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The Kendeka Prize for Africa Literature is awarded for the best piece of unpublished short story either fiction or creative non-fiction.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.

 The 2022 Long listed stories in no particular order are the following;

  1. Chained, by Scholastica Moraa, Kenya
  2. Star Boy, by Adaoro Raji, Nigeria
  3. Isithunzi, by Beverley Ann Abrahams, Zimbabwe
  4. The weight of grief, by Ewa Gerald Onyebuchi, Nigeria
  5. Ashes on Platters of Gold, 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 Mushrooms Sprout, by Joe Nyirenda, Zambia
  9. The Judgement, by Agomuo juliana chinaza, Nigeria
  10. Luckiest Bastards, by Uchechi Princewill Akachi, Nigeria

A shortlist of five stories shall be announced on 15th September 2022 while the top three winners shall be announced during the award ceremony to be held on the 24th September, 2022, at Fourteen Falls Leisure Lodge, Thika, Kenya. The first Prize is Kshs 100,000, the second and the third prizes are Kshs 50,000 and 25,000 respectively. For details visit .

The Bios for the 2022 judges are as follows;

Judge Dr. 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.

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 story version, Of Women and Frogs, was nominated for the Caine Prize. Her second novel, Daughter in Exile, is forthcoming from HarperCollins March 2023. She has written for and been featured  in many publications including McSweeney’s Quarterly, Washington Post, Ms Magazine, Aljazeera, New York Times and Washington Times. She founded and ran 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 won an Excellence in Teaching award and is a member of The Who is Who of the best teachers in America. She divides her time between Ghana and America.

Judge Faith Oneya;

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

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

Kendeka Prize for African Literature is an initiative by 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 runners-up for her story, The Women of Atinga House, while Okpanachi Irene Ojochegbe, from Nigeria was the second runners-up for her short story, Au Pair.

The Prize is run by an Advisory Board chaired by James Murua. Other members are Dr. Tom Odhiambo, Muthoni wa Gichuru, Mercy Kiragu, Patrick Gatobu, William Mureithi, Lucas Wafula and Andrew Maina. 


Andrew Maina


Kendeka Prize for African Literature

Thika, Kenya

1st Sept, 2022

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