Nigeria’s Okparanta battles South Africans for Etisalat Literature prize

Chinelo Okparanta,

Nigeria’s Chinelo Okparanta will compete with two South Africans, Songeziwe Mahlangu and Nadia Davids, for the 2015 Etisalat Prize for Literature.

The three shortlisted works – Happiness Like Water by Chinelo Okparanta; An Imperfect Blessing by Songeziwe Mahlangu and Penumbra by Nadia Davids – beat several other entries for the second edition of the literature award for fiction created in 2013.

The winner will be awarded a cash prize of £15,000 and a high-end device, in addition to a book tour of three African cities.

The winning writer will also embark on the Etisalat Fellowship at the University of East Anglia, which will afford them significant opportunities to network with other writers and publishers and time and resources to work on their second book.

The two runners up will win a book tour and Etisalat will purchase 1,000 copies of all three books for distribution across the continent.

NoViolet Bulawayo, author of We Need New Names, won the inaugural edition of the Etisalat Prize for Literature.

The Zimbabwean, who is now a Stegner Fellow at Stanford University, remarked, “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.”

The winner of the 2014 Etisalat Prize for Literature will be announced at a black tie event on Sunday, March 15 at the prestigious Intercontinental Hotel.

The event will feature performances from the Nigerian Idol Season 4 winner, Evelle and two-time Grammy award winner, Angelique Kidjo.

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