Kendeka Prize for African Literature is a Non-Profit Company Limited by Guarantee registered in Kenya whose main objective, aim, vision and mission is to nurture new and existing writers from the African Continent and the Diaspora by creating a platform for Africans to tell their stories not only on the Continent but to reach wider audiences around the world. The Prize encourages upcoming writers to write on issues affecting Africa from an African perspective thereby amplifying African voices worldwide.
Many upcoming and existing African writers face challenges in publication and distribution of their literary work. We have created opportunities for nurturing new talent, supporting existing writers bring to the wider reading audiences the social, economic and cultural issues affecting the day-to-day lives of African peoples on the Continent and in the Diaspora, the stories of beauty, achievements, resilience and the many mountains, valleys, deserts, lakes and seas traversed by our people, young and old, through the ages.
The overall winner of the 2022 Kendeka Prize for African Literature announced today, 24th September, 2022 is Scholastica Moraa, (Kenya) for her short story titled ‘Chained’. In the same ceremony Adaoro Raji, (Nigeria) was announced the first runners up for her story ‘Star Boy’. Beverley Ann Abrahams, from Zimbabwe was the second Runners up for her short story ‘Isithunzi’.
The winning stories were chosen after a rigorous process by a panel of three Judges chaired by Dr. Siphiwo Mahala, from South Africa. Also in the panel were Bisi Adjapon from Ghana and Faith Oneya from Kenya. In their statement, the judges had the following to say, “Each and every writer who put their ideas on paper and submitted their story for consideration in this prize adds a unique voice to the African literary tradition.
Short Story; Chained
Scholastica Moraa is a Kenyan author and poet. She is a graduate from Jaramogi University with a Bsc in Actuarial Science. She is the author of a collection of poems titled ‘Beautiful Mess’. One of her short stories ‘6 days to twenty’ was long listed in the Kendeka Prize for African Literature 2021. When she is not writing, she is deeply immersed in a novel or two. She loves travelling, making new friends, learning new languages and overthinking
It has been a great honour for us to be chosen as the judging panel for the 2022 Kendeka Prize for African Literature. The Kendeka Prize espouses values that we individually and collectively cherish. While we are drawn from different parts of the continent, the common denominator among us is our love and commitment to the development of African literature.
We believe that for African literature to grow, a concerted effort needs to be made towards nurturing and amplifying new voices. In only two years, the Kendeka Prize is already making headway towards the fulfillment of these ideals. Our mutual aspirations are captured in the founding objectives of the prize, described as to “nurture new and existing writers from the African Continent and the Diaspora by creating a platform for Africans to tell their stories not only on the Continent but to reach wider audiences around the world.”
The Long List for the 2022 Kendeka Prize for African Literature is announced today, Thursday, 1st September, 2022.
The Kendeka Prize for Africa Literature is awarded for the best piece of 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 on this long list were chosen following a rigorous selection process by a panel of three Judges chaired by Dr. Siphiwo Mahala, from South Africa. Also in the panel is Bisi Adjapon from Ghana and Faith Oneya from Kenya. The list was chosen from 21 African nations.
Kendeka Prize for African Literature is accepting entries from 5th March 2022 to 5th May 2022 for its’ 2022 edition. The entry is free. The Prize will be awarded for the best unpublished short story either in fiction or creative non-fiction. The first prize will be Kshs.100,000 while the 2nd and the 3rd shall receive Kshs.50,000 and Kshs.25,000 respectively.
Judge Siphiwo Mahala, Chair
Siphiwo Mahala is an academic, short story writer, novelist and playwright. He is a graduate of the University of Fort Hare, holds a Masters degree in African Literature from Wits University, and a PhD. in English Literature from the University of South Africa. His debut novel, When a Man Cries, was published in 2007. He is the author of two critically acclaimed plays, The House of Truth (2016) and Bloke and His American Bantu (2021), two short story collections, 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.
Jenny Robson, Winner of The Inaugural Kendeka Prize
Author of, Water For Wine
Jenny Robson was born in South Africa in 1952, but has lived most of her adult life in Botswana where she works as a music teacher. Much of her writing is for children and young people. To date, she has eleven YA novels published. One of these novels, Because Pula Means Rain, was awarded the UNESCO Prize for Youth Literature the Service of Tolerance.
Jenny also writes short stories for adults and her work has been published in magazines both locally and abroad. Some of her work has been translated into other languages including KiSwahili, German, Spanish and Korean.
Her stories and novels are set always, firmly and with love, in Afrika.
Fatima Okhousami, First Runners Up
Author of, The Women of Atinga House
Fatima Okhuosami is a pharmacist and avid consumer of literature and global politics. Some of her poems and short stories are published online / in-print at: The Kalahari Review, Chillfiltr Review, Jalada Africa, Everyday Fiction, Agbowo press, 101words.org, Third Word Press, Kreative Diadem, Flash: The International Short Story Magazine, Itanile magazine, etc.
She was a runner-up of the December 2020 Collins Elesiro literary prize.
She is a graduate of the 2019 International Writing Programme Lines and Spaces Tour held at Abuja, Nigeria.
Okpanachi Irene Ojochegbe, Second Runners-up
Author of, Au Pair
Okpanachi Irene Ojochegbe is content writer and graduate of Ahmadu Bello University, with a B.sc degree in Sociology. When not writing content, she love to write, sing, listen to music draw, eat (yes, she a HUGE foodie), play video games, and watch movies.