Kenyan writer John Rugoiyo Gichukis radio play Eternal, Forever is the winner of the BBCs African playwriting competition for 2006. The science-fiction drama is set in the United States of Africa in the year 2410, when the continent is at the cutting edge of technological development. Apart from the craft of the writing itself, I loved the aspirational aspect of the play, set in the future when the continent is leading, competition judge Ola Animashawun of the Royal Court Theatre in London told the BBC. Everything I was reading about people struggling, about economics, about migration, here, it said we can do it.
Second prize in the competition went to Chika Maureen Ukaigwe, a 22-year-old medical student from Nigeria, for her play about mob justice, Slayed Dog. Ghanaian Efo Kodjo Mawugbes Once Upon a Time in Lagos, a comedy drama about the rivalry between two unemployed graduates, a Nigerian and a Ghanaian, took third prize along with The Spots of the Leopard, a portrait of a woman betrayed by her lover, by Mohammed Sheriff from Sierra Leone.
The BBC is already accepting entries for the 2007 competition. For details and to listen to the winning plays from this year log on to www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/specials/1419_africanperforma/index.shtml.