2016 has been a rather dark and gloomy year, to say the least. Tragic news of loss and violence seems to be the mainstay of our social media timelines. While it is important to pay attention to these unfortunate happenings around the world and to canvass for change, we also want to hold on to happy news when they come along.
In the spirit of sharing and celebrating uplifting news, we would like to spotlight Chika Unigwe’s amazing couple of weeks.
On July 7th, the Nigerian author and Brown University Professor was announced as a judge on the 2017 Man Booker International Prize. It used to be that we were elated when an African writer was shortlisted on a high profile literary prize. But today, we get to celebrate the fact that one of our own is sitting on the judging panel making the big decisions. Congrats to Unigwe, who, in the few years, has become a powerful influencer in the African literary community and totally deserves this opportunity to hand-pick the best in fiction translated in English.
She’s barely catching her breath from this news when she is announced as one of the 11 shortlisted writers for Africa’s richest Prize—the Nigerian Prize for Literature. This comes after she won the 100,000 dollar prize in 2012 for her bestselling novel On Black Sister’s Street. This time around, it is her 2014 novel Night Dancer that gets her on the shortlist.
Clearly, when it comes to reaching for the stars, Unigwe is not one to hold back! We wish her all the best!