NIGERIAN writer Rotimi Babatunde has won the prestigious Caine Prize for African Writing for 2012.
Babatunde, who lives in the Nigerian state of Ibadan, scooped the US$15 680 prize for his short story Bombay’s Republic, about a Nigerian soldier fighting in Burma during World War II.
He faced competition from shortlisted writers from Kenya, Zimbabwe and South Africa.
The Caine Prize, backed by patrons Wole Soyinka, Nadine Gordimer and JM Coetzee, is awarded annually to an African writer of promise.
South Africa’s Constance Myburgh has been selected for Hunter Emanuel from Jungle Jim while Zimbabwe’s Melissa Tandiwe Myambo caught the judges’ attention for La Salle de Depart from Prick of the Spindle.
Myambo is the author of Jacaranda Journals, a collection of short stories set in Zimbabwe. La Salle de Départ is part of her new collection tentatively entitled Airport Stories.
Jenna Bass, writing as Constance Myburgh, is a South African filmmaker, photographer, writer and retired magician. Her award-winning, Zimbabwe-set short film, The Tunnel, premiered at the Sundance and Berlin Film Festivals and continues to screen internationally. She is currently engaged on her debut feature, Tok Tokkie, a supernatural noir set in Cape Town.
Jenna is also the editor and co-creator of Jungle Jim, a pulp-literary magazine for African writing.
Last year the Caine Prize was won by Zimbabwean writer NoViolet Bulawayo. She has subsequently been awarded the highly regarded two-year Stegner Writing Fellowship at Stanford University, in the United States and her debut novel, We Need New Names, is forthcoming.