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Modjaji Books

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Yewande Omotoso’s fabulous Bom Boy on Etisalat prize shortlist

Bom Boy by Yewande OmotosoYewande Omotoso does it again, Bom Boy has been shortlisted for the inaugural Etisalat Prize. My inbox has been pinging with queries from agents, requests for review copies from places as far afield as the UK and Ghana, and the Nigerian press is full of the short-list story. The other two authors and books that are on the list are No Violet Bulawayo’s We Need New Names and Karen Jennings’ Finding Soutbek. The short-list thrills me because all of them are women. And they are all wonderful women. Karen Jennings worked for Modjaji as an intern a couple of years ago, and she is still a firm friend of mine and of Modjaji Books. I would be thrilled if any of the authors won.

I really commend Etisalat and the prize organisers for the way they have thought through the prize, they are taking the three short-listed writers on a three city book tour. The books they are buying are creating distribution pathways within Africa, so that links are built up and the way is paved for future book sales into the sites that are identified.

This is a big deal for Modjaji Books, especially as the prize organisers have decided to, as part of the prize, buy 1000 copies of the three short-listed titles for book clubs, libraries and other institutions all over Africa. Usually only the authors get a prize, and in South Africa, being short-listed or even winning a prize doesn’t necessarily mean that sales shoot up. Sure – you might sell an additional 50 or 100 copies of a ‘literary’ novel, but never 1000 copies.

The Nigerian press has taken up the prize with great gusto, here is a link and here is another. Because of Yewande’s Nigerian origins – she seems to be their favourite.

The Blogosphere has lit up with news of the shortlist too. 9jaFlave has carried the story, and so has Kinnareads. James Murua’s blog features the story too.

Now we wait till the 23rd February, Lagos, to hear who is the winner. But so far, all three authors and their publishers are winners.

Bom Boy

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Recent comments:

  • <a href="http://www.modjajibooks.co.za" rel="nofollow">Colleen</a>
    Colleen
    January 30th, 2014 @11:18 #
     
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    We need suggestions of where the 3 X 1000 copies of the short-listed #Etisalat prize books should go. Etisalat is planning to donate the books to schools, universities, libraries and book-clubs in African countries. You can email me if you don't want to write in the thread. cdhiggs at gmail.com

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  • <a href="http://book.co.za" rel="nofollow">Ben - Editor</a>
    Ben - Editor
    January 30th, 2014 @16:07 #
     
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    Gosh, the question is where to start?

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  • <a href="http://www.sapartridge.co.za" rel="nofollow">Sally</a>
    Sally
    January 31st, 2014 @08:58 #
     
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    The Book Lounge is collecting books for Westridge High School in Mitchell's Plain.

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  • <a href="http://www.modjajibooks.co.za" rel="nofollow">Colleen</a>
    Colleen
    January 31st, 2014 @11:14 #
     
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    Well, do start Ben & others ... we need names and addresses. And thanks Sally.

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  • <a href="http://book.co.za" rel="nofollow">Ben - Editor</a>
    Ben - Editor
    January 31st, 2014 @12:01 #
     
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    I wonder if the Leadership for Learning programme, which distributes books to schools in Soweto, would be interested? They aim to boost basic literacy, but there might be scope for higher-level reading too. Will email details.

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  • <a href="http://www.modjajibooks.co.za" rel="nofollow">Colleen</a>
    Colleen
    January 31st, 2014 @12:19 #
     
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    Thanks, Ben.

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  • <a href="http://www.modjajibooks.co.za" rel="nofollow">Colleen</a>
    Colleen
    January 31st, 2014 @12:29 #
     
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    To any African country. I have about 20 suggestions. Please keep them coming in. We need contact details of the organisation, contact person and maybe if not obvious why they should get the books.

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  • <a href="http://www.sapartridge.co.za" rel="nofollow">Sally</a>
    Sally
    January 31st, 2014 @12:55 #
     
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    Libraries are always looking for new book donations. And Nazareth House in Tamboerskloof. All books donated to them are sold at the big Charity Book Sale at Cavendish.

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  • <a href="http://www.modjajibooks.co.za" rel="nofollow">Colleen</a>
    Colleen
    February 1st, 2014 @13:30 #
     
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    We aren't looking to donate books that will be sold on. They are meant to be part of the stock of the organisation that will receive the books. But thanks for your suggestions, Sally.

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