Event Host: Jimi Sonuga & Sope Martins; Prize Judges – Sarah Ladipo Manyika & Jamal Mahjoub


Writers, celebrities, and Lagos socialites trouped to the Intercontinental Hotel to celebrate contemporary African literature on March 15th.

It was a fun-filled evening of music, dancing, and theatrical performances.

South Africa’s Songeziwe Mahlungu took the 15,000 pound prize home, making his novel Penumbra the best debut novel by an African author.

Angelique Kidjo stole the show with her electrifying performance. Zimbabwean novelist, Tsitsi Dangaremgba, was the break out star of the night with her killer dance moves.

Wole Soyinka embodied grace and literary pedigree as he sat among the audience sharing in the celebration of a literary tradition he helped create.

Etisalat is the communications company sponsoring the Award. Matthew Wilsher, the C.E.O of Etisalat, was at the event, looking dapper in a classic buba and sokoto.

Sarah Ladipo-Manyinka, who chaired the panel of judges, stunned in a floor-length floral dress with a front slit.

But my favorite look of the evening was Chibundu Onuzo’s little black dress paired with a multi-colored purse and a pair of ivory pumps.

Nigerian celebrities came out in support. Dare Art Alade, Ebuka Uchendu, Mai Atafor and others seemed very at home as they mingled with writers and academics.

The award ceremony was all about celebrating African fiction and having fun while doing it.



Opral Benson; Jamal Mahjoub, Sarah Ladipo Manyika, Songeziwe Mahlangu, Matthew Willsher, and TsiTsi Dangaremgba


Angelique Kidjo


Kunle Afolayan and Angelique Kidjo


Tsitsi Dangaremgba


Evelle: Winner of Nigerian Idol season 4


Nadia Davids, Matthew Wilsher, Chinelo Okparanta, Songeziwe Mahlangu, and Deborah Wilsher


Deborah and Matthew Willsher


Chair of Judging Panel: Sarah Ladipo Manyinka


(L) Chibundu Onuzo, Author of Spider King’s Daughter


Ella Allfrey: Prize Patron


Darey Art Alade & Modupe Thani (Head, Events and Sponsorships, Etisalat Nigeria)


Ugoma Adegoke


Godson Ukeagbu & Kelechi Amadi-Obi


Ebuka Obi Uchendu & Aderonke Adebayo


Wole Soyinka




Angelique Kidjo’s pretty epic dance moves.

Tsitsi Dangaremgba rocking the dance floor.

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I'm finishing up a phd at Duke University where I study African novels, which I believe are some of the loveliest things ever written. Brittle Paper is the virtual space/station where I play and experiment with ideas on how to reinvent African fiction and literary culture.

4 Responses to “Celebrating African Fiction! | Official Photos from The Etisalat Prize Award Ceremony” Subscribe

  1. Eddie Hewitt 2015/04/03 at 7:09 am #

    Mesmerizing – good word. Looks like it was a wonderful evening!

  2. CAMBABOOKS 2015/04/03 at 8:31 am #

    Awesome event! Would have been nice to attend.

  3. Emeka Dike 2015/04/05 at 8:30 pm #

    I missed out on this. When is the entry 4 the 2015 edition commencing?


  1. Applications Now Open for the £15,000 Etisalat Prize for Literature | Brittle Paper - 2015/07/20

    […] beautiful award gala and watched Vine clips of Tsi tsi Dangaremgba’s epic dance moves. [Click HERE if you missed […]

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I hold a doctorate in English from Duke University and recently joined the Marquette University English faculty as an Assistant Professor. I love teaching African fiction and contemporary British novels. Brittle Paper is the virtual space/station where I play and experiment with ideas on how to reinvent African fiction and literary culture.

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