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Nigeria’s Jekwu Anyaegbuna Wins Africa’s Commonwealth Short Story Prize

Nigerian author Jekwu Anyaegbuna has been named
the winner of the 2012 Commonwealth Short Story Prize Africa Region for his story “Morrison Okoli
(1955-2010)”.

Anyaegbuna won £1 000 and will now compete for
the overall Commonwealth Short Story Prize against four other regional winners,
picked from a shortlist of 21: Asia regional winner, Anushka Jasraj (“Radio
Story”); Caribbean regional winner, Diana McCaulay (“The Dolphin Catcher”);
Pacific regional winner, Emma Martin (“Two Girls in a Boat”); and Europe and
Canada regional winner, Andrea Mullaney (“The Ghost Marriage”). The winner of
the £5 000 prize will be announced
at the Hay Festival on 8 June.

While acknowledging the prize he won, Anyaegbuna said:

“There was a public bed situated at the
centre of a
market in a remote
village in Africa.
The bed could kill, yet every villager, male or female,
fought like a lion to lay his/her back on this bed every year.

Whoever succeeded in sleeping on this famous furniture overnight became a servant in the king’s
mother’s fortress. The Commonwealth competition is this bed, and I am immensely
thrilled to have won for Africa. I strongly believe
this prize will provide me with the hoes and shovels to serve my motherland,
Africa, affording me the strength and
opportunity to plough through the thick literary
farmland across the world.”

 Congrats and more grease to his elbow.

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