Lagos – Etisalat Nigeria, the sponsor of the Etisalat
Prize for Literature, has lauded the wealth and diversity of African literature
as the prize winner of the accolade was announced.
Fiston Mwanza Mujila, the Democratic Republic of Congo-born
poet and novelist has emerged the winner of the annual award.
“We are delighted again to celebrate the richness and
strength of African literature,” Chief Executive Officer of Etisalat Nigeria
Matthew Willsher, said.
He explained this year’s theme, “Representing the Diversity
of African Voices.”
“Diversity is somehow wonderful in its own right, but its
importance is not for its intangible beauty, it is that diversity is a huge
source of innovation. Africa's diversity is increasingly recognised as it
brings new approaches to world literature while innovation is very important in
the literary world,” said Willsher.
He won for his first novel, Tram 83.
Also read: Etisalat Prize for Literature announces 2015 longlist
Originally written in French, Tram 83 was translated into
English by Roland Glasser and published by Deep Vellum.
The 35-year-old Mujila is the first Francophone writer to
win the prestigious Etisalat Prize, the first ever pan-African prize that
celebrates debut fiction books by African authors.
He has been presented with a £15 000 cheque, an engraved
Montblanc Meisterstück and an Iphone 6S.
He will also have the opportunity to attend the Etisalat
£13 000, at the prestigious University of East Anglia,
United Kingdom, under the mentorship of Professor Giles Foden.
Sponsored by the mobile network operators, the Etisalat Prize
also aims to promote the publishing industry at large and will therefore
purchase 1000 copies of shortlisted books for donation to schools, book clubs
and libraries across Africa.
- CAJ News