The official ceremony for the 2011 Burt Award for African literature, organized locally by Ghana Book Trust , with sponsorhip from CODE , which took place on 16 July 2012, was a bit different from most book related ceremonies that I have attended here in Accra.
Firstly, it started on time. And I was late, thinking 15 minutes past of the official start time would be OK, but it wasn’t! Too bad for me, and a big hurrah for the organizers. TG I wasn’t the latest to arrive though, and I don’t think I missed too much.
Secondly, it was pretty short and to the point. Within an hour all the speeches had been done, and it was time for some photos with the winners, or press interviews, or just networking with friends and colleagues.
Thirdly, there were no books available for sale. A disappointment actually, though I did know in advance that this was just the award ceremony itself. What further saddened me though was hearing that the books would not be published until November this year, which is definitely later than expected!
But then I shouldn’t complain; that means that there is something to look forward to!
Winners for 2011 are:
- First prize: Mamle Wolo, for The Kaya girl
- Second prize: Ruby Goka, for The lost royal treasure
- Third prize: Manu Herbstein, for Akosua and Osman
All are being published locally, and 3000 copies of each title will be distributed to schools, libraries and other institutions, so they will be widely available.
Note: There was press coverage in both the Ghanaian Times and the Daily Graphic, but not a huge amount online. See here and here.