Tshepiso Mabula was announced the winner of the Toyin Falola Prize 2021 at the Ake Festival 2021 on Saturday, October 30, 2021.
The Toyin Fálọlá Prize is an award from Nigerian-based Lunaris aimed at honouring distinguished African scholar and foremost historian, Prof Toyin Fálọlá, whose contributions to the field of African history and culture have continued to place Africa on the map and accord it its deserved recognition. The prize honours his endeavours and contributions to the advancement of African cultures, peoples, myths, and histories. The first winner of the award set up in 2020 was Fayssal Bensalah.
From the 495 eligible submissions from all over the continent, the longlists were revealed on September 30 before the shortlist was announced on October 14. Performing the judging duties were a panel of Nerine Dorman and Akwasi Aidoo.
The winner of the prize, the short story Iphupho Le Vezandlebe by Tshepiso Mabula, was announced at a panel at the Ake Festival by Damilare Bello. Speaking to Bello, Mabula expressed her excitement at winning the prize.
“Thank you first of all to everyone at Lunaris, everyone at the Toyin Falola Prize for believing in my story and choosing it as the winner for this year’s prize. I feel very honoured, I feel very excited and I am just so happy and over the moon that this particular story which has relevance even in my family’s background could have made it this far in a contest like this one. So thank you so so much, I am very happy,” she said.
She goes home with the $1,000 cash prize and a fully-funded travel trip to attend the BIGSAS Festival of African and African-Diasporic Literature in Bayreuth, Germany.
Watch the whole announcement in the below video;