Its that day ladies and gentlemen. Tonight The Caine Prize for African Writing will be announcing its sixteenth winning writer at a kick ass dinner at Oxford’s Bodleian Libraries. The Caine Prize is named in celebration of the late Sir Michael Caine, former Chairman of Booker plc, who was Chairman of the ‘Africa 95’ arts festival in Europe and Africa in 1995 and for nearly 25 years Chairman of the Booker Prize management committee. It is the most followed writing competition on the continent today.
This event is happening just after the Africa Writes event that has been going on in England. For more information about Africa Writes try http://africawrites.org/ or our friends at Bookshy with Next Weekend in London: Africa Writes 2015, African Literature and Literary Magazines and What are your Africans Books to Inspire?
Now this years Caine Prize winner shall receive £10,000, the same amount of money that was given for the prize 15 years ago which kinda sucks if you consider inflation. Apart from the fact that the Caine Prize doesn’t take inflation into its calculations, the winners will be announced by the chair of judges and award-winning South African writer, Zoë Wicomb. The people on the shortlist include;
· Segun Afolabi (Nigeria) for “The Folded Leaf” in Wasafiri (Wasafiri, London, 2014)
Caine Prize winner 2005 for “Monday Morning”
Read “The Folded Leaf”
· Elnathan John (Nigeria) for “Flying” in Per Contra (Per Contra, International, 2014)
Shortlisted in 2013 for “Bayan Layi”
· F. T. Kola (South Africa) for “A Party for the Colonel” in One Story (One Story, inc. Brooklyn, New York City, 2014)
Read “A Party for the Colonel”
· Masande Ntshanga (South Africa) for “Space” in Twenty in 20 (Times Media, South Africa, 2014)
· Namwali Serpell (Zambia) for “The Sack” in Africa39 (Bloomsbury, London, 2014)
Shortlisted in 2010 for “Muzungu”
Read “The Sack”
What is an award ceremony without a little bit of controversy. This year it stems from the good people at The Guardian. Recently they went and published an article by Chimamanda Adichie without her permission which they apologised profusely. This time round they went and picked up the words of Namwali Serpell for one of their pieces without their permission. You can fine the article on her blog here.
So who’s going to win this one? I’m going out on a limb and putting my money on South African Masande Ntshanga. He emerged in 2013 when he won the PEN International New Voices award and has been doing big things since.