Dele Meiji Fatunla has been appointed the new Administrator of the Caine Prize. The Prize had announced its search for a replacement for Dr Lizzy Attree, who left in January of this year. Mr Fatunla took up the role on June 1.
Formerly Head of Communications at the Royal African Society, Dele “will be responsible for the day-to-day management of the Caine Prize, liaising with trustees, writers and key partners in Africa, the UK and the US.” Fatunla will work “with publishers, schools, and literary and cultural organisations in Africa and around the world,” and “play an important role in the efforts of the Caine Prize to promote contemporary African literature and African writers, and to develop emerging literary talent on the continent.”
Commenting on the appointment, the Chair of the Caine Prize, Dr Delia Jarrett-Macauley, said:
I am delighted that Dele will be joining the Caine Prize. He brings huge administrative experience, having served at a senior level in communications at the Royal African Society. He has also been involved in human rights and contemporary African literature programmes for a number of years, and this insight will be a great asset to the Caine Prize as we continue to highlight and celebrate the diversity of African writing.
Fatunla, who has also worked on projects with the British Council, as well as with Africa-focused publishers and magazines, said:
I am honoured to be joining the Caine Prize, a wonderful and vital part of the ecosystem supporting African literature and cultural production in Africa and around the world. I’m looking forward to joining the team and working with the Chair, the Board of Trustees, Council members, and our partners to promote the growth of the vibrant African literary sector we have today.
The Caine Prize has had a rocky year. Following the departure of Lizzy Attree, the 2018 Prize panel of judges took a hit when Alain Mabanckou resigned from it. The subsequent shortlist has since been met with heavy criticism and has been described as the Prize’s worst in years. The 2018 Prize ceremony, in partnership with SOAS, University of London, will be held on July 2 and would be available for streaming online.
Congratulations to Dele Meiji Fatunla. Brittle Paper is rooting for him.