Could somebody please help me understand this? A literary prize one of whose entry conditions is that "Books that have won other awards are not eligible for this prize."
In this way, excellent works such as Petina Gappah's An Elegy for the Easterly, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's Half of a Yellow Sun, and Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani's I Do not Come to you by Chance are already condemned by the grace of their sheer excellence. Is it still a prize for excellence or a pat on the back for trying? How, in the name of all that is holy, can excellence be a disqualifying factor in a prize dedicated to excellence? How can a prior recognition be a badge of dishonor, a stigma? How am I to take the winning entry seriously? Or rather the prize itself?
A mercy prize award? It's like marrying somebody out of pity: You enter into marriage with an ugly man who's been rejected by all the women around. How's that?
I ask these question not because this prize shouldn't be taken seriously; I ask because Wole Soyinka Prize for literature is a terrible thing to waste.
Anyway, here's the result of the recently concluded prize award. Congratulations to prize winners.