South African writer, Lidudu Malingani has been named winner of the 2016 Caine Prize for African Writing for his short story entitled “Memories We Lost.”

Malingani emerged winner of the 17th Caine Prize for African Writing at the annual award ceremony in Bodleian Library in Oxford, UK, on Monday.

He was declared winner from a shortlist of five amazing writers, which included Nigeria’s Lesley Arimahwoh (one-time regional winner of the Commonwealth Short Story Prize), Tope Folarin (a former Caine Prize winner), A Kenyan/Somali, Abdul Adan, and Zimbabwe’s Bongani Kona.

Judges said each of the contestants offered innovative, beautifully crafted, and experimental stories.

Delia Jarrett-Macauley who chaired the panel of judges said he was struck by the fact that Malingani’s story explores schizophrenia within a traditional African context.

He added that he saw the story as a “multi-layered and “gracefully narrated” story.

Coupled with his success in writing, Malingani is also an accomplished filmmaker and photographer. He was born in Zikhovane, a village in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa.

As a Caine Prize winner, Malingani will be given the opportunity to take up a month’s residence at Georgetown University as a Writer-in-Residence at the Lannan Center for Poetics and Social Practice.

In addition to a 10,000 Pounds Sterling (N3.7 million) purse, he’ll also be invited to speak at the Library of Congress and receive invitations to take part in Cape Town (South Africa’s) Open Book Festival, Nairobi (Kenya’s) Storymoja and Nigeria’s Ake Festival.

The Caine Prize for African Writing, first awarded in 2000, is one of the most prestigious and coveted honours for African writing.

This edition of the Caine Prize reportedly had a record-breaking number of entries.

This year’s distinguished panel of judges included Delia Jarrett-Macauley, Adjoa Andoh, Muthoni Garland, Dr. Robert J Patterson and Mary Watson.

Author: Ope Adedeji