Jennifer Makumbi

Jennifer Makumbi: My Kshs10 is riding on her win

The longlist for the Etisalat Prize for African Literature was announced by the panel of judges earlier today. They are;

  • An Imperfect Blessing by Nadia Davids
  • Whoever Fears the Sea by Justin Fox
  • The Thunder that Roars by Imran Garda
  • Penumbra by Songeziwe Mahlangu
  • Kintu by Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi
  • Fresh Air and other stories by Reward Nsirim
  • Happiness Like Water by Chinelo Okparanta
  • Ghana Must Go by Taiye Selasi
  • Shadows by Novuyo Rosa Tshuma

As you can see from the above list, South Africa reigns supreme with a haul of four books. Our Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi continues with her reign of terror good run of form where the prizes are concerned. Her book Kintu was winner of a well regarded prize and she won the Commonwealth Short Story earlier in the year. I say that with her run she has to be a front runner already and should she win it then we can all heave a sigh of relief that she can’t enter another prize for her book for the next few years.
So what did the judges have to say about the longlist? Well renowned Nigerian writer and Chair of Judges Sarah Ladipo Manyika said, “We the judges are excited about this long list which is reflective of the great diversity presented by the full list of submissions this year. We are happy by our decision and cannot wait to reread the nine books to prepare for the upcoming retreat where we will determine the shortlist”.
These lucky lads and lasses are in the running for winning £15,000, an engraved Montblanc Meisterstück and will attend an Etisalat sponsored fellowship when they are announced at an Award Ceremony in Lagos, Nigeria next February. The shortlistees don’t go home empty handed either. The prize will buy 1,000 of their books and then proceed for a multi-city sponsored tour.
Its a great time to be a writer.