An ibadan-based (Nigerian) writer Rotimi Babatunde has emerged winner of the 2012 Caine Prize for African Writing.
Babatunde's story about Nigerian soldiers who fought in the Burma campaign during World War II singled him out from other four shortlisted writers and landed him the highly coveted £10,000 ($15,700) prize.
Presenting the award at the Bodlelian Library, Oxford, United kingdom on July 2nd, the chair of judges, Bernardine Evaristo described the winning story as "ambitious, darkly humorous and in soaring, scorching prose exposes the exploitative nature of the colonial project and the psychology of independence."
During BBC's Network Africa interview, the visibly happy Babatunde explained that
"The story is about African soldiers who go to Burma and came back with a sense of new realities and new possibilities. The boundaries that the main character, Bombay, witnessed in Nigeria fell away during the heat of the campaign.
He lost his reverence for the colonial officers.
Babatunde will also have the opportunity to go to Georgetown University, USA, as a writer-in-residence for a month at the Lannan Center for Poetics and Social Practice.
The Caine Prize for African Writing is an annual literary award for the best original short story by an African writer, whether in Africa or elsewhere published in the English language. The £10,000 prize
was founded in the United Kingdom in 2000, and was named in memory of the late Sir Michael Harris Caine,
former Chairman of Booker Group plc.