The judges for the Kendeka Prize for African Literature, 2023, are unveiled today. The chair of the panel is novelist Natasha Omokhodion-Kalulu, a Zambian based in Lusaka. Joining the panel, is Richard Ali, a lawyer, novelist and poet based in Abuja, Nigeria and Pasomi Mucha, a novelist and a teacher based in Nairobi, Kenya

About the 2023 Judges

Natasha Omokhodion-Kalulu Banda

Natasha Omokhodion-Kalulu Banda is a Zambian of Nigerian and Jamaican heritage. Her short stories have featured in various publications, including ‘Short Story Day Africa 2018’ for Door of No Return, which was translated into Portuguese for Brazilian Journal ‘Periferias’. Her latest short story, Her Sweetie, Her Sugarcane has been released in Harper Via’s anthology ‘Reflections’. She is an alumni of Curtis Brown Creative’s Breakthrough Course for Black Writers, and an MA candidate in Creative Writing at Kingston University London. Her first book No Be From Hia was selected as a Graywolf Africa Press finalist in 2019. Published in Zambia, it has gone on to markets in South Africa, Canada, and is due for release in the UK by Legend Press. She has served the Afritondo Prize judging panel in 2022, and is a Board Member of Alliance Française of Lusaka.

Richard Ali

Richard Ali is a Nigerian lawyer, novelist and poet. He was named Managing Editor of the Jalada Africa Trust, based in Nairobi, Kenya, in February 2021. He has published the novel, City of Memories (Parrésia Books 2012), and the poetry collection, The Anguish and Vigilance of Things (Konya Shamsrumi 2019).  Richard was Editor-in-Chief of the Sentinel Nigeria Magazine and a runner-up at the 2008 John la Rose Short Story Competition. He was the Publicity Secretary of the Association of Nigerian Authors (2011 to 2015). He currently sits on the board of Uganda’s Babishai Niwe Poetry Foundation, which runs BN Poetry Award—Africa’s only in-Africa continental poetry prize. He has served as a consultant, holding a public policy-shaping role in Nigeria as Technical Assistant to the Honourable Minister of Interior (2015 to 2017). He continues to work in internal security, particularly in preventing and countering violent extremism (PCVE) and currently manages the Engaging Borders Africa project. He lives in Abuja, Nigeria.

Pasomi Mucha

Pasomi Mucha studied English and Literature for her B.Ed. (Arts) degree at the University of Nairobi, and English and Linguistics for her Master’s degree at Kenyatta University. She has been a teacher of English, Literature and Communication Skills as well as a curriculum developer and education consultant since 1994. Pasomi is the author of storybooks for children, a novel, ‘Shades of Life’ for young adults, as well as a single-author short story anthology, ‘The Shortest Tails and other short Tales’. She has contributed to short story anthologies such as ‘Man of the House’ published by Critical, Cultural and Communications Press, and ‘Butterfly Dreams’ by Oxford University Press, East Africa. She lives and works in Nairobi, Kenya.

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