Fiston Mwanza Mujila, a writer from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has won the 2015 Etisalat Prize for Literature for his debut novel, Tram 83.
The Prize, which is in its third edition was created by Nigerian telecoms company Etisalat in 2013. It’s the “first ever pan-African prize celebrating first time writers of published fiction books” and also aims to discover new creative African talent and promote the publishing industry.
Mujila received the £15,000 prize and will have the opportunity to attend the Etisalat Fellowship at the University of East Anglia and will be mentored by Giles Foden, writer of the Last King of Scotland.
According to a reviewer, Mujila’s riveting novel is set in an unnamed Congolese mining town, run by a war lord and the setting is a crucible, “where foreigners come to pillage the mineral resources and exploited locals struggle to survive”.
The book has received numerous positive reviews and it has made it onto the prestigious Man Booker International Prize 2016 Longlist.
To win the coveted prize, Mujila beat South Africa writer Penny Busetto’s The Story of Anna P, as Told by Herself and another South African author Rehana Rossouw, who wrote What Will People Say.
Past Etisalat Prize for Literature winners
2014 -South African Songeziwe Mahlangu, for Pen Umbra.
2013- Zimbabwean NoViolet Bulawayo, for We Need New Names. (Nominated for the 2013 Man Booker Prize).
Source: Etisalat Prize