Okay, first and formemost, I think 2014 had a stronger shortlist than 2015. Anyway, I read all the 2015 stories and these are my thoughts on my top three. But before that, my traditional Caine title weave. "The Folded Leaf" was "Flying" in "Space". Someone who was attending "A party for the Colonel" caught it and inserted it in "The Sack".
1. Elnathan John. I love the opening, creative. The story is very prosy
too, about life in a place I can barely imagine, an orphanage. The
handling of the second life concept is admirable. The humour is great,
typical Eljo. But it is dark humour. Within the funny lines, lies the
pitiful conditions of abandonment and neglect of the children. The main
character has probing questions about identity
and heritage but is scared to find out. Then it just goes very poignant
when Aunty Keturah dies. The death was too sudden for me. Did she come
back as that fowl? Lol.
2. F.T Kola. Beautiful story about family
achievement, its struggles, its troubles and disappointment in a child.
There is political activism too. Lots of pretty lines and good
characters. Reads like a short story nurtured straight from creative
writing school. The story is so long it made me lose some reading steam
though. But the “Amandla” salute conclusion by the kid is a memorable
3. Segun Afolabi. I enjoyed it more than his 2005 winner,
“Monday Morning.” I like the way he captures and evokes the extremely
curious world of a blind child and the confusing new world of Lagos
which he is not used to. But my mind kept wandering to Tope Folarin’s
“Miracle” in the church scene, a couple of similarities between them.
Afolabi is pastor hoaxing from the Nigerian angle. Tope was pastor
hoaxing from the Nigerian American angle, (which he wrote better.)
Due to the fact that, F.T Kola is my 2nd and Afolabi already won the
Caine thing, I really wish the king of satire, who has “tried hard but
has never won anything” should really win the 2015 Caine thing. His blog
is amazing too. “Team Eljo”