Ile wins Etisalat Prize for Literature Award

Jowhor IIe, a Nigerian writer, has emerged winner of the 2016 edition of the Etisalat Prize for Literature Awards, which held over the weekend at the Federal Palace Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos.

lle won the sum of £15,000 and an engraved Montblanc Meisterstück pen, among other gifts for the most prestigious literature prize for first-time fiction writers of African origin, with his novel “And After Many Days”.

Another Nigerian, Julie Iromuanya, author of the book, “Mr. & Mrs. Doctor”, and a South African, Jacqui L’Ange, author of “The Seed Thief” emerged as the first and second runners up respectively.

Ile’s announcement followed the unanimous selection of his book by the panel of judges, which was chaired by a multiple award-winning novelist and poet, Helon Habila.

While congratulating the winners, Chief Executive Officer, Etisalat Nigeria, Mr. Matthew Willsher, restated the company’s commitment to offering Nigerians and other Africans the best platform to express their passion and creativity.

Born in 1980 in Port Harcourt, Ile took to writing early and has had his short stories published in McSweeney’s Quarterly and Litro Magazine.

His 256-page novel, “And After Many Days”, which was set in Port Harcourt in the oil-rich Niger-Delta region of Nigeria, tells the story of a family whose 17-year old son and sibling, Paul Utu, went missing during the rainy season of 1995.

Burdened with the sudden loss, the family was torn apart, as their search for answers uncovered several family secrets.

In addition to the prize money, other rewards for Ile include an Etisalat-sponsored fellowship at the University of East Anglia, where Prof. Giles Foden, author of “The Last King of Scotland”, will mentor him.

Ile and the two runners up will participate in a multi-city book tour of three African countries also t0 be sponsored by Etisalat Nigeria. Furthermore, Etisalat will purchase 1,000 copies of the books by the three authors for distribution to schools, libraries and book clubs across Africa.

Past winners of the Etisalat Prize for Literature include Democratic Republic of Congo’s Fiston Mwanza Mujila, with his novel, “Tram 83’; South African writer, Songeziwe Mahlangu  with his novel, “Penumbra” and Zimbabwean writer,  NoViolet Bulawayo with her novel, “We Need New Names”.


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