Abdilatif Abdalla

Abdilatif Abdalla

The Mabati Cornell Kiswahili Prize for African Literature 2016 have announced the shortlist for this year’s prize. The prize is supported by ALAF Limited.

The Mabati Cornell Kiswahili Prize for African Literature, founded in 2014 by Dr. Lizzy Attree (Caine Prize Director) and Dr. Mukoma Wa Ngugi (Cornell University) has the express goal of recognizing writing in African languages and encouraging translation from, between and into African languages.

The 15,000 dollar prize is awarded to the best unpublished manuscripts or books published within two years of the award year across the categories of fiction, poetry and memoir, and graphic novels. The winning entries are published in Kiswahili by East African Educational Publishers (EAEP). And the best poetry book published in English translation by the Africa Poetry Book Fund. The previous winner of the prize were for Anna Samwel Manyanza for fiction and Mohammed K. Ghassani  for poetry.

The short list for the Mabati Cornell Kiswahili Prize for African Literature was announced (November 7th 2016) by the board chair, Abdilatif Abdalla.

The manuscripts were read by the judges Prof Rayya Timammy an associate professor in the department of Kiswahili, Faculty of Arts, University of Nairobi, Shani Omari a senior Lecturer department of Literature, Communication and Publishing at the Institute of Kiswahili Studies, University of Dar es Salaam. They were joined by Joshua S. Madumulla an associate professor of literature at the Tumaini University, Tanzania.

The shortlisted authors are:

  • Idrissa Haji Abdalla for Kilio Cha Mwanamke (fiction)
  • Ahmed Hussein Ahmed for Haile Ngoma Ya Wana (poetry)
  • Ally Hilal for Mmeza Fupa (fiction)
  • Hussein Wamaywa for Mkakati wa Kuelekea Ikulu (fiction) and Moyo Wangu Unaungua (fiction)
  • Richard Atuti Nyabuya for Umalenga Wa Nyanda Za Juu (poetry)

The winners will be announced in late November.