Mabati-Cornell Prize for African Literature 2017 winners Dotto Rangimotto and Ali Hilal Ali were hosted to a reading of their work at the University of Nairobi on Wednesday, February 14, 2018.
The Manu Chandaria Centre at the University of Nairobi was the stage for the reading for Mabati-Cornell Prize for African Literature 2017 reading. On the previous day, Dotto Rangimotto and Ali Hilal Ali were awarded cheques of US$5,000 each for their work in fiction and poetry in Kiswahili. The afternoon at the Kenya National Theatre was more of a presentation with those behind and working with the prize in various ways getting to give their speeches about their involvement.
February 14 was the day of the award winning writer and poet would read from their submitted work. The afternoon, emceed by Prof Iribe Mwangi, had speeches from those in the department of the University of Nairobi led by Prof Raya Timamy and others including Wahome Mutahi Prize winner John Habwe. Also giving remarks were Mabati Cornell Prize co-founder Prof Mukoma Wa Mukoma, board chairman Abdilatif Abdalla as well as a poetry presentation.
The stage was then set for the reading with Dotto Rangimoto reading from his poetry manuscript Mwanangu Rudi Nyumbani and Ali Hilal Ali reading his fiction winning entry Mmeza Fupa. Each would read for about 15 minutes from their work picking from the most compelling of the pieces to the audience comprising of students alongside faculty of the University of Nairobi in the main. At the end of their readings, they fielded questions about how they got their work to the level to win the prize, what they hoped to achieve and more.
You can watch an excellent video showing what happened on that day below.
You can also watch some of the dodgy videos from my dodgy camera below.