Lori-Ann Preston and Vennessa Scholtz

Lori-Ann Preston and Vennessa Scholtz

Lori-Ann Preston and Vennessa Scholtz are the winners of the seventh edition of the Golden Baobab Prize 2016 announced in Accra Ghana November 22nd 2016. The two, both South Africans, go home with US$5,000 and a guaranteed publishing contract.

The Golden Baobab Prize was set up to inspire the imaginations of African children through African stories. The Prize is often referred to as the “African Newbery Prize”, and is renowned as a pioneering and prestigious award in the African children’s literature industry. Previous winners of this prize include Mary Ononokpono, Xanele Puren, and Portia Dery.

This year, after a break for one year, the categories being competed for were the Early Chapter Books and for Picture Books with over 150 stories from 11 African countries submitted. The prizes were being judged by Nonikiwe Mashologu, Rutendo Chabikwa, Kofi Anyimadu, Daphne Lee, Brenda Randolph, and Lanre Shasore.

The interesting thing about this prize tends to announce its shortlistees and prize winners at the same time. This is opposed to others that first announce the shortlist first so that followers can be left in suspense. Perhaps they want to use this invaluable technique to raise the interest in their prize?

Those who were in the running were ;

Picture Book Prize Shortlist

  • Kai Tuomi (South Africa) – A Dark Night for Wishes
  • Lori-Ann Preston (South Africa) – Mr Cocka Rocka Roo
  • Vennessa Scholtz (South Africa) – Kita and the Red, Dusty Road

Early Chapter Book Prize Shortlist

  • Ayo Oyeku (Nigeria) – Maya and the Finish Line
  • Khethiwe Mndawe (South Africa) – Lights and Freedom
  • Lori-Ann Preston – The Ama-zings!

The winning stories of the 2016 Golden Baobab Prize are:

Golden Baobab Prize for Early Chapter Books 2016.

  • The Ama-zings! by Lori-Ann Preston (South Africa),

Golden Baobab Prize for Picture Books 2016

  • Kita and the Red, Dusty Road by Vennessa Scholtz from South Africa.