Ayobami Adebayo’s Reste Avec Moi was awarded the Prix Les Afriques 2020 in an announcement made on November 27, 2020.
Prix Les Afriques was created by the Swiss lawyer Ngoãn Beti founded association La Cene Littéraire in 2015. It is awarded annually to an African or writer of African descent who has written fiction highlighting a human, societal, ideological, political, cultural, economic, or historical issue related to Africa or its diaspora. Prix Les Afriques aims at giving greater exposure to African authors and authors of African descent. It has been won previously by Elnathan John (2019), Kei Miller (2018), Abdelaziz Baraka Sakin (2017), and (2016).
The Reading Committee of Prix Les Afriques 2020, presided over by Madame Christelle Ngoulou was made up of Aurore Foukissa, Heloïse Haden, Florence Colinette Haller, Nicole Mikolo, Grâce Minlibe, Flore Agnès Nda Zoa, Marina Ntsonga, Alain Atouba Edjeba, Philippe Bonvin, Cédric Moussavou Koumba and Alain Tito Mabiala. This panel had a longlist of 28 books before was announcing the shortlist on August 12.
The winner of the award for 2020 is Ayobami Adebayo’s Reste Avec Moi. The novel was first published in English under the title Stay with me before being translated into French by Josette Chicheportiche and published by Charleston Editions in 2019.
The work mainly evokes the following themes: marriage, family, patriarchal mentalities and traditions, sterility, mourning, and loneliness. It plunges us into the intimate universe of the two main characters, Akin and Yedidje. The story takes place in the eighties in Nigeria, a double political and social violence will put love in this relationship under severe test
Adebayo gets a cash prize of 6,000 Swiss Francs, a work of art worth 2,500 euros offered by Senegalese painter Momar SECK, and 100 books bought from the publisher as well a re-edition of the award-winning novel in black Africa.