After a third time, Nigerian writer, Lesley, wins the most prestigious writing prize in Africa. The announcement was made on Monday, 8 July 2019 at the Beveridge Hall, in London.

The dinner night started out with the Chair of the Trustees for the Prize, Ellah Wakatama Allfrey, delivering an opening remark to put everyone present in the mood for what was to come.

Chair of Trustees, Ellah Wakatama Allfrey at the Caine Prize 2019, London
Ellah Wakatama Allfrey

In attendance also was Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne, the president of the Caine Prize. She gave a speech on the importance of the Prize in African writing, “The Caine Prize is a beacon of freedom of speech”. During the speech she made the catchy phrase: Long may the Caine Prize last.

Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne

Dr. Kimanj and fellow judges announced the winner of the £10,000 prize.

The Judges before announcing the winner

Lesley Nneka Arimah had entered the story ‘Skinned’, a speculative piece of work on a world where unmarried women were not allowed to wear clothes. It was her third time being shortlisted for the prize after failing to win it in 2016 and 2017.

Other shortlisted writers will get £500 each. These include: Ngwah-Mbo Nana Nkweti for ‘It Takes A Village Some Say’, Tochukwu Emmanuel Okafor for ‘All Our Lives’, Cherrie Kandie for ‘Sew My Mouth’ and Meron Hadero for ‘The Wall’.

The Shortlisted writers

Last year, Lesley published a short story collection, her first book, ‘What It Means When A Man Falls From The Sky’. It was also announced that the anthology for the 20th Anniversary of the Caine Prize will be released in September 2019.

Omotayo Jones
obinnajones5@gmail.com
An addict with the pen. A student of mathematics and physics, Twitter troll, Facebook comedian and all-round human.

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