Zimbabwean writer Noviolet Bulawayo was the winner of the inaugural Etisalat Prize for African Literature earlier this year for her book “We Need New Names.” Apart from the US$15,000 prize money she was also supposed to participate in a unique £10,000 fellowship to the winner of the Etisalat Prize for Literature lasting four months in the UK, at the University of East Anglia in Norwich and mentored by Professor Giles Foden, author of the Last King of Scotland. As a fellow she would take residency at the University of East Anglia joining members of the school of literature, drama and creative writing.
It has emerged that Noviolet Bulawayo has given up the fellowship on behalf of the runner up Yewande Omotoso. Bulawayo already had commitments with Stanford University so it made perfect sense to cede part of her prize to Omotoso. Nigerian Omotoso who is based in South Africa was nominated for the prize for her book, Bom Boy.
The two are set to attend the World’s Literature Festival 2014 which takes place during the fellowship. The festival is run by Writers Centre Norwich and hosts a gathering of writers from across the globe to celebrate and discuss works of literature. Nobel Laureate and MAN Booker Prize Winner J M Coetzee is one of the writers participating at this year’s festival.
There is no word on whether Bulwayo as part of her CSR will be sharing her cash prize money with other runners up.