Jowhor Ile, Winner of Etisalat Prize for Literature, 2017. Image credit: NAN

One of the most prestigious literary awards in Africa; the Etisalat Prize Literature has been awarded to Nigerian writer, Jowhor Ile. His debut novel “And After Many Days” won over Jacqui L’Ange’s (South Africa) “The Seed Thief” and and another Nigerian Juliet Iromuanya’s “Mr and Mrs Doctor”.

The award comes with a whopping £15,000, an engraved Montblanc Meisterstück pen and an Etisalat sponsored book tour to three African countries. He will also have an Etisalat-sponsored fellowship at the University of East Anglia, mentored by Professor Giles Foden, author of “The Last King of Scotland”.

Renowned novelist, Helon Habila who sat on the panel of judges was quoted saying “in addition to originality of voice and literary excellence, our purpose was to also select a work that portrays an African sensibility”.

And After Many Days is set in Port Harcourt and is a story of childhood, exploring the balance between the powerful and the powerless and gives an incredible insight as to what it is like to grow up in Nigeria.

The past winners of the Etisalat Prize for Literature include Fiston Mwanza Mujila from The Democratic Republic of Congo (Tram 83; 2015); South African novelist Songeziwe Mahlangu (Penumbra, 2014) and Zimbabwean writer NoViolet Bulawayo (We Need New Names, 2013).

Jowhor Ile is the first Nigerian to win the coveted literary prize. Congrats Jowhor!

Featured image credit: @zaynabtyty