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Nigerian Writer Jowhor Ile wins 2016 Etisalat Literature Prize for Literature

Jowhor Ile, a Nigerian writer, is winner of the 2016 Etisalat Literature Prize for Literature, after his book ‘And after Many Days’ was the panel of judges’ favorite.

He was announced as winner at the Grand Finale of the competition on Saturday in Lagos.

The Etisalat Prize for Literature is the first ever pan-African prize celebrating first time writers of published fiction books. The prize aims to serve as a platform for the discovery of new creative talent out of the continent and invariably promote the burgeoning publishing industry in Africa.

The wining book ‘And after Many Days’ was published in Nigeria by Kachifo Limited.

Jacqui L’Ange’s The Seed Thief (South Africa), and Juliet Iromuanya’s Mr and Mrs Doctor (Nigeria) were other the other top entries and runners-up.

Helon Habila, a Nigerian poet and novelist, also the Chair of Judges, said the three writers were selected from a long list after fulfilling some criteria.

”In addition to originality of voice and literary excellence, our purpose was to also select a work that portrays an African sensibility”, Habila said.

Other judges at the award ceremony were South African writer/activist, Elinor Sisulu and Ivorian writer and Africa39 laureate, Edwige Renée Dro.

Jowhor Ile will get £15,000, an engraved Montblanc Meisterstück pen, an Etisalat sponsored book tour to three African countries,
Etisalat-sponsored fellowship at the University of East Anglia, and would be mentored by Professor Giles Foden, author of The Last King of Scotland.

The two runners-up will be sponsored in a multi-city book tour as Etisalat will buy 1,000 copies of their books for donation to schools, libraries and book clubs across Africa with the aim of promoting the reading culture and the publishing industry at large.

Fiston Mwanza Mujila from The Democratic Republic of Congo (Tram 83, 2015); South African creative writer Songeziwe Mahlangu (Penumbra, 2014) and Zimbabwean writer NoViolet Bulawayo (We Need New Names, 2013) are past winners of the award.

Solomon Obende
Solomon Obende is a graduate of Public Administration from the prestigious Ambrose Alli University who is passionate about communications for development. He is proficient in crafting effective social media strategies. He listens to Jimmy Cliff's songs daily.

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