Two Nigerians have been shortlisted for the 2019 Caine Prize for African Writing. They are Lesley Arimah for ‘skinned’ and Tochukwu Okafor for ‘All our lives’.
The Caine Prize is an annual literary award for the best original short story by an African writer, whether in Africa or elsewhere, published in the English language.
The five-writer shortlist for the 20th edition of the Caine Prize was announced, on Monday, by Peter Kimani, this year’s chair of judges and Kenyan author of the award-winning novel ‘Dance of the Jakaranda.’
They include authors from Cameroon, Ethiopia, Kenya, and Nigeria. Other shortlisted writers include Ethiopia’s Meron Hadero for her short story, ‘The Wall’, Cameroon’s Ngwah-Mbo Nana Nkweti for ‘‘It Takes A Village Some Say’ and Kenya’s Cherrie Kandie for ‘Sew My Mouth’.
The 2019 judging panel comprises of Nigerian author and playwright Sefi Atta, shortlisted for the 2006 Caine Prize; acclaimed South African author Margie Orford; Prof Scott Taylor, director of the African Studies Programme at Georgetown University; and Olufemi Terry, Sierra Leone-born author and recipient of the 2010 Caine Prize.
The winner of this year’s £10,000 prize will be announced at an award ceremony at SOAS University of London in July. Each shortlisted writer will also receive £500.
The shortlisted stories will be printed by the UK’s New Internationalist in a special publication to mark the 20th anniversary of the prize, and through co-publishers in 16 African countries.
Their stories will also be printed by new internationalist in a special publication to mark the twentieth Caine Prize award dinner. It will be achieved through co-publishers in 16 African countries that have received a print-ready PDF free of charge.
In 2018, a Kenyan writer, Makena Onjerika, won the Caine Prize for African Writing for her short story entitled ‘Fanta Blackcurrant,’ published in Wasafiri (2017).