Commonwealth Short Story Prize 2016 Africa winner announced

Faraaz Mahomed
Faraaz Mahomed

Faraaz Mahomed is the winner of Commonwealth Short Story Prize 2016 in the Africa region.

The winner of the African region of the Commonwealth Short Story Prize was announced today and the plaudits went to South African native Faraaz Mahomed. Mahomed who beat out six other African entrants from Nigeria and South Africa goes home with the £2,500 prize money. With his win he goes on to compete with folks from other regions where he could possibly bag an extra £5,000. His competitors in this endevour are from the Pacific – Tina Makereti (New Zealand), Asia – Parashar Kulkarni (India), Canada and Europe – Stefanie Seddon (UK), and Caribbean – Lance Dowrich (Trinidad and Tobago).

Previous winners of this prize include Lesley Nneka Arimah who won it last year and Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi who won it in 2014. Makumbi went on to win the main prize later in the year.

Speaking after his win, Mahomed said, “I am an unseasoned writer, who continues to struggle with the insecurities and anxieties of inexperience. Winning the Commonwealth Prize for the African region is more than an accolade, it’s a prompting to continue down this path.”

His story called The Pigeon is a brief and turbulent affair, reflected through the narrator’s close relationship with a peculiar confidant will be available to read on Granta from 18 May 2016.

The story suitably impressed the judges who were looking at the qualified entries. Judge Helon Habila said, “The Africa region included stories on almost every conceivable theme, accentuating the endless complexity and beauty of the continent; a testament to the inexhaustible talent that abounds there. The Pigeon is a carefully and patiently woven tale about love, lust, guilt, and escape. It illustrates just how, as humans, we will always come short of our ideals, and we must learn to live with that.”

The overall winner of the prize will be announced on June 2016.

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