Elizabeth Uviebinené and Yomi Adegoke, authors of the manifesto for young black women Slay in Your Lane (Fourth Estate), have won the £10,000 2018 Groucho Club Maverick Award.
The award, self-described as "the ‘bad kid on the block’ in the world of prizes", was set up with the intention of honouring "a person or enterprise that has both challenged the status quo and made a major contribution to the arts and culture world". The prize was awarded by Jack Monroe at the Groucho Club in Soho and will be shared between the author duo. It also includes a bronze sculpture by artist Gavin Turk and a lifetime membership to The Groucho Club for each.
Uviebinené and Adegoke were selected from a shortlist of seven, which also comprised: anonymous street artist Banksy; double bass player Chi-chi Nwanoku, founder of the Chineke! Orchestra; Scottish stand-up Janey Godley (who famously protested Donald Trump’s visit to Scotland with her ‘Trump Is A Cunt’ sign outside his Turnberry Golf Resort); Iranian artist and animator Majid Adin; Pimlico Opera, for bringing music and drama into prisons across the country; and Dutch social design lab Studio Roosegaarde for its Smog Free Project.
Chair of the judges, Dotti Irving, called winners Uviebinené and Adegoke "an inspiration to today’s generation, women and men alike" and praised the prize for its "brilliant track record of celebrating people who question the status quo, and make us all look at our society or culture in a different light".
Jeff Connon, general manager of the Groucho Club, added: "It's terrific news that Elizabeth and Yomi are the winners this year. We are honoured to have had such an exciting shortlist of rebels and rogues, and we’re proud that they’ll be entering the Groucho fold. Each one of the shortlist has disrupted the cultural agenda and they all deserved to be nominated. Sadly, there can only be one final winner – in this case we have a double benefit."
Uviebinené and Adegoke are currently working on editing an "important and timely" anthology for Bonnier Books UK imprint Lagom, featuring the diverse voices of over 20 black British women, both established and emerging.
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