Scandals, Controversies and African Literary Prizes

Between Intertextuality and Plagiarism

Authored by: Doseline Kiguru

Routledge Handbook of African Popular Culture

Print publication date:  May  2022
Online publication date:  May  2022

Print ISBN: 9780367483869
eBook ISBN: 9781003080855
Adobe ISBN:


 Download Chapter



Literary awards in Africa are major canonising agents that play the role of promoting the text and the writer in the global literary markets. They further contribute to the accumulation of cultural and symbolic value to the literary networks within which the writers and their texts circulate. This chapter examines the value of scandal within the context of contemporary African literature in the prize industries and its role in establishing and destabilising prestige, exploring what this means in the context of African popular culture today. In this analysis, the chapter foregrounds the short story “All Our Lives” by Tochukwu Emmanuel Okafor which was marked by controversy and scandal involving plagiarism accusations in 2019. Before and following the controversy, the story was awarded and circulated by the AKO Caine Prize for African Writing, Brittle Paper Literary Awards, and Short Story Day Africa Prize ― major award bodies for short stories by upcoming African writers. Relying on this background, the chapter explores the concept of literary scandal as a theme through an analysis of “All Our Lives,” the controversies around it, and the networks in which it circulated as a prizewinning short story.

Search for more...
Back to top

Use of cookies on this website

We are using cookies to provide statistics that help us give you the best experience of our site. You can find out more in our Privacy Policy. By continuing to use the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.