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BN Bytes: Babatunde Rotimi’s “Bombay’s Republic” Wins the 2012 Caine Prize For African Writing



Last night in Oxford, United Kingdom, Nigeria’s Babatunde Rotimi was announced as the 13th winner of the Caine Prize for African Writing. The Chair of Judges, Bernardine Evaristo MBE, announced Babatunde Rotimi as the winner of the £10,000 prize at a dinner at the Bodleian Library in Oxford.

According to Evaristo, “Bombay’s Republic vividly describes the story of a Nigerian soldier fighting in the Burma campaign of World War Two. It is ambitious, darkly humorous and in soaring, scorching prose exposes the exploitative nature of the colonial project and the psychology of Independence.

Along with the prize money, Mr. Babatunde  will be given the opportunity of being a Writer-in Residence at the Lannan Centre for Poetics and Social Practice at the Georgetown University. The prize will also cover his travel and living expenses. He will also be invited to be part of the Open Book Festival in Cape Town, in September later this year.

The idea behind the Caine Prize for African writing is to encourage the growing recognition of the worth of African writing in English, its richness and diversity, by bringing it to a wider audience and it is open to writers in Africa whose work have been published in English. Short stories are which reflect the contemporary development of the African story telling tradition are encouraged.

The Caine Prize for African Writing has been won by some other notable Nigerian writers, Helon Habila (2001), Segun Afolabi (2005) and E.C Osondu in 2009. Nigerian writer, and the 1991 Booker Prize Winner, Ben Okri was announced as the new vice president of the Prize in April 2011.

We, at BellaNaija, congratulate Mr. Babatunde and wish him the best in all his future endeavours.


  1. abi

    July 3, 2012 at 1:42 pm

    Well done- truly inspiring

  2. Onos

    Onos O

    July 3, 2012 at 1:50 pm

    Very proud!

  3. Laila Ikeji

    July 3, 2012 at 1:57 pm

    Great work speaks for itself. Bravo Babs.

  4. Me2me

    July 3, 2012 at 3:17 pm

    Good job

  5. Olivia

    July 3, 2012 at 3:24 pm

    Congratulations! Proudly Naija!!

  6. Tolulope Popoola

    July 3, 2012 at 3:26 pm

    Congratulations to Babatunde Rotimi. I’m off to check out his work.

  7. Priscy

    July 3, 2012 at 3:29 pm

    Good news not just for him but for this country as a whole.

  8. Ndidi

    July 3, 2012 at 3:33 pm

    Well done Mr. Rotimi! You make us proud!!

  9. Lue

    July 3, 2012 at 3:45 pm

  10. Janded

    July 3, 2012 at 5:24 pm


  11. christy

    July 3, 2012 at 9:01 pm


  12. Unity

    July 4, 2012 at 4:55 am

    Congratulations, Babatunde Rotimi. I look forward to read more of your work. Georgetown University is one of the best universities, good luck.

  13. L.A Chick

    July 4, 2012 at 11:38 am

    Congratulations! Stories like that always make me proud!!!

  14. Tosin

    July 4, 2012 at 12:46 pm

    You should read the shortlisted stories for the prize, Babatunde Rotimi’s is mighty nice…I also recommend La Salle de depart and pretty much all the shortlisted stories: Love on Trial, Urban Zoning. At
    Great stuff.
    You’re welcome.

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