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Another Nigerian wins Caine Prize, Africa’s leading literary award

By Transport & Business Express on 03/07/2012

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Nigeria’s Rotimi Babatunde has followed the path of three of his compatriots by winning the 2012 edition of the coveted Caine Prize for African Writing. He achieved the feat with his short story, ‘Bombay’s Republic’ published last year in Vol. 3.9 of ‘Mirabilia Review’.

Other Nigerians who previously won the award widely regarded as Africa’s leading literary prize are Helon Habila (2001), Segun Afolabi (2005), and EC Osondu (2009).

Babatunde was announced as this year’s winner hours ago The Caine Prize Chair of Judges, Bernardine Evaristo MBE, at a dinner held at the Bodleian Library in Oxford, England.

According to Evaristo, “Bombay's Republic vividly describes the story of a Nigerian soldier fighting in the Burma campaign of World War Two. It is ambitious, darkly humorous and in soaring, scorching prose exposes the exploitative nature of the colonial project and the psychology of Independence.”

The Ibadan-based Babatunde is also a poet and playwright. He is a winner of the Meridian Tragic Love Story Competition organised by the BBC World Service. His plays have been staged and presented by institutions in the USA and UK.

To clinch the £10,000 (about N2.5 million) prize money, Babatunde beat other shortlisted writers, namely, Billy Kahora (Kenya), Stanley Kenani (Malawi), Melissa Tandiwe Myambo (Zimbabwe) and Constance Myburgh (South Africa).

Photo Caption
Rotimi Babatunde

Source TBE

Posted 03/07/2012 11:43:08 PM

 

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