The winners of the regional winners of the Commonwealth short story were announced yesterday with Ugandan Jennifer Makumbi winning in the African region for her story Let’s tell this story properly. The story is of a Nnameya a grieving widow who she arrives at Entebbe Airport from Manchester with her husband Kayita’s coffin. But then events take such a dramatic turn that she must relinquish her widowhood and fight.
For her hard work, the writers goes home with UK£2,500 and puts herself in the running to win the £5,000 that the final winner would go home. We wanted to translate the winnings into Ugandan shillings but when I started counting the zeroes on the calculator I nearly had a heart attack so you will have to make do with the Kenya Shillings value; Ksh366,190.65 by today’s exchange rates.
She was pretty chuffed on her win. And this is what to say about it;
“I screamed when I learnt the news! To win the regional (Africa) leg is a privilege. It will bring attention to my writing and to Ugandan writing at a global level. I am immensely grateful to Commonwealth Writers.”
Now imagine if she wins the big mshikaki when the big prize rolls around on 13th June.
This win continues to support my theory that Uganda is the new frontier in African writing.