Monday, May 18, 2015

My 2015 Caine Prize short list top three thoughts

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 one.

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”