We have a winner for the Mabati Cornell Kiswahili Prize for African Literature which recognises writing in African languages and encouraging translation from, between and into African languages ladies and gentlemen.
They were selected from 65 manuscripts in the fiction and poetry categories of the Mabati Cornell Kiswahili Prize for African Literature. The six judges who had to go through the task of selecting the inaugural winners of this prize were Dr Farouk Topan, Prof Sheila Ryanga and Prof Mohamed Bakari for fiction and Rukiya Harith Swaleh, Prof Clara Momanyi and Prof Alamin Mazrui for poetry.
The Winners of the new prize are;
1st Fiction Prize 5,000 US dollars: Anna Samwel Manyanza for Penzi la Damu
1st Poetry Prize, 5,000 US dollars: Mohammed K. Ghassani for N’na Kwetu
2nd Prize 3,000 US dollars in any genre: Enock Maregesi for Kolonia Santita (fiction)
3rd prize 2,000 US dollars in any genre: Christopher Bundala Budebah for Kifaurongo (poetry)
Apart from the cash, the fiction winner gets published by East African Educational Publishers (EAEP). And the best poetry book will be translated and published by the Africa Poetry Book Fund. They will be invited to a residency at Cornell University for one week after which they will then be in residence for an additional week at a partner institution (in the USA or in Africa) in 2016. All these prizes will be awarded in December 2015 in Nairobi, Kenya.
So what do the judges ask about the entries they encountered? They said that “using captivating, measured, flowing and sometimes humorous poetic language the winners address issues facing East African societies such as drugs and the harm and violence they unleash globally, gender relations – the agency of women and their rights, and political corruption. This is African neo-realism in an African language at its best.”
Mabati who are the major sponsors had their say too. Sarit Shah, Director of Mabati Rolling Mills, Kenya: “The increasing use of Kiswahili as the major language of communication in Eastern Africa cannot be ignored. We believe that people’s expression in language and culture enables better relationships in both their business and personal interactions. We at Safal and especially at Mabati, are proud to be part of this growing community.”
5 replies on “Mabati Cornell Kiswahili Prize for African Literature 2015 winners announced”
[…] was long overdue, but still kudos for those who initiated this prize for KiSwahili writing. Now the names have been made known for the first winners. […]
[…] 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. […]
[…] by Dr Lizzy Attree and Prof Mukoma Wa Ngugi (Cornell University). Previous winners of the prize are Anna Samwel Manyanza (fiction), Mohammed K. Ghassani (poetry) in 2015 and Idrissa Haji Abdalla and Hussein Wamaywa (fiction) and Ahmed Hussein Ahmed (poetry) in […]
[…] with an English translation done by the Africa Poetry Book Fund. Previous winners of this prize are Anna Samwel Manyanza, Mohammed K. Ghassani in 2015 Idrissa Haji Abdalla and Hussein Wamaywa and Ahmed Hussein Ahmed in 2016 and Dotto […]
[…] Cornell Kiswahili Prize. Zanzibar-born Germany-based Mohammed Ghassani won the poetry section of the Mabati-Cornell Prize For African Literature 2015. Dotto Rangimoto, who was born in Morogoro, Tanzania, and currently based in Dar es Salaam won […]