Speech By Andrew Maina

The chief Guest, Prof. Kamau Goro, the Advisory Board of Kendeka Prize, all the long listed authors of Kendeka Prize 2021, all invited guests, good afternoon. I thank God for granting me the opportunity of attending the unveiling of I Am Listening Volume three which an anthology of the twelve long listed stories in the Kendeka Prize for African Literature, 2021.

Hosting this ceremony could not have been possible without the support of The Secretariat and the Advisory Board of Kendeka Prize, led by our chairman, James Murua. I also cannot forget Muthoni wa Gichuru, with whom we compillede of this anthology, thank you for being available at all times and for your in-put in bringing this anthology to life. We have also received a lot of support from Solano Publications Ltd, led by Purity Kananu.

In running the programs of Kendeka Prize last year, we received generous financial support from various individual led by Mr. Sammy Macharia, Mr. Gordon Schofield and members of the wider Kendeka family. There is also a donor who wished not be mentioned. Wherever you are, kindly receive our appreciation for your generous donation. Support has also been received from Solano Publications in hosting the secretariat of Kendeka Prize. To each of the donors mentioned and not mentioned a big thank you.

In simple terms, Kendeka Prize is all about story-telling, an art that through fables, tales, songs, and the many other mediums, held families and communities together. This is fast dying and has been replaced by life styles and gadgets which in turn have come to dominate our lives. We may therefore no longer have the around the fire evening sessions where different members of the family had an opportunity of telling and listening to stories, but we can recreate those beautiful lost moments. This can be done by making available stories which are nutritious to of each member of the family and the community at large. This is what we are doing at Kendeka Prize. We encourage folks to tell stories and the unveiling of this anthology is a testament of our commitment in doing our best in securing the future of story-telling. To move forward the work of Kendeka Prize, we need your support. We need funds to run the secretariat, funds to pay judges, and most importantly, funds to dispense to the winners. Looking around me, I am encouraged because I see faces of literature lovers. Face that will not close the door on us, when we come knocking seeking support.

Thank you very much,

Andrew Maina
Founder, Kendeka Prize for African Literature