The Etisalat Prize for Literature has grown to be one of the major prizes on the continent within just four years of its existence. The prize which is sponsored by Etisalat Nigeria had never had a Nigerian winner till two days ago when Johwor Ile won the award for his book And After Many Days.
According to the Etisalat Prize Profile, besides the £15,000 the winner would have the opportunity of attending a fellowship at the University of East Anglia. Etisalat also purchases 1000 copies of the shortlisted novels and distributes them to schools, book clubs and libraries and the writer receives an engraved Montblanc Meisterstück pen. The prize celebrates new writers of African fiction whose first book which must be more than 30,000 words was published in the previous one year. The shortlisted writers also go on a book tour in three African cities.
Ile’s And After Many Days was shortlisted alongside Julie Iromuanya’s Mr. And Mrs. Doctor and Jacqui L’Ange’s The Seed Thief. The judges made a unanimous decision on the winning book.
According to an earlier press release, the authors were shortlisted by a three-member judging panel comprising Nigerian novelist and poet, Helon Habila (Chair of Judges); South African writer/activist, Elinor Sisulu; and Ivorian writer and Africa39 laureate, Edwige Renée Dro.ed
Previous winners of the Etisalat Prize include NoViolet Bulawayo (Zimbabwe, 2013) for her book We Need New Names, Songeziwe Mahlangu (South Africa, 2014) for his book Penumbra, Fiston Mwanza Mujila (DR Congo, 2015) for his book Tram83.