Goretti Kyomuhendo will chair the Caine Prize for African Writing 2021 panel of judges an announcement made today, April 22, 2021. The other judges are Victor Ehikhamenor, Razia Iqbal, Georgina Godwin, and Nicholas Makoha.
The AKO Caine Prize for African Writing is awarded annually to an African writer published in English for a short story. The prize has recognised some of the most famous writers working today like Leila Aboulela, Helon Habila, Yvonne Adhiambo Owour, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Noviolet Bulawayo and more. In recent times, winners of the prize have been Irenosen Okojie (2020), Lesley Nneka Arimah (2019), Makena Onjerika (2018), Bushra al-Fadil (2017), Lidudumalingani Mqombothi (2016), Namwali Serpell (2015), Okwiri Oduor (2014), and Tope Folarin (2013).
The 2021 edition of the award officially kicked off today with the announcement of the judging panel. Those making the decision on one of the most important prizes in African letters today and their bios are;
This year’s Chair of judges is the Founder and Director of the African Writers Trust (AWT), Goretti Kyomuhendo. She is the first Ugandan woman writer to receive the International Writing Program Fellowship at the University of Iowa, and has been recognised for her work as a writer and literary activist nationally and internationally. As the founding member of FEMRITE – Uganda Women Writers Association and Publishing House, Kyomuhendo has been championing the work of African editors and publishers for decades. Her work at the AWT promotes synergies and collaborative learning between African writers on the continent and in the Diaspora. She will be tutoring writers and readers in a new hybrid Reading Residency programme in Kampala, Uganda, across April and May 2021.
Razia Iqbal, who is a BBC News Presenter on Newshour on the World Service, and the World Tonight on Radio 4, and was the BBC arts correspondent for ten years. She will be a Visiting Journalism Professor at Princeton in 2022. She was born in Uganda and lived in Nairobi until she was 8-years-old, when she moved to London.
Victor Ehikhamenor is an award-winning multimedia artist, photographer and writer whose works have featured in several international exhibitions including the 57th Venice Biennale as part of the Nigerian Pavilion in 2017 and the 12th Dak’art Biennale in Dakar, Senegal in 2016. He is the founder of Angels and Muse, a thought laboratory dedicated to the promotion and development of contemporary African art and literature in Lagos, Nigeria.
Georgina Godwin is an independent broadcast journalist. A regular chair of literary events, worldwide, she is also Books Editor for Monocle 24 and presenter of the in-depth author interview show “Meet the Writers”. She is a frequent host of the award winning current affairs programme The Globalist and a commentator on Southern African politics. She was a founder member of SW Radio Africa, Zimbabwe’s first independent radio station and of the Harare International Festival of the Arts. She serves on the board of the charities English PEN & Developing Artists.
Writer Nicholas Makoha was born in Uganda has lived in Kenya, Saudi Arabia, and currently resides in London. He is the founder of The Obsidian Foundation, a one-week retreat for black poets of African descent who want to advance their writing practice led by five black acclaimed tutors. In 2017, his debut collection, Kingdom of Gravity, was shortlisted for the Felix Dennis Prize for Best First Collection and was one of the Guardian’s best books of the year. Makoha is a Trustee for the Arvon Foundation and the Ministry of Stories, and a member of the Malika’s Poetry Kitchen collective.