This year’s winner of the Caine Prize for African Writing was announced in Oxford, UK. The US$10 000 prize is Africa’s richest prize for short story writing and was first awarded in 2000. Rotimi Babatunde’s short story, Bombay’s Republic was picked from a shortlist of five writers who included Melissa Tandiwe Myambo (Zimbabwe), Constance Myburgh (South Africa), Stanley Kenani (Malawi) and Billy Kahora (Kenya).
In Bombay Republic, Babatunde tells of the experiences of Colour Sergeant Bombay during the WWII in Burma.
Chair of judges, the novelist and poet Bernadine Evaristo, praised his “vivid” descriptions. “It is ambitious, darkly humorous and in soaring, scorching prose exposes the exploitative nature of the colonial project and the psychology of independence,” she said. Evaristo had previously spoken of her desire to avoid the “stereotypical narratives” of African fiction when finding a winner, saying she wanted to “show there is a bigger picture” than the “familiar tragic stories” that come from the continent. Guardian
Congrats to Rotimi Babatunde.