Mabati-Cornell Kiswahili Prize for African Literature

Mabati Cornell Kiswahili Prize for African Literature 2018 shortlist was announced on December 17, 2018.

The Mabati Cornell Kiswahili Prize for African Literature was founded in 2014 by Dr Mukoma Wa Ngugi (Cornell University) and Dr Lizzy Attree to recognise writing in African languages and encourage translation from, between and into African languages. The project is supported by Mabati Rolling Mills, Cornell University, East African Educational Publishers, Mkuki na Nyota Publishers, and The Africa Poetry Fund. Previous winners of the prize are Ali Hilal Ali and Dotto Rangimoto (2017) and Idrissa Haji Abdalla and Hussein Wamaywa and Ahmed Hussein Ahmed (2016).

The shortlist announced was selected from 116 manuscripts entries read by three judges. They are Ahmad Kipacha, a Lecturer of Research Communication with the Nelson Mandela African Institution of Science and Technology in Tanzania, Natalie Arnold Koenings, a fiction writer, Swahili and English literary translator, and anthropologist at Hampshire College in Massachusetts, USA, and Rocha Chimerah, Professor of Kiswahili Linguistics at Pwani University, Kilifi, Kenya, a literary critic and novelist. The shortlisted works and authors are:


  • Mungu Hakopeshwi a novel by Zainab Alwi Baharoon (Tanzania).
  • Kilinge cha Hukumu ya Dhambi by Yasini Hamisi Shekibulah (Tanzania).
  • Makovu ya Uhai by Shisia Wasilwa (Kenya).


  • Wino wa Dhahabu by Bashiru Abdallah (Tanzania).
  • Moto wa Kifuu by Jacob Ngumbau Julius (Kenya).
  • Sauti Yangu by Mohamed Idrisa Haji (Tanzania).

The award ceremony will be held in Tanzania, in February 2019.