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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.

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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.

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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.

 

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Opral Benson; Jamal Mahjoub, Sarah Ladipo Manyika, Songeziwe Mahlangu, Matthew Willsher, and TsiTsi Dangaremgba
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Angelique Kidjo
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Kunle Afolayan and Angelique Kidjo
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Tsitsi Dangaremgba
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Evelle: Winner of Nigerian Idol season 4
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Nadia Davids, Matthew Wilsher, Chinelo Okparanta, Songeziwe Mahlangu, and Deborah Wilsher
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Deborah and Matthew Willsher
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Chair of Judging Panel: Sarah Ladipo Manyinka
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(L) Chibundu Onuzo, Author of Spider King’s Daughter
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Ella Allfrey: Prize Patron
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Darey Art Alade & Modupe Thani (Head, Events and Sponsorships, Etisalat Nigeria)
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Ugoma Adegoke
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Godson Ukeagbu & Kelechi Amadi-Obi
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Ebuka Obi Uchendu & Aderonke Adebayo
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Wole Soyinka


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Angelique Kidjo’s pretty epic dance moves.

Tsitsi Dangaremgba rocking the dance floor.