Award-winning DMU student furthers writing career with first novel

By Kerri Stevenson

A PhD student at De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) is set to further his award-winning writing career after publishing his first novel exploring unethical journalism practices in Nigeria.

Anietie Isong, who is researching New Media at DMU, looking into how technology affects African literature, wrote Radio Sunrise after working for a radio station in Nigeria, following his studies for a Communications degree, and witnessing first-hand the issues journalists face.

Radio Sunrise, which is Mr Isong’s first novel, paints a satirical portrait of ‘brown envelope’ journalism in Nigeria, which he claims is rife in the country, where journalists are expected to accept cash from news sources when they provide information.


Anietie with his first novel, Radio Sunrise

He said: “I am very excited about this as I have had an interest in writing since secondary school and this developed even more while studying for my degree, where I published my first short story along with articles in journals, anthologies and newspapers.”

The novel follows Ifiok, a young journalist working for the government radio station in Lagos, who, after travelling to his hometown to make a documentary about a band of ex-militants, is forced to confront the ugly truth about the future of his country and his existence.

Mr Isong was awarded a prestigious Authors’ Foundation grant by the Society of Authors in the UK to enable him to complete his novel.

“I wrote the novel five years ago and it was supposed to be published then, but there were some issues with it, so I was surprised that there was still an interest.”

Mr Isong has won several awards for his writing, including the Commonwealth Short Story Award, the inaugural Olaudah Equiano Prize for fiction and the maiden Remember Oluwale Writing Prize.

Mr Isong, who also has a master’s degree in Communications and Globalisation from Leicester University, hopes that the publication of Radio Sunrise will help him continue his writing success and he also aims to publish more novels in the future focusing again on journalism.

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