Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ̀̀ is the Future Awards Africa Prize for Art & Culture 2017 winner. The award was given at a ceremony at the Federal Palace Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos on December 9, 2017.
Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ̀̀ first came to our notice when she appeared on the shortlist of the one off Kwani Manuscript prize that was won by Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi with Kintu. It took a while but eventually her book Stay With Me was presented to the book loving public this year. The book about a couple which is having problems conceiving a child in 1980s Nigeria has been embraced by all both on the continent and further afield.
It’s been a beautiful year for the writer. The book was shortlisted for the Bailey’s Prize earlier in the year something that only a handful of Africans have achieved. The young Nigerian has also been featured as a notable or much watch author by the New York Times, The Economist, The Wall Street Journal, The Seattle Pi and many other publications. The book was also just recently longlisted for the defacto debut novel prize for the continent the 9Mobile Prize for Literature 2018.
The juggernaut that is Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ̀̀ was a winner again as she was announced as a winner at the Future Awards Africa Prize 2017 this past Saturday. The Future Awards Africa, also popularly known as The Future Awards, are a set of awards given by The Future Project (TFP), a social enterprise set up with a strong, practical commitment to human and capital development, especially in Africa. The Future Project is the largest home-grown network of policy-makers, business people, and other stakeholders in Young Africa.
The writer who earned the prize for Art & Culture won it in absentia as she was attending the Abantu Book Festival in South Africa. The awards committee cited that winning of the prize came as a result of the work that she has done and how it has been featured in many markets. The writer is the recipient of fellowships and support from institutions including Ox-Bow School of Art, Ledig House, Sinthian Cultural Institute and Hedgebrook. She also has translation rights acquired in 13 countries and a loyal following, Adebayo has become a bright new voice for contemporary fiction out of Nigeria and voice for women everywhere.