The different path the Etisalat Prize for Literature is taking
The Etisalat Prize for Literature Award Ceremony is known to put on a concert, fusing different genres of literature and music each year.
Angelique Kidjo headlined the 2014 Award ceremony that saw Songeziwe Mahlangu clinch the prize with Penumbra. 2015’s edition was no different. There were stage adaptations of excerpts from the shortlisted works of Fiston Mujila (Tram 83), Penny Busetto (The Story of Anna P, as Told by Herself), and Rehana Rossouw, (What Will People Say?)
With a cast of actors that included Nollywood veteran Keppy Ekpeyong, the production and presentation were top notch. The audience was also treated to performances by two of the best musicians from the country, Asa and Darey.
As the African literary community waits with anticipation to see who wins the 2016 prize, the team at Etisalat Prize for Literature have released ahead of the ceremony a must watch short film for the first time. “Closed” is an 8 minutes 25 seconds film produced by Tolulope Ajayi and featuring seasoned actor, Seun Ajayi.
The production is topnotch, the storyline and storytelling form is unique, with a sci-fi feel to it. No audible words are spoken for the film’s duration and the message communicated hits hard. “For 65 million Nigerians, illiteracy robs the world of meaning.”
With the release of this short film, The Etisalat Prize for Literature is making a mark. In addition to generating buzz for this year’s shortlisted authors, Jowhor Ile (And After Many Days), Julie Iromuanya (Mr. and Mrs. Doctor), and Jacqui L’Ange (The Seed Thief), Etisalat has released a culturally relevant Public Service Announcement that will long be remembered.
Noteworthy is the fact that The Prize has encouraged literacy from inception. There is a donation of 1,000 copies of all shortlisted books to libraries and schools across the continent. This also serves as a boost for the publishing industry. The winning author gets a monetary reward of 15,000 British Pounds, a high end device, and a fellowship at Angola’s University of East Anglia. All of these has set up the Etisalat Prize for Literature to be one of the most-sought after prizes from the continent.
We can’t wait to see what Etisalat has prepared for the award ceremony coming up on Saturday, May 20th. The literary community has been kept in suspense following the postponement of the earlier slated March date. One thing everyone can be sure of is regardless of whom bags the 2016 Etisalat Prize for Literature Award on Saturday, the team will put together yet another memorable literary event that will fuse all the elements that make the arts colorful and powerful at the same time.
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