Migritude takes over as Nigerian wins Caine Prize 2013

Tope Folarin.
Tope Folarin.

Migritude was first coined by Kenya Poet and human rights activist Shailja Patel. The concept involves people who leave one space to another for whatever reason be it political, economical or otherwise. The concept has been seen of late quite a bit in literature of people from this continent with both Chimamanda Adichie (Americah) and Noviolet Bulawayo (We need new names) recently unleashing novels about Africans emigrating to the United States.

It looks like this is the wave to watch as the Caine Prize for African literature 2013 was announced last night as Nigeria’s Tope Folarin was announced winner at a dinner held at the Bodleaian Library in Oxford, United Kingdom. Folarin’s story Miracle, set in Texas, USA, in an evangelical Nigerian church where the congregation has gathered to witness the healing powers of a blind pastor-prophet. Religion and the gullibility of those caught in the deceit that sometimes comes with faith rise to the surface as a young boy volunteers to be healed and begins to believe in miracles.

The writer beat out 96 entrants from 16 countries to win the prize and receive £10,000.

Speaking at the prize ceremony, the Chair of Judges, Gus Casely-Hayford said, “Tope Folarin’s ‘Miracle’ is another superb Caine Prize winner – a delightful and beautifully paced narrative, that is exquisitely observed and utterly compelling”.

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