JOWHOR Ile, a Nigerian writer has been named the winner of the 2016 edition of the Etisalat Prize for Literature, the most prestigious pan-Africa literary prize for first-time novelists of African origin.
Ile was announced winner of the prize for his novel, And After Many Days at an award presentation ceremony on Saturday, May 20, 2017, in Lagos, Nigeria.
He received £15,000 prize money, an engraved Montblanc Meisterstück pen, and an Etisalat-sponsored fellowship at the University of East Anglia where he will be mentored by Professor Giles Foden, author of The Last King of Scotland.
Another Nigerian, Julie Iromuanya, author of the book, Mr & Mrs Doctor, and a South African, Jacqui L’Ange, author of The Seed Thief, emerged as the runners-up for the prize.
Ile’s novel was unanimously selected as the winning book among the three shortlisted titles by the three-member Judging Panel chaired by award-winning novelist and poet, Helon Habila. Other members of the panel are Edwige-Renée Dro and Elinor Sisulu.
“Born in 1980 and bred in the city of Port Harcourt, Nigeria, Ile took to writing early”.
Habila said Ile’s novel, And After Many Days, met the required standards of originality, creative excellence and African sensibility, in keeping with the objective of the Etisalat Prize, which is to promote literary excellence in Africa.
Chief Executive Officer, Etisalat Nigeria, Matthew Willsher, congratulated the winner and the runners-up, and restated the company’s commitment to continuously offer Nigerians and other Africans the best platforms to express their passion and creativity.
“From the outset, our vision at Etisalat has been to support innovation, creativity and talent development. This is why we have stayed focused on providing platforms that enable people, not only communicate and stay in touch with one another, but also to express their individual creative abilities,” he said.
Born in 1980 and bred in the city of Port Harcourt, Nigeria, Ile took to writing early and has had some of his short stories published in McSweeney’s Quarterly and Litro Magazine.
His 256-page novel, And After Many Days, set in Port Harcourt in the oil-rich Niger-Delta region of Nigeria, tells the story of a family whose 17-year old son and sibling, Paul Utu, goes missing during the rainy season of 1995. Burdened with the sudden loss, the family is torn apart, as their search for answers uncovers several family secrets.
As part of the annual prize, Ile and the two runners-up will participate in an Etisalat-sponsored multi-city book tour. Furthermore, Etisalat will purchase 1,000 copies of their books for distribution to schools, libraries and book clubs across Africa.
Past winners of the Etisalat Prize for Literature include Democratic Republic of Congo’s Fiston Mwanza Mujila (2015), for his novel, Tram 83; South African writer, Songeziwe Mahlangu (2014) for his novel, Penumbra and Zimbabwean writer NoViolet Bulawayo (2013) for her novel, We Need New Names.
Ex-Oyo ALGON boss rejoices with Ibarapa-born billionaire Ayandele at 60
Former Chairman, Association of Local Governments of Nigeria )ALGON) in Oyo State, Chief Ademola Ojo has felicitated with All Progressives Congress (APC) Chieftain, Dr Olusola Ayandele as he clocked 60.
Ojo, described the Ibarapa-born billionaire as a patriot, politician and leader who have contributed to the advancement of the nation’s democracy as well as nurtured many individuals to greatness.
The ex-council gaffer states this in a statement he personally signed and made available to newsmen on Saturday in Ibadan the state capital.
Ayandele was an APC governorship aspirant in the 2019 general election and presently a senatorial hopeful.
According to the ex-ALGON Chief, the renowned businessman and philanthropist had brought great political, economic as well as social success to the state and Nigeria.
“I feel inspired and motivated most times by your doggedness, forthrightness and knack for truth at all times. You are leader worthy of emulation.
“I celebrate you my dear brother and leader. Your courage, character, wisdom, strength and simplicity stands you out always. May the Almighty fill your future with blessings, ” he said.
Also, Mr Olusola Adeleke, a Personal Assistant to Ayandele, joined to felicitate his boss whom he described as reliable, dependable and visionary boss.
He described Ayandele as a renowned businessman, philanthropist, leader and political gargantuan with uncommon sagacity.
“Your commitment and selfless service to humanity has brought tremendous development to Ibarapaland, Oyo State as well as Nigeria. You are a rare gem boss and you will forever be appreciated.
“I wish you more years of sound health, peace and glory as you celebrate. Happy birthday to my dear boss,” he submitted.
Oyo APC scribe celebrates Ayandele at 60
Caretaker Secretary of the All Progressives Congress in Oyo state, Hon. Mojeed Olaoya, has described the former gubernatorial aspirant of the party in the state, Dr. Olusola Ayandele, as a pride to Nigeria and humanity as a whole.
Olaoya remarked while celebrating the 60th birthday of the Ibarapa-born Ayandele who is a staunch player in the business and political space of the country.
In a statement issued in Ibadan on Friday and which he personally signed, Olaoya expressed his delight about Ayandele being always available to help the cause of the poor and less-privileged in the society.
“For the good people of Ibarapaland, Oyo state and Nigeria in general, the man (Olusola Ayandele) is a rare blessing and he deserves to be celebrated everyday having made a lot of difference as a businessman, politician and philanthropist for a very long time.
“As an academic and scholar, Ayandele made his indelible mark by imparting knowledge on a great population of young people. And more importantly, his positive contribution to the economy of Nigeria cannot be underestimated as he is leading investor and creator of employment opportunities of all time. To crown it all, Dr. Ayandele decided to dabble into partisan politics to enable him do more for the society and he has not disappointed his people.
“To this end, it is worthwhile to join several thousands of people globally to celebrate the enigma known as Eruobodo on this auspicious occasion of his 60th birthday anniversary as we pray God to grant him the opportunity of long life, sound health and prosperity”, the statement added.
Oyo commissioner, Olatunbosun urges citizens to disregard panic messages over ultimatum to herdsmen
Oyo State Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Dr. Wasiu Olatubosun has disclosed that citizens of the State should disregard a voice note message urging people in Ibadan to stay indoors on Friday 22nd of January due to a purported ultimatum issued by some individuals to a Fulani Community in Igangan, Ibarapa area of Oyo State.
Recall that the State governor, Engr. Seyi Makinde has warned individuals to respect the constitutional rights of any Nigerian to live anywhere in the country in a peaceful manner and condemned the said ultimatum in a state broadcast to the people of the state
A voice note, being circulated on Wednesday by one woman from London simply known as ‘Remi’ has urged residents of Ibadan to stay indoors on Friday so as to avoid any crisis that might arise from the outcome of the ultimatum issued to the Fulani Herdsmen Community in Igangan.
Olatubosun said the message was targeted at causing panic among the people and to tarnish the efforts of the present administration in tackling insecurity in the State.
He said Oyo State indigenes at home and in the diaspora ought to give support to the government and not to cause disaffection and unnecessary panic over an issue that has been adequately addressed by the government and concerned security agencies.
He added that the people of the State, especially in Ibadan should go about their businesses without fear of molestation or attack from any quarter.
“It is funny to hear that somebody was sending voice note from London, warning Ibadan people not to venture out on Friday because of an ultimatum issued to a Fulani Herdsmen Community in Igangan, in Ibarapa area.
“This is an issue that has been addressed by the government that nobody has the power to give such ultimatum, the constitution of Nigeria does not allow for it, especially when the said Community is not constituting security threat to lives and properties of the people.
“The government of Oyo State and security apparatus are working around the clock to give the people of the State the required peaceful atmosphere that will engender economic growth, we therefore urge our people, especially in Ibadan to ignore the voice note message and go about their normal businesses without fear of molestation or attack from any quarter.”
The commissioner called on the residents of the State to be wary of scaremongers who he said could create psychological crisis where such was not in existence.
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