The Caine Prize 2014 winner is Kenya’s Okwiri Oduor!

Okwiri Oduor
Okwiri Oduor

The Caine Prize 2014 winner has just been announced in London and the winner this year is Kenyan writer Okwiri Oduor. She becomes the third Kenyan winner of the prize after Binyanvanga Wainaina in 2002 and Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor on 2003.

The ceremony with several speeches started with a minute of silence for the just deceased Nobel Prize winner Nadine Gordimer at the beginning of Jonathan Taylor’s speech. This was followed by Baroness Nicholson who thanked the 2014 judges led by chair Jackie Kay and previous Caine Prize winner Helon Habila. She mourned the passing of Caine Prize patron, Gordimer. Baroness Nicholson thanked Lizzy Attree and her team at the Caine Prize secretariat.

Next on stage was Booker Prize winner Ben Okri who was giving the keynote address with his theme being; “Freedom”. The #BringBackOurGirls campaign was on his mind and he stated that their fate hangs over us all. He also jocularly promised to give a shorter speech this year in response to a tweet posted last year on the length of his speech. He spoke about the importance of art on our lives.

“If Joyce only spoke about the Irish famine how much more would we have lost?”quipped the award winner. “We must not let anyone define what we write about.”

And the winner was announced by Jackie Kay. Okwiri Oduor! The Kenyan writer won the award for her story My Fathers Head. The story was also the winner of the Short Story Day Africa prize for 2013 and earlier this year, Okwiri made it on the Africa39 list of top 39 African writers under the age of 40.

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9 Thoughts to “The Caine Prize 2014 winner is Kenya’s Okwiri Oduor!”

  1. It’s nice for a Kenyan to win this year’s Caine Prize. When I first read the shortlist, I developed faith in Okwiri’s “My Father’s Head”; Billy Kahora’s “Gorrila’s Apprentice” coming second. Big big congrats, Okwiri Oduor. Keep the good stuff coming.

  2. […] spite of the hype accompanying last night’s Caine Prize win for Okwiri Oduor, the reality is that the biggest prize in African literature is actually the one the Nigerians […]

  3. […] is fast becoming a very important prize as last year’s winner Okwiri Oduor went home with the Caine Prize for African writing. Number three on the day Efemia Chela with Chicken was also shortlisted for the Caine […]

  4. […] 2013. She went on to be shortlisted for the Caine Prize with fellow SSDA Efemia Chela(Zambia) and she won. With such a glorious starting it became quickly evident that you wanted to take whatever the folks […]

  5. […] If you imagine that this are the people who have published two Caine Prize nominees including the most recent winner Okwiri Oduor then you know that they are doing something […]

  6. […] From that event the festival has gone on to be recognised around the continent. The biggest name to come out of that event was the organiser at the time Okwiri Oduor who went on to win first the Short Story Day then the Caine Prize. […]

  7. […] reading this who might not know either of the writers. Okwiri Oduor shot to literary stardom when she won the Caine Prize in 2014 for her story My Fathers Head. She has since recently ended a writers course at the Iowa University […]

  8. […] like Helon Habila, Binyavanga Wainaina, Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor, Noviolet Bulawayo, Tope Folarin, Okwiri Oduor, Namwali Serpell to last year’s winner Lidudumalingani Mqombothi. As you can see from this list […]

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