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Fiston Mujila Wins 2015 Etisalat Prize

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DR Congo’s Fiston Mujila was proclaimed the winner of the 2015 Etisalat Prize for Literature at a colorful ceremony in Lagos, Nigeria.

The honor came due to his exemplary debut novel, Tram 83, which was recently included in the Man Booker International Prize longlist.

Fiston Mujila (black suit, bowtie) receiving a dummy check for the real 15,000 sterling pounds he won

Fiston Mujila (black suit, bowtie) receiving a dummy check for the real 15,000 sterling pounds he won

The Awards ceremony at the Intercontinental Hotel on Saturday night was the climax of a long search for Africa’s best debut novel, an arduous literary task that started with a hundred books up for consideration.

In the end, the ultimate prize could have gone to either Fiston Mujila, or Penny Busetto (The Story of Anna P as Told by Herself) or Rehana Rosouw (What Will People Say?). The two ladies are South Africans.

Rehana Rossouw and the cover of her novel.

Rehana Rossouw and the cover of her novel.

Penny Busetto

Penny Busetto

As winner of the Etisalat Prize, Mr. Fiston Mujila will take home a £15,000 check, a high end phone/tablet, a Montblanc Meisterstück pen (these are high end writing instruments) and an Etisalat Fellowship, offered at the University of East Anglia, where Fiston will be mentored by Prof. Giles Foden (Last King of Scotland).

Additionally, Etisalat will buy a thousand copies of each of the three novels that made the shortlist; these copies will then be distributed to libraries, book clubs, and suchlike facilities across the continent in order to publicize the authors.

Besides this, Etisalat will also fully sponsor book tours across three African cities for these shortlisted works, for the same reason as above.

The Etisalat Prize is open to writers of African nationality for their debut book (more than 30,000 words) published in the 24 months prior to its award cycle. It was first awarded in 2014.

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