The following is from the Feb. 25, 2014, announcement of The Etisalat Prize for Literature. NoViolet Bulawayo, also known as Elizabeth Tshele, graduated from SMU in 2007 with a master's degree in English.
March 28, 2014
Lagos, Nigeria; February 25, 2014: The search for Africa’s most prolific debut fiction writer, the Etisalat Prize for Literature, climaxed last Sunday at the Federal Palace Hotel, Victoria Island Lagos, with NoViolet Bulawayo carting home the coveted prize of £15,000.
At a befitting celebration of first time writers of published fiction books, Bulawayo with her “We Need New Names” was announced winner of the Etisalat Prize out the shortlist which included 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 award was designed to recognize and reward debut writers of fiction in the African region, with the objective of discovering new creative talent from Africa and promoting the burgeoning 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“As a rite of passage, published and unpublished literary works of art have been passed down from generation to generation in Africa.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 from the greats such as Wole Soyinka, Miriama Ba to Ben Okri, Alain Mabanckou and Chimamanda Adichie. As such, Etisalat Nigeria is proud to use its maiden edition of the Etisalat Prize for Literature pan-African award to recognize and celebrate the amazing work done by these unique individuals,” he said. . .
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.
Read the complete announcement.
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