African Writers Awards 2021

The shortlists for the African Writers Awards 2021 and the Wakini Kuria Prize for Children’s Literature 2021 were announced on September 1, 2021.

The African Writers Awards were conceived by the African Writers Development Trust to shed a light on some of the best emerging writing talents on the continent. Some previous winners have been Manu Herbstein, Maryhilda Ibe, Chiamaka Onu-Okpara, and Benson Mugo in 2018; Eme Ogbu, Temani Nkalolang, Andrea B Matambo, and Priscillar Matara in 2019; and Oladejo Oluyemisi, Asoloko Gloria Akayi, and Duru Nneka Joyce in 2020.

The awards this year are judged by Chief Judge Anthony Onugba alongside Nahida Esmail (Tanzania), Gankhanani Moffat Moyo (Zambia), Sabah Carrim (Mauritius), Nabilah Usman (Nigeria), Comfort Nyati, SDB (Zimbabwe), Temani Nkalolang (Botswana), Halieo Motanyane (Lesotho) and Namse Udosen (Nigeria).

The longlist for the African Writers Awards 2021 and the Wakini Kuria Prize for Children’s Literature 2021 were announced on August 1. The shortlist for the awards are;

Creative Non-Fiction

  • Adetutu by Adedoyin Adetutu (Nigeria)
  • Cultural Partnership for a Common African Future by Saliha Haddad (Algeria)
  • Is This Legacy by Oluchi B. Kolanisi (South Africa)
  • Long Live the Comrade by Peter Zowa (Zimbabwe)
  • What Our Tales Entail by Jesse Bitrus Danjuma (Nigeria)
  • Whispers of the African Sun by Enoch Akinlabi (Nigeria)


  • A Country Called Africa by Dancan Ouma Obuya (Kenya)
  • Eating With Chopsticks by Gordon, B. Away (Kenya)
  • Fostered from a Thought by Irene Melissa Ojoro (Kenya)
  • Right in the Middle by Akinkunle Johnson (Nigeria)
  • The Twist by Bernard Diesuk Lucas (Nigeria)
  • Zige by Ebinabo Fortune Robert (Nigeria)


  • All You See, All You Don’t See Poem by Joseph Olamide Babalola (Nigeria)
  • In the grave of the brave by Clara Wanjira Kariuki (Kenya)
  • Mother Africa is like a Highway in a Metropolitan City by Basethile Ngcubo (South Africa)
  • Not in the Tears of Yesteryear by Raphael Edookue Bariweremeloo (Nigeria)
  • The Dining Table by Overcomer Ibiaduradara Ibiteye (Nigeria)
  • The Doomed House by Jamin Clement Manyasa (Kenya)

Wakini Kuria Award for Children’s Literature

  • Akaa and the Mango Tree by Chipalo Salimu (Zambia)
  • Kodjo Braves a Hi by Temidayo Odutokun (Nigeria)
  • Tea time with Tito by Stephanie Chizoba Odili (Nigeria)
  • The Enchanted Pen by Nathaniel Z Mpofu (Zimbabwe)
  • The Millionaire Orphan by Makhago Peter (Uganda)
  • What Does it Mean to be Kind Anyway by Kendi Karimi (Kenya)

The winners will be announced during the 4th African Writers Conference on October 9 in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.