Mabati-Cornell Kiswahili Prize for African Literature

The shortlist for the Mabati Cornell Kiswahili Prize for African Literature 2019 was announced by its board chair, Abdilatif Abdalla, on December 15, 2019.

The Mabati Cornell Kiswahili Prize for African Literature recognises writing in African languages and encourages translation from, between and into African languages. The award, founded by Dr Mukoma Wa Ngugi (Cornell University) and Dr Lizzy Attree, has been won by Zainab Alwi Baharoon and Jacob Ngumbau (2018), Ali Hilal Ali and Dotto Rangimoto (2017) and Idrissa Haji Abdalla and Hussein Wamaywa and Ahmed Hussein Ahmed (2016).

The Mabati Cornell Kiswahili Prize for African Literature is sponsored by Mabati Rolling Mills Kenya, ALAF Limited Tanzania (part of Safal Mauritius Limited), Cornell University and the Ngugi Wa Thiong’o Foundation this year. Judging the prize, which made a callout for entries in June, are Ahmed Rajab, Prof Clara Momanyi, and Dr Amiri Swaleh.

The shortlisted works from the 96 entries and their authors are:

Fiction

  • Ziaka Imetoboka – Theuri Maina – Kenya.
  • Mimi na Rais – Lello Mmassy – Tanzania.
  • Safari ya Matumaini – Wanyonyi John Wanyama – Kenya.

Poetry

  • Nusu ya Moyo – Moh’d Khamis Songoro – Tanzania.
  • Mji wa Kambare! Diwani ya Mnenaji! – Arshad Ali – Tanzania
  • Mama Usihuzunike – Nassor Hilal Kharusi – Zanzibar/Tanzania

The winners of the award will be announced early in 2020 and awarded at a location yet to be revealed.