Press release: we are pleased to announce that the fifth edition of the “AFRICA” literary prize is awarded to the Nigerian novelist Ayòbámi ADÉBÀYÒ for her novel entitled REST WITH ME published by Charleston editions. First, this novel was published in English under the title “Stay with me”. Second, it was translated into French by Josette CHICHEPORTICHE and published by Charleston editions in 2019.
The work mainly evokes the following themes: marriage, the family, patriarchal mentalities and traditions, sterility, mourning and loneliness. It immerses us in the intimate world of the two main characters, Akin and Yedidje. The story takes place in the eighties in Nigeria, a double political and social violence will put the love in this couple to the test.
Ugandan writer Jennifer Makumbi (Prix Les Afriques 2020 shortlist) said of Stay with Me, “It was compulsive reading, Ayobami ADÉBÀYÒ is just awesome. She is an outstanding storyteller! “. Literary columnist Michiko Kakutani (New York Times) also praised this novel. Ella said Ayobami ADÉBÀYÒ was “an exceptional storyteller,” adding, “She wrote not only with extraordinary grace, but also with genuine wisdom about love, mourning and redemption. She wrote a powerful, magnetic and heartbreaking book ”.
Biography and background
Ayòbámi ADÉBÀYÒ was born in Lagos in 1988. Passionate about storytelling since her childhood, she has been writing short stories since the age of nine, drawing inspiration from the oral tradition tales so dear to Nigerian culture. She studied English Literature at Obafemi Awolowo University in Ile-Ife, Nigeria. When she was 19, she participated in a writing workshop organized by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie in Lagos. This had a huge impact on his willingness to write fiction. Stay with me is her first novel.
THE AFRICA PRIZE
The literary prize “LES AFRIQUES” was created in 2015 by the association of readers LA CENE Littéraire. This prize is awarded once by one to an African or Afro-descendant writer of a fiction. This fiction must highlight a human, societal, ideological, political, cultural, economic or even historical cause of the moment in relation to Africa or its diaspora. This prize includes a sum of money of € 5,300, a work of art worth € 3,500, the purchase of 100 copies of the award-winning book or the acquisition of the rights to the award-winning book for the geographic area of Sub-Saharan Africa French speaking.
THE AFRICA PRIZE JURY
This year 2020, the jury chaired by Professor Ambroise KOM was also made up of:
• Boubacar Boris DIOP (novelist, professor of literature)
• Koulsy LAMKO (novelist, professor of literature)
• Bourahima OUATTARA (writer and professor of literature)
• Sada KANE (journalist, literary critic, literary promoter)
• Hortense SIME (doctor, passionate about literature)
The members of the jury underlined the remarkable quality of the books also selected for the selection of the 2020 edition, namely:
– The Confessions of Frannie Langton, Sara Collins, Jamaica, translated from English by Charles Recoursé, (Éditions Belfond).
– Amour, fatherland and crab soup, Johary Ravaloson, Madagascar, (Éditions Dodo Vole).
– Rouge Impératrice, Léonora Miano, Cameroon, (Editions Bernard Grasset)
– Kintu, Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi, Uganda, translated from English by Céline Schwaller, (Éditions Métailié).
A PROPOSAL TO STAY WITH ME
Against the backdrop of the political upheavals in Nigeria in the 1980s, the unforgettable portrait of a woman who chooses freedom … against all odds.
Yejide and Akin live a wonderful love story. From their love at first sight at the University of Ifé, until their marriage, everything happened. Yet four years later, Yejide is still not pregnant. They might be content with their love if Akin, as the eldest son, was not required to offer his parents an heir. Yejide consults all the specialists, doctors and wizards, swallows all the drugs and strange potions… Until the day when a young woman appears on his doorstep. Akin’s second wife. The one who will give him the child so longed for. Upset, mad with jealousy, Yejide knows that the only way to save her marriage is to have a child. Then begin a long and painful quest for motherhood that will require unimaginable sacrifices.
THE AFRICA AWARD WINNERS
As a reminder, the first four winners of the Les AFRIQUES Prize are:
– 2016 Edition: Hemley Boum, Les Maquisards, La Cheminante, 2015
– 2017 Edition: Abdelaziz Baraka Sakin, Le Messie du Darfour, Zulma, 2016
– 2018 Edition: Kei Miller, By the rivers of Babylon, Zulma, 2017
– 2019 Edition: Elnathan John, Born on Tuesday. 2018
ABOUT THE LITERARY SUPPER
The literary CENE is a non-profit association founded on July 1, 2015 by Flore Agnès NDA ZOA MEILTZ (Cameroonian and Swiss lawyer established in Switzerland) and registered in the commercial register of the Canton of Vaud under number CHE-256.373.796.
This association is developing many initiatives to promote African and Afro-descendant literature, including:
> A literary prize: the LES AFRIQUES Prize
> A literary residency in Cameroon
> Financial aid for literary projects
> Literary cafes
> The active promotion of books through various communication networks.