The winner of the Caine Prize will be announced tonight as part of the series of events called “Africa Writes” in its third year to celebrate African writing in London, UK. The nominees are Kenyans Okwiri Oduor and Billy Kahora the highest for us in East Africa. Also in the list are South African Diane Awerbuck, Zimbabwean Tendai Huchu and Efemia Chela who has both Ghana and Zambia roots.
The Africa Writes events in London have enthralled some of us as some of the more famous names in African literature gave talks and participated in panels on various topics. For those of us in Nairobi and other parts of the continent, we have been following the activities on the twitter trend #AfricaWrites where people at the events tweet proceedings. If you are in London please keep tweeting as some of us really appreciate the intel.
On Friday for instance I was enthused as I followed the discussion between legendary writer Ama Ata Aidoo and Wangui Wa Goro who is most famous as a translator of Ngugi Wa Thiong’o’s work from Kikuyu to English. From what I could tell Wangui was enjoy the barbs of the legendary writer up close. Sample this;
Goro: So how was your childhood?
Aidoo: You can just google.
Goro: Who are the people exciting you in writing right now?
Aidoo: There are many but you can google.
Of course she gave much more than funny quips as she talked about here history in the writing game.
There were many panels over the weekend after that evening. Valerie Brandeis Jacaranda Books Art Music Ltd, Bibi Bakare-Yusuf Cassava Republic, Susan Yearwood, Verna Wilkins of Tamarind Books, did an interesting session on; Books for the Masses: Publishing Genre Fiction in Africa. Bakare-Yusuf explained that there are too few major literary figures on the continent. She plans on going to the youth and their social media feeds to attract them to their work.
Tonight we shall keep you abreast with what we can on the award ceremony with a blog post at the end of it as I’m not there so I can’t live tweet or anything…