Nigeria’s Sarah Ladipo Mayinka is a finalist for the 2021 Audie Award for her first novel In Dependence. The novel was published by Cassava Republic Press and has sold more than three million copies in Nigeria alone.

According to a Cassava Republic’s press release, Sarah’s Audie nomination in this category makes her book the first to be published by an African publishing house in its 26-year history.

The Audie Award, dubbed the ‘Oscar for audiobooks’, is annually presented by the American Audio Publishers Association for audiobooks and spoken word entertainment. Mayinka is nominated in the category of of author-narrator and up with fellow author-narrators Alicia Keys, Danez Smith, Mikel Jollett, Jenny Slate, and Flea.

Previous nominees include Michelle Obama, Tom Hanks, South Africa’s Trevor Noah, and Meryl Streep.

Mayinka’s book was first published in Nigeria by Cassava Republic Press in 2009. It was made a study text for Nigerian students in 2017 until 2019, escalating its sales.

Sarah said she felt “thankful and honoured” because she believes in the power of voice as a “powerful medium”. A lover of audiobooks herself, she cites Toni Morrison reading her novel Beloved and Louise Erdrich reading her novel The Night Watchman, as sources of pleasure.

The winner will be announced at the virtual, live-streamed Audie Awards Gala on March 22nd.

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