Godwin Obaseki, Edo governor, has lauded Irenosen Okojie, an indigene of the state, who won the 2020 AKO Caine Prize for African Writing with her story titled ‘Grace Jones’.


On Tuesday, Okojie had made headlines of prominent newspapers across the world after she emerged winner of the £10,000 prize, with her work receiving praise from the judges.

In a statement congratulating the Nigerian-British author, Obaseki described her as “an enthralling storyteller” who serenades readers with her unique blend of narrative styles.

The governor said her win has blazed another trail, adding that the author, whose work was part of ‘Nudibranch’, her 2019 short stories collection, made a mark as an ambassador of the state.


“The feat is not only a call for celebration but an acknowledgement of the innate qualities and potential of Edo People,” Obaseki said.

“Irenosen Okojie’s ‘Grace Jones’ was pronounced the winning short story for its radicality of logic, extraordinary imagination, and timely reflection of African consciousness.

“As the 21st winner of the prize, she has continued to distinguish herself, joining the league of other Edo sons and daughters in the Diaspora who are putting the state on the world map for good.


“We are proud of her exploits and are even more confident that she would bring more glory to our state and country.”

Okojie had come into the literary limelight in 2016 with her debut novel ‘Butterly Fish’, which won a Betty Trask Award and was shortlisted for an Edinburgh International First Book Award.

Beyond her three published books, her work has appeared in notable platforms, including the New York Times, the Observer, the Guardian, the BBC, and the Huffington Post.


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