BY OSA AMADI
The three shortlisted titles are: Stay with Me by Nigeria’s Ayobami Adebayo; What it Means When a Man Falls Down From the Sky by Lesley Nneka Arimah, also a Nigerian; and Asylum by Marcus Low, from South Africa.
This shortlist announcement follows the long list unveiled in December 2017, which featured nine books chosen by the judges: Nigerian academic and poet Harry Garuba (Chair), Ugandan writer Doreen Baingana, and South African writer Siphiwo Mahala.
The judges are now faced with the task of deciding which of these three impressive first-time writers will win the 2018 9mobile Prize for Literature. The winner will be announced during the Grand Finale event to be held this year.
The chair of judges, Professor Harry Garuba, said the three finalists were selected after a thorough, objective and painstaking review of their books.
Director, Brand and Experience, 9mobile, Elvis Ogiemwanye, expressed satisfaction that every stage of the 2018 9mobile Prize for Literature has been inspiring. He further commended the judges and patrons for their diligence; while restating the company’s support for African literature.
The winner of the 9mobile Prize will receive £15,000, an engraved Montblanc Meisterstück pen, and a 9mobile-sponsored fellowship at the University of East Anglia, where he/she will be mentored by renowned literature teacher Professor Giles Foden, author of The Last King of Scotland, while all three finalists will have copies of their books purchased by 9mobile for distribution to schools, libraries and book clubs across Africa.
This is in fulfillment of the company’s goal of making books available across the continent, and developing the publishing industry.