The winner of the 9Mobile Prize for Literature was announced yesterday as Ayobami Adebayo for her book, ‘Stay With Me published by Ouida Books.
The Author: Ayobami Adebayo’s stories have appeared in a number of magazines and anthologies, and one was highly commended in the 2009 Commonwealth short story competition. She holds BA and MA degrees in Literature in English from Obafemi Awolowo University, Ife. She also has an MA in creative writing from the University of East Anglia where she was awarded an international bursary for Creative Writing. Ayobami has been the recipient of fellowships and residencies from Ledig House, Hedgebrook, Threads, Ebedi Hills and Ox-Bow. STAY WITH ME- UK (Canongate, March 2017), Nigeria (Ouida Books, April 2017), US (Knopf, August 2017), KENYA (Kwani?, August 2017) is her debut novel.
I am particularly elated by this news because this book literally pushed me to start this blog (see my first blog post/book review – www.rovingbookwormng.com/staywithme. I read the story and never wanted to forget it so I decided to start a journal which will serve as a reminder of the stories I read. This book has birthed a blog which has become much more than I ever imagined it to be and is hopefully growing into something bigger and better for everyone. This is why the news of it’s success makes me also feel like a winner with Ayobami and I congratulate her on her win. It is well deserved.
Ayobami Adebayo is a writer that we should all look out for as I strongly believe she has many more stories to tell and I am looking forward to reading more from her work in the future and wish her the best in all her endeavors.
About the Prize: The 9mobile Prize for Literature (formerly the Etisalat Prize for Literature 2013–16) was created by Etisalat Nigeria in 2013, and is the first ever pan-African prize celebrating first-time African writers of published fiction books. Awarded annually, the prize aims to serve as a platform for the discovery of new creative talent out of the continent and invariably promote the burgeoning publishing industry in Africa. The winner receives a cash prize of £15,000 in addition to a fellowship at the University of East Anglia. The 9mobile Prize for Literature also aims to support publishers by purchasing 1000 copies of all shortlisted books, to be donated to various schools, book clubs and libraries across the African continent. In 2017, Etisalat Nigeria renamed itself 9mobile and the award name changed at the same time.