Just when we are trying to get over the excitement from the fact that Alice Oluwafemiayo sets world record in Mexico, two Nigerians have done us proud again.
Elnathan John and Eloghosa Osunde from Nigeria joined 3 other writers including Alemseged Tesfai from Eritrea, Bryony Rheam from Zimbabwe, and Fatima Kola from South Africa as this year’s winners of the Morland Writing Scholarships.
Initially, the winners selected from over 500 entries were to be just four but the competition was so fierce the judges couldn’t decide on the best four, so five scholarships were awarded this year.
Tesfai who won a non-fiction award of £22,500 to be paid over fifteen months to allow him three extra months for research while the other fiction winners will receive a grant of ₤18,000 to allow them to take a year off to write a book.
Elnathan’s proposed historical novel is set in the Sokoto Caliphate – a challenging story in which the past is used to explore urgent contemporary themes of identity, sexuality, faith and tolerance while, Eloghosa will write a novel about two school friends – each harbouring a secret that could destroy their lives – who decide to join forces and create a home together in the face of a hostile society.