Nigerian playwright, Jallo wins African playwriting prize

Zainab Jallo, a Nigerian poet and playwright, has won the West African zonal prize of the Arterial Network maiden continental Playwriting Competition.

Jallo’s play, Onions Make Us Cry, and five others from other zones (Northern Africa, Central Africa, Southern Africa, Eastern Africa and Western Africa) came top in the zonal finals.

More than 300 submissions were received, and after a lengthy selection process, six writers have been selected as regional winners of this inaugural competition.

The six winners will participate in a weeklong dramaturgical workshop at the National Theatre Studio from November 21-25, and will have their work introduced to leading players in the British theatre industry.

Besides Zainabu’s Onions Make Us Cry other winners were Driss Ksikes, Morocco Oedipades, (North Africa); Ba’bila Mutia, Cameroon, The Road to Goma (Central Africa); Oduor Jagero/Ken Odour Anthony, Kenya Makemendes Vies for President (East Africa); Megan Furniss, South Africa, The Tent and Tawanda Mutero Kanengoni, Zimbabwe Silent Words (Southern Africa).

One of the aims of the competition is to publish these works in a collection in order to circulate the plays and their writers globally. It is also the intention that at least one of these plays will be selected for a full-scale production by a European Theatre in 2012, and that all six plays will be considered to be staged as readings by various theatres and festivals around the world.

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