Nigerian writer, Rose Okeke has won the James Currey Prize for African Literature for her manuscript, “Child of the Corn.”
The winner was announced at a prize ceremony hosted by OneWorld Publications publisher, Juliet Mabey on 3 September, marking the end of the 3-day James Currey Literary Festival which held at the University of Oxford between 1 and 3 September 2022. The winner receives £1000
The James Currey Prize for African Literature is an annual award for the best-unpublished work of fiction written in English by any writer, set in Africa or on Africans in Africa or in the Diaspora.
It was established in 2020 by Nigerian writer, filmmaker and publisher Onyeka Nwelue, in honour of James Currey, a publisher of academic books on Africa. The first winner of the prize was Ani Kayode Somtochukwu.
The jury for 2022, chaired by Ever Obi, included Indian author and scholar, Dr. Suraj Yengde, Teri Sillo (United Kingdom), Thomas Dukelabik Amanquandor (Ghana), Peace Anyiam-Osigwe (Nigeria), Olukorede S Yishau (Nigeria), and Charmaine R Mujeri (Zimbabwe).
The longlist for the awards was announced on June 1 before the shortlist was revealed on July 1st. Jury chair Ever Obi in an announcement said: “The major work is done.”
The shortlisted writers were:
Rose Okeke (Nigeria), Child of the Corn
Buntu Siwisa (South Africa), Paperless
Esomnofu Ebelenna Tobenna (Nigeria), Madness
Abenea Ndago (Kenya), Lord Kitchener
Mohammed Hammie (Tanzania), Mandiga’s Well.
The James Currey Literature Festival is supported by British Council, British Airways, Daniel Ford International, Bodleian Libraries, African Studies Centre, University of Oxford, Pitanga, Heat African, OneWorld Publications, Abibiman Publishing, Hattus Books, FTWeekend Oxford Literary Festival, La Cave Musik, Punch, World Arts Agency, Y!Naija, Open Country Magazine, Sally Dunsmore, BellaNaija, NaijaTimes, ThisisLagos and James Murua.