WE CAN'T SAY FOR SURE BUT WE THINK NIGERIANS TELL THE BEST STORIES IN AFRICA. AT LEAST NIGERIAN WRITERS KIND OF ARE PROVING THIS. DOUBT IT?
There must be something in the air in Nigeria that makes everyone in the country a good story teller. Okay not everyone in the country but a good crop. From the last generation till date, Nigerian writers have led the rest of Africa in local literature. Today a new generation of Nigerian writers are not only influence the continent but the world at large. From the popular author, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, who had a part of her feminist speech woven into Beyonce's 2015 Flawless single to Ben Okri, whose book The Famished Road birthed Radiohead's Street Spirit (Fade Out), one can say that Nigerians are good at this story telling business.
Nigeria has a buzzing and vibrant literary community. Following the footsteps of the likes of Chinua Achebe, Cyprian Ekwensi and co, young Nigerians are telling their own stories in the most creative ways. Africa’s prestigious prize for literature, the Caine Prize also reflects this. From 2000, at the very the birth of the prize rewarding excellent short story submissions, Nigerian writers have topped with the most win - five awards in total. This is followed by Kenyan writers, then South Africans with three awards each. Once again, the Judges for the Caine Prize for African Writing have shortlist the final-five and three Nigerians Lesley Nneka Arimah, Chikodili Emelumadu, and Arinze Ifeakandu dominate the five-writer shortlist. The shortlist, which was announced by the Chair of judges and award-winning author, Nii Ayikwei Parkes, includes a former Caine Prize shortlistee and features a story translated from Arabic for the second time in the 18-year history of the Prize.
The winner of the Caine Prize will be announced at an award ceremony and dinner at Senate House Library, London, and next month - Monday, July 3, 2017 and will be awarded the sum of £10,000, while other shortlisted writers will receive the sum of £500.
Previous winners of the Caine Prize includes Olufemi Terry from Sierra Leone (2010); NoViolet Bulawayo from Zimbabwe (2011); Nigerian Rotimi Babatunde (2012); Nigerian Tope Folarin (2013); Kenyan Okwiri Oduor (2014); Namwali Serpell from Zambia (2015); and South African Lidudumalingani (2016).
Find the shortlisted stories highlighted below:
Lesley Nneka Arimah (Nigeria) for ‘Who Will Greet You At Home’ published in The New Yorker (USA. 2015).
Chikodili Emelumadu (Nigeria) for ‘Bush Baby’ published in African Monsters, eds. Margarét Helgadóttir and Jo Thomas (Fox Spirit Books, UK. 2015).
Arinze Ifeakandu (Nigeria) for ‘God’s Children Are Little Broken Things’ published in A Public Space 24 (A Public Space Literary Projects Inc., USA. 2016).
Bushra al-Fadil (Sudan) for ‘The Story of the Girl whose Birds Flew Away’, translated by Max Shmookler, published in The Book of Khartoum – A City in Short Fiction Raph Cormack & Max Shmookler (Comma Press, UK. 2016).
Magogodi oaMphela Makhene (South Africa) for ‘The Virus’ published in The Harvard Review 49 (Houghton Library Harvard University, USA. 2016).