I Believe in Miracles! Nigerian Writer Tope Folarin is the 14th Winner of the Caine Prize for African Writing with his Story “Miracle”

Posted on Monday, July 8th, 2013 at 10:46 PM

By BellaNaija.com

This evening at the Bodleian Library, Oxford, Nigerian writer, Tope Folarin was announced as the 14th winner of the Caine Prize for African Writing. Tope’s short story “Miracle” helped him clinch the prize money of 10,000 Pounds.

According to Gus Casely-Hayford the Chair of the judges, “Tope Folarin’s ‘Miracle’ is another superb Caine Prize winner – a delightful and beautifully paced narrative, that is exquisitely observed and utterly compelling“.

The first Nigerian to win the Caine Prize is the popular multiple awards winning novelist Helon Habila in 2001. Previous shortlisted Nigerian writers include the famous Nigerian authors Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie in 2002; Chika Unigwe in 2004, was also shortlisted in 2006 for the Dutch equivalent of the Orange Prize for her novel translated into Dutch, “de fenicks”. Ike Okonta in 2005; Sefi Atta in 2006, is famous for her Everything Good Will Come and Swallow and the short story collection News From Home.

Tope Folarin

Tope Folarin

Tope Folarin is the recipient of writing fellowships from the Institute for Policy Studies and Callaloo, and he serves on the board of the Hurston/Wright Foundation. Tope was educated at Morehouse College, and the University of Oxford, where he earned two Master’s degrees as a Rhodes Scholar. He lives and works in Washington, DC.

Tope was shortlisted with 3 other Nigerians and a Sierra Leonean for the prize and he came out ahead. The shortlisted writers include popular writer, ElNathan John who is famous for his satirical and humorous pieces.

Read the shortlisted stories here!

Tope Folarin (Nigeria) ‘Miracle’ from Transition, Issue 109 (Bloomington, 2012)
Read Miracle

Pede Hollist (Sierra Leone) ‘Foreign Aid’ from Journal of Progressive Human Services, Vol. 23.3 (Philadelphia, 2012)
Read Foreign Aid

Abubakar Adam Ibrahim (Nigeria) ‘The Whispering Trees’ from The Whispering Trees, published by Parrésia Publishers (Lagos, 2012)
Read The Whispering Tree

Elnathan John (Nigeria) ‘Bayan Layi’ from Per Contra, Issue 25 (USA, 2012)
Read Bayan Layi

Chinelo Okparanta (Nigeria) ‘America’ from Granta, Issue 118 (London, 2012)
Read America

We say a BIG congratulations to the winner and the shortlisted writers. Good job guys!

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  • 27 Comments on “I Believe in Miracles! Nigerian Writer Tope Folarin is the 14th Winner of the Caine Prize for African Writing with his Story “Miracle””

    • Lin July 8, 2013 at 11:02 PM

      congrats!!! :)

      • Lin July 8, 2013 at 11:54 PM

        I believe in Miracles too. To God be the glory. My miracles are coming now *prayingmood

    • B! July 8, 2013 at 11:27 PM

      I read the short story and it was beautiful! A well deserved prize.

    • Tobi July 8, 2013 at 11:30 PM

      Lovely lovely. Congratulations!

    • Ngum July 8, 2013 at 11:37 PM

      Nigeria has always been prolific when it comes to writers. Nice to see the stream still flowing. Congrats to Tope!

    • 'Mide July 8, 2013 at 11:44 PM

      Nice one. Na the thing we wan dey hear be dis.

      • Idak July 9, 2013 at 11:06 AM

        i beg we want photo shoots and tatoo pics only. Na book we go chop?

        • Mz Socially Awkward... July 9, 2013 at 12:46 PM

          Idak, you schizo… hahaha!

    • Godslove22 July 9, 2013 at 12:11 AM

      Nice….All the best to him

    • Sanusi Sijuade July 9, 2013 at 12:18 AM

      Congratulations Tope Folarin. You ve made us proud

    • Aniema July 9, 2013 at 12:24 AM

      I was rooting for Chinelo Okparanta. I desperately wanted a Nigerian woman to win. Oh well, a Nigerian still won. It’s all good. Congrats Tope. Here’s to an exciting career.

    • madman July 9, 2013 at 12:39 AM

      Congrats bro

    • Kify July 9, 2013 at 2:04 AM

      4/5 woohoo…congrats Tope

    • Truth be told July 9, 2013 at 2:51 AM

      nice one!

    • Ada July 9, 2013 at 4:24 AM


    • Aderonke July 9, 2013 at 8:18 AM

      Congrats, wish him greater heights

    • Samuel July 9, 2013 at 8:40 AM

      I am happy Tope’s story won. Beautiful storytelling, clever use of language, vivid descriptions and a very satisfying end.

    • Lizzie July 9, 2013 at 9:56 AM

      Congratulations Tope… This is jist the beginning.

    • Olulu July 9, 2013 at 10:10 AM

      lol, nice story, happy for Tope. I pray more success for you by God’s grace, hope u believe, lol.

    • Autoprincess July 9, 2013 at 10:49 AM


    • Idak July 9, 2013 at 11:15 AM

      I have downloaded both Miracles and Bayan Layi. Seems i am in for a good treat.
      Congrats to the winner and short listed writers. I’ll be looking out for THE PROXIMITY OF DISTANCE in bookshops in the near future.

      • 'Mide July 10, 2013 at 6:57 PM

        I know say you be correct persin. Abeg, make you look well well for the photo and tattoos wey boku inside the book. Nothing beat writing tattoos on the brain.

    • Tomidespeaking July 9, 2013 at 3:19 PM

      Congratulations to Tope. You’ve found a patch to put your roots in. The sky awaits your shoot. Rise and tower.

    • Toyin July 9, 2013 at 7:46 PM

      Congrats Tope. I enjoyed reading his writing.

    • Mariaah July 9, 2013 at 10:25 PM

      Congrats to Tope!
      Although, I was rooting for Abubakar Adam Ibrahim (Nigeria) ‘The Whispering Trees’ from The Whispering Trees, published by Parrésia Publishers (Lagos, 2012) because I have read the book; I loved it and I cried… :( The entire book is beautiful (loved the one about the medical student that had an accident, I cried too) :(
      Another reason is, my friend R.A co-runs Parrésia (allow me to famz mehn) :)

    • yorubaamerican July 12, 2013 at 12:37 PM

      But is this dude really Nigerian? I highly doubt that he’s spent more than a month in the country – if that.

    • Global Citizen July 15, 2013 at 9:48 PM

      These are the kind of people we are looking for our kids to look up to.