On Monday July 2, my friend and writer, Rotimi Babatunde, was declared the winner of this year’s Caine Prize for African Writing – the highest prize for short fiction from Africa. The prize comes with 10,000 British Pounds, and the bragging rights that come with being singularly crowned out of a list of diverse nominees.

“The shortlist with Baroness Nicholson in Oxford yesterday: Stanley, Melissa, Jenna, Emma, Billy and Rotimi.”

His short story titled “Bombay’s Republic” (downloadable here) explores the almost forgotten story of Nigerian soldiers in Burma during the Second World War. In the citation, Babatunde’s work was described as “ambitious, darkly humorous and in soaring, scorching prose exposes the exploitative nature of the colonial project and the psychology of Independence.”

Rotimi Babatunde’s fiction and poems have been published in Africa, Europe and America in journals which include Die Aussenseite des Elementes and Fiction on the Web and in anthologies including Little Drops and A Volcano of Voices. He is a winner of the Meridian Tragic Love Story Competition organised by the BBC World Service and his plays have been staged and presented by institutions which include the Halcyon Theatre, Chicago and the Institute for Contemporary Arts. He is currently taking part in a collaboratively produced piece at the Royal Court and the Young Vic as part of World Stages for a World City. Rotimi lives in Ibadan, Nigeria.

More on the Caine Prize website.

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