Fiston Mwanza Mujila
Fiston Mwanza Mujila

The longlist for the Etisalat Prize for Literature for 2015 was announced today. The prize launched in June 2013 as the first pan-African prize pen solely to debut fiction writers of African citizenship has quickly established itself as one of the most prestigious literary prize for African fiction. Previous winners of the prize include Noviolet Bulawayo for We Need New Names and Songeziwe Mahlangu for Penumbra.

The longlist for the 2015 Etisalat Prize for Literature is:

  • Ifeoluwapo Adeniyi (Nigeria), On the Bank of the River
  • Penny Busetto (South Africa), The Story of Anna P, as Told by Herself
  • Z P Dala (South Africa), What About Meera
  • Kurt Ellis (South Africa), By Any Means
  • Paula Marais (South Africa), Shadow Self
  • Fiston Mwanza Mujila (Democratic Republic of Congo), Tram 83
  • Masande Ntshanga (South Africa), The Reactive
  • Chigozie Obioma (Nigeria), The Fishermen
  • Rehana Rossouw (South Africa), What Will People Say?

The longlist was selected by an esteemed three-member judging panel: Professor Ato Quayson (chair of judges), Professor of English and inaugural Director of the Centre for Diaspora Studies at the University of Toronto (Chair of Judges); Molara Wood, writer, journalist, critic and editor; and Zukiswa Wanner, author of Men of the South and London Cape Town Joburg.

The three nationalities represented this year are Nigeria, South African and Democratic Republic of Congo. It tells the rest of us to take this writing thing a bit seriously. Rising stars are featured here like Chigozie Obioma whose book The Fishermen has featured on every single list that it has entered in recent times. The same applies to Masande Ntshanga and his book The Reactive.

The next stage of this prize is the shortlist which will be announced in December. Being shortlisted means that you go on a multi-city sponsored tour to be announced in December 2015 and will also have 1,000 copies of you books purchased by Etisalat for distribution to schools, libraries and book clubs across the Continent.

Then they will announce a winner in the New Year. This lucky individual will receive £15,000, an engraved Montblanc Meisterstück pen and will attend an Etisalat sponsored fellowship at the University of East Anglia, mentored by Professor Giles Foden, author of The Last King of Scotland.