Ken Walibora looks like he is having fun.
Ken Walibora.

The Kenya Publishers Association has announced its shortlists for this years edition for the Jomo Kenyatta Prize for Literature. The prize, which is handed out once every two years, is in the following categories; English adult, Kiswahili adult, English Youth, Kiswahili Youth, English children’s and Kiswahili children’s.

One author who always features at this award ceremony is Ken Walibora having won in 2003 for his book Ndoto ya Amerika, 2005 for Kufa Kuzikana, 2007 for Innocence Long Lost and 2009 for Kisasi Hapana . He is in the running in the Swahili youth category for his book Naskia Sauti ya Mama.

Another former winner in the running is Stanley Gazemba in the English children’s category for his book A Scare In The Village. He previously won this prize in the English category for his book The Stone Hills of Maragoli.

Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor
Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor

The English adult is a very hotly contested category with David Mulwa, Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor and Nducu Wa Ngugi in the running. David Mulwa just a few weeks ago was feted by Kenyans on turning his allocated three score and ten in Nairobi. He was the winner for the Jomo Kenyatta prize for his book We come in peace in 2013 and will want to go with the one for the adults.

Nducu on the other hand is one of the many author children of that Ngugi Wa Thiong’o fellow that only writes in Kikuyu; where his novels are concerned of course, not the other stuff like newspaper articles, speeches et al. Its will be good to see of Nducu can keep up the good family name and be the first to win this prize for the Ngugi clan.

Yvonne was recently appointed a global roving ambassador of Kisumu county as well as being currently in the running for the FT/Oppenheimer Fund Emerging Voices award.

The full list of those in the running is;

English Adult Category

  • Flee Mama Flee by David Mulwa- Published by One Planet Publishing Media services
  • Dust by Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor- Published by Kwani (My review)
  • City Murders by Nducu Wa Ngugi-Published by East Africa Educational Publishers

Kiswahili Adult Category

  • Pendo La Karaha by John Habwe-Published by Moran Publishers E.A Ltd
  • Rangi Ya Anga by Kithaka Wa Mberia- Published by Marimba Publications
  • Narejea Nyumbani by Jeff Mandila-Published by Jomo Kenyatta Foundation

English Youth Category

  • Echoes of a Whisper by Masinde Kusimba Published by Moran Publishers E.A Ltd
  • Sunrise at Midnight by Florence Mbaya published by East Africa Educational Publishers
  • The Tissue Boy by Edward Mwangi Published by Moran Publishers E.A Ltd

Kiswahili Youth Category

  • Kivuli cha ndot by Kenne Wasike- Published by Oxford University Press
  • Ni rangi tu by Ally Mtenz Published by Oxford University Press
  • Naskia sauti ya mama by Ken Walibora-Published by Longhorn Publishers

English Children Category

  • What a day by Njiru Kimunyi Published by Vide Muwa Publishers
  • Out of the box by Ngure Matu Ndiritu Published by Phoenix Publishers
  • A Scare in the Village by Stanley Gazemba- Published by Oxford University Press

Kiswahili Children Category

  • Ushindi wa Nakate by Clara Momanyi-Published by Longhorn Publishers
  • Neema by Bitugi Matundura -Published by Longhorn Publishers
  • Ah Shangazi Mela by Rebecce Nandwa-Published by Oxford University Press