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Ugandan Wins Wole Soyinka Prize For Literature

A Ugandan, Harriet Anena has bagged the Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature in Africa.

She won the prestigious award after being chosen from a total of 110 submissions from 11 countries in Africa.

She jointly won the award with Nigerian Poet professor Tanure Ojaide for his work “Songs Of Myself.”

She expressed her delight via Twitter saying she was “super happy” with a picture of her and Wole Soyinka.

Her brilliant work, “A Nation in Labour” was originally published in 2015.

The literature award is a tribute to Wole Soyinka who attended the award ceremony to present the awards to the recipients.

Soyinka, 84, was the first African to be awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature (in 1986) and is a renowned author, poet and playwright.

For his extensive work in the world of literature, the Lumina Foundation established the Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature in Africa in honour of the revered Nigerian writer.

Every two years, the prize, worth $10,000 (N3.5 million), is awarded to the best literary work produced by an African.

Since the inception of the award in 2005, this is the first time it will be won by a Ugandan.

In November, Anena from Gulu scaled through the process when 110 entries were thinned to nine and then cut to three.

Anena from Uganda and Ojaide from Nigeria were co-awarded after the jury chose them as equally deserving of the honour in 2018.

The only other time the prize has been shared was in 2010, when South African Kopano Matlwa (Coconut) and Nigerian Wale Okediran (Tenants of The House) emerged joint winners.

Past winners include Nnedi Okereafor who won in 2008 for her work ‘Zahrah the Windseeker’, co-winners Kopano Matlwa for ‘Coconut’ and Wale Okediran for ‘Tenants of The House’ in 2010

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