Mbozi Haimbe is the winner of the Commonwealth Short Story Prize 2019 in an announcement made today, May 8, 2019
The Commonwealth Short Story Prize is awarded annually for the best piece of unpublished short fiction and open to all citizens in the Commonwealth. Previous winners of the Africa regional prize are Jekwu Anyaegbuna (2012), Julian Jackson (2013), Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi (2014), Lesley Nneka Arimah (2015), Faraaz Mahomed (2016), Akwaeke Emezi (2017), and Efua Traoré (2018). Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi is the only African to win the global prize.
The shortlist for the Africa region announced on April 10 included Mbozi Haimbe, Alex Latimer, Irene Muchemi-Ndiritu, Adorah Nworah, and Erica Sugo Anyadike. The winner of the prize has been revealed to be Mbozi Haimbe for her short story Madam’s Sister. In the story, the arrival of madam’s sister from London causes upheaval within the household but has an unexpected bonus for the guard, Cephas.
Haimbe speaking on the win said, “I am absolutely thrilled to have been selected as the regional winner and feel privileged to contribute to Africa’s literary landscape. Although a social worker by profession, I have always considered myself a writer. Winning the regional prize validates my aspiration. I thank the judges, and give acknowledgment to Zambia, which remains deeply influential to my writing.”
Mbozi Haimbe was born and raised in Lusaka, Zambia. She completed an MSt in Creative Writing at the University of Cambridge in 2018 and is currently working on a collection of African inspired short stories.
Mbozi like each of the other regional winners goes home with £2,500 and is in the running to win the global prize that is £5,000.
Update: The global winner for this prize announced on Tuesday, July 9, 2019, is Constantia Soteriou.