2022 Kendeka Prize for African Literature Long List Announced

Kendeka Prize for African Literature


The long list for the 2022 Kendeka Prize for African Literature is announced today, Thursday, September 1, 2022.

The Kendeka Prize for African Literature is awarded to the best unpublished short story, either fiction or creative non-fiction. The first edition of the prize founded by Kenyan writer Andrew Maina was won by Botswana writer Jenny Robson in 2021.

The 10 stories in this long list were chosen following a rigorous selection process by a three-judge panel chaired by Dr Siphiwo Mahala, from South Africa. Also on the panel, Bisi Adjapon from Ghana and Faith Oneya from Kenya. The list was chosen from 21 African nations.

The 2022 The stories listed for a long time in no particular order are as follows;

  1. Chained, by Scholastic Moraa, Kenya
  2. Starboy, by Adaoro Raji, Nigeria
  3. Isithunzi, by Beverly Ann Abrahams, Zimbabwe
  4. The weight of sorrow, by Ewa Gerald Onyebuchi, Nigeria
  5. Ashes on golden trays, by Ola W. Halim, Nigeria
  6. Bittersweet, like lemonade, by Chiemeziem Everest Udochukwu, Nigeria
  7. Anchor for the baby, by Ibrahim Mustapha Enesi Nigeria
  8. Until the mushrooms grow, for Joe Nyirenda, Zambia
  9. The Judgment, by Agomuo juliana chinaza, Nigeria
  10. The luckiest bastards, for Uchechi Princewill Akachi, Nigeria

A shortlist of five stories will be announced on the 15the September 2022 while the first three winners will be announced at the awards ceremony to be held on 24e September 2022, at Fourteen Falls Leisure Lodge, Thika, Kenya. The first prize is 100,000 Kshs, the second and third prizes are 50,000 and 25,000 Kshs respectively. For more details, visit www.kendekaprize.com .

The biographies of the 2022 judges are as follows;

Judge Dr. Siphiwo Mahala, President

Siphiwo Mahala is an academic, short story writer, novelist and playwright. He is a graduate of the University of Fort Hare, holds an MA in African Literature from Wits University and a Ph.D. in English Literature from the University of South Africa. Her first novel, When a man crieswas published in 2007. He is the author of two critically acclaimed plays, The house of truth (2016) and Guy and his bantu american (2021), two collections of short stories, African delights (2011) and Red Apple Dreams and Other Stories (2019), and a biography, Can Themba: the making and breaking of the intellectual Tsotsi (2022). He is a senior lecturer at the University of Johannesburg, South Africa.

Judge Bisi Adjapon

Bisi Adjapon is the author of The Teller of Secrets, a Washington Post/Essence/Globe and Mail Top 20 novel published in November 2021 by HarperCollins. The short version, women and frogs, was nominated for the Caine Award. Her second novel, girl in exile, is forthcoming from HarperCollins in March 2023. She has written and been featured in numerous publications, including McSweeney’s Quarterly, Washington Post, Ms Magazine, Aljazeera, New York Times and Washington Times. She founded and led the Young Shakespeare company for four years in America, and as an international affairs specialist for the US Foreign Service, she won the Civil Rights Award for Human Relations. As an educator, she has won an Excellence in Teaching Award and is a member of The Who is Who of America’s Best Teachers. She divides her time between Ghana and America.

Judge Faith Oneya;

Faith Oneya is a media practitioner, opinion columnist and creative writer. His articles have appeared in several publications, including the Standard, African Woman Magazine, Daily Nation and EastAfrican. His short stories have been featured in several anthologies, the latest being Nairobi Black (2020). Her children’s book The girl with the big heart (2018), has been approved for use as a classroom reader by the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development.

Faith holds a Master of Arts in Digital Journalism from Aga Khan University, Kenya and a Master of Arts in Communication from the University of Nairobi, Kenya. She also holds a Bachelor of Education (English and Literature) from the University of Nairobi, Kenya. She is a member of the Kenya Editors’ Guild and the Association of Media Women in Kenya. She is also a member of the editorial board of the Jahazi Arts Journal.

The Kendeka Prize for African Literature is an initiative of Andrew Maina, a Kenyan writer whose aim is to encourage Africans to write and read more. The winner of the 2021 Prize was Jenny Robson, from Botswana for her story, Water for wine. Fatima Okhousami from Nigeria was the first runner up for her story, The women of the Atinga house, while Okpanachi Irene Ojochegbe from Nigeria was the second runner-up for her short story, Au pair.

The award is managed by an advisory board chaired by James Murua. Other members are Dr. Tom Odhiambo, Muthoni wa Gichuru, Thank you Kiragu, Patrick Gatobu, William Mureithi, Lucas Wafula and Andrew Maina.

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