The 9mobile Fellowship (formally Etisalat) is a unique and generous annual award of £10,000 sponsored by the international telecommunications company 9mobile to enable a fiction writer from Africa who wants to write in English to spend four months in the Creative Writing community with us.

It is awarded to the recipient of the 9mobile Prize for Literature, a prize established by the company in 2013 to celebrate new African fiction, encouraging upcoming writers whilst supporting the African publishing industry. The winner of the prize receives £15,000 in addition to the fellowship, and the prize also aims to support publishers by purchasing 1,000 copies of all shortlisted books, to be donated to various schools, book clubs and libraries across the African continent. In addition, it sponsors a book tour to three African cities for the three shortlisted writers.

The Fellow is mentored by our very own Professor Giles Foden, author of The Last King of Scotland, and is provided with significant opportunities to meet other writers, as well as agents and publishers while working on their second book.


We are delighted to announce that the 2019/20 9mobile Fellowship has been awarded to Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ̀.

Ayobami Adebayo is the author of Stay With Me, which won the 9mobile Prize for Literature. It was shortlisted for the Baileys Prize for Women’s Fiction, the Wellcome Book Prize and the Kwani Manuscript Prize. It was also longlisted for the International Dylan Thomas Prize and the International Dublin Literary Award. Stay With Me was named a Notable Book of the Year by The New York Times and a Best Book of the Year by The Guardian, The Economist, The Wall Street Journal and other publications. It has been published or is forthcoming in 20 languages and 24 countries. Ayọbámi has written for The New York Times, Wasafiri, Elle, the BBC, The Guardian, and others.  She has received fellowships and residencies from MacDowell Colony, Ledig House, Sinthian Cultural Centre, Hedgebrook, Ox-bow School of Arts, Saari Residence and Ebedi Hills. She holds BA and MA degrees in Literature in English from Obafemi Awolowo University, Ife. Ayọbámi also has an MA in Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia, where she was awarded an international bursary for creative writing.  In 2017, she won The Future Awards Africa Prize for Arts and Culture.

Former 9mobile Fellows

You can read more about the former Fellows on UEA Writers.

  • Jowhor Ile (2017/18)
  • Fiston Mwanza Mujila (2016/17)
  • Songeziwe Mahlangu (2015/16)
  • NoViolet Bulawayo (who gifted the fellowship to the runner-up Yewande Omotoso) (2014/15)