.
Etisalat Prize for Literature is sponsored by Nigeria’s most innovative telecommunications operator, Etisalat; it is the largest pan-Africa literary initiative for published fiction writers of African origin. It also has the Flash Fiction category award for unpublished short stories writers. Neema Komba of Tanzania won the 2014 edition of the category with her work entitled: ‘Setting Babu on Fire.’
Since inception in 2013, the Prize has produced two winners in Zimbabwean-born NoViolet Bulawayo and South Africa’s Songeziwe Mahlangu for their books, “ We Need New Names ”and “Penumbra” respectively. Both have gone charting strong career paths for themselves on the global stage.
Bulawayo, especially, has gone on to win other literary prizes notable among which include the Los Angeles Times Book Prize Art Seidenbaum Award, and the 2014 Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award for the same book. She is currently serving as a Stegner Fellow at Stanford University.