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Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Two Nigerians win Kampala Commonwealth awards


KAMPALA --NIGERIA has once again proved to be Africa's literary giant after two of its creative nationals on Thursday won the 2008 Africa Commonwealth Writers Prize.

Mr Sade Adediran's Imagine This and Mr Karen King-Aribisala's The Hangman's Game won Best First Book and Best Book awards respectively.

More than 320 books were entered between September and December 2007, twelve of which made it to the final shortlist from which the two winners emerged.

Having overcome seven South Africans, a Nigerian, a Kenyan and a Gambian, the lucky two, in addition to pocketing £1,000 cash prizes will have their books compete with winning entries from Commonwealth regions of Canada, the Caribbean, Europe South Asia, South East Asia and the South Pacific for the overall Best Book and Best First Book awards that come with another cash prize of £10,000 and £5,000 respectively.

Uganda may have had no ambassador on the shortlist but should pride itself for the fact that the chairman of the four-person panel of judges is Prof. Arthur Gakwandi.

The Ugandan is the author of the acclaimed novel, Kosiya Kifefe.

Last year, Uganda focused its attention on the Commonwealth and the local literature fraternity organised a series of events to celebrate Commonwealth literature as a shared experience during the Chogm meeting in Kampala.

The announcement ceremony took place in Kampala and was attended by writers and scholars.

--Sunday Monitor, March 16, 2008