The Advisory Board

Kendeka Prize is administered and hosted by Solano Publications Ltd, a publishing company registered in Kenya. Its work is supported by an Advisory Board appointed by the Company. The Judging Panel is recommended by the Advisory Board whose first Chairman is James Marua.

Advisory Board Members

James Murua – A blogger, podcaster, journalist, and editor who has written for a variety of media outlets in a career spanning print, web and TV. His online space focuses on literary news and reviews. He was a judge of the 2020 Cain Prize for African Writing. He is the Chairman to the Board.

Andrew Maina – Is a writer based in Thika. He also Manages Solano Publications Ltd., and is its representative in Kendeka Prize. He is the author of, I Am Listening, 2019, The Great Escape, Lying Under the Mound, Obama’s Bed, A Letter to Kisumu, Grace Onyango, The Ngware Ride and Ihũa wa Riũa
na Gĩcũkĩ.

He contributed and co-edited I Am Listening, 2020. He co-compiled I Am Listening 2021 He is the founder of Kendeka Prize for African Literature and currently its project manager. He is also the Secretary to the Advisory Board

Dr Tom Odhiambo – is senior lecturer at the University of Nairobi’s Literature Department and the editor of Eastern African Literary and cultural studies published by Taylor and Francis’. He also sits in the board of African Studies Journal of the University of Witwatersrand in South Africa.

Alice Muthoni Gichuru – is a Kenyan author who writes as Muthoni Wa Gichuru. She is the Cordinator, AMKA space for women writers. Muthoni’s first published novel, Breaking the Silence, was first runner-up for the Jomo Kenyatta Foundation Literature Prize, 2011. Her novella, The Hidden Package, (2016) won second prize Burt Award for African Writing. Her debut play, The Land along the River, was on the list of Commended plays in the English as a Second Language category at The 25th International Radio Playwriting Competition, 2016.  In 2018 she was the overall winner of Burt Award for Africa Writing, Kenya, for her manuscript, The Carving. Muthoni is also a short story writer and was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Short Story Prize 2015 and longlisted in 2018. She has been published in Fresh Paint volume 2, (2015) an anthology by AMKA, Kenya, Moonscapes 2016, an anthology by African Writers Trust, Uganda and The Wrong Patient and Other Stories from Africa (2018), an anthology by Africa Book Club, Kweli journal 2019 and Wasafiri Literature Journal 2019. Muthoni was also shortlisted for the Queen Mary Wasafiri writing prize (2019), life-writing category for, The Perfect Handspring. Muthoni was Africalia’s Creativity-Is-Life-Grants Scholar 2020.

Mercy Kiragu – Is a psychologist based in Thika currently pursuing her doctorate.

Patrick Gatobu – is a public policy expert based in Nairobi.

William Mureithi – is a writer and lecturer at Kagumo Teachers College. He is the author of A Note for Alice, Holes of Shame, broken Bond, The path of Dove and Courage Mocking Fear.

Lucas Wafuka – Lucas Wafula is Editor-in-chief, and CEO, Booklyst Press Limited. He is also Director and Lead Facilitator, at Global Editorial Centre-KE. Lucas has been working as a publisher/editor for nearly 20 years now, during which he has worked with award-winning authors, authors of note, as well as young writers. He was the Chief Judge in Kendeka Prize, 2021.

He has worked in and on projects for, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Zambia, Uganda, Malawi, and South Sudan. Lucas is passionate about growing African literature and helping budding writers sharpen their writing craft. Tanzania, Rwanda, Zambia, Uganda,