The shortlist for the Nyabola Prize for Science and Speculative Fiction in Kiswahili 2021 was announced today, November 17, 2021.

The Nyabola Prize for Science and Speculative Fiction in Kiswahili was founded to recognise short fiction with the intention of promoting the vocabulary of science and technology in Kiswahili in 2021. Writers were encouraged to use science and speculative fiction to demonstrate the use of vocabularies of technology in Kiswahili. It is supported by award founder Nanjala Nyabola through the Stanford Digital Civil Society Fellowship and administered in partnership with the Mabati-Cornell Kiswahili Prize for African Literature.

The judges for this the first year are Dr. Hamisi Babusa, a Lecturer of Kiswahili and Language Education alongside award founder Nanjala Nyabola, a writer and a political analyst based in Nairobi, Kenya. The panel has revealed the shortlist from the 147 entries received.

“We are very encouraged by the volume of stories we received and with such a breadth of themes. It was a great first experience for us and we hope the prize only grows stronger,” said Ms. Nyabola

The shortlisted works and authors are;

  • Sofi Binsari (Kenya), Dunia ya Pili
  • Twihuvila Gillah (Kenya), Pigo Zito
  • Hussna Mohamed Hassan (Tanzania), Afriti Hasitiki
  • Stallone Joyfully (Tanzania) Dubwasha
  • Emmanuel Kimeu (Kenya), Sayari Ya Wanawake
  • Hassan Omar Mambosasa (Tanzania), Mashine
  • Haruni Manigu (Tanzania), Ustaarabu Wa Sayari Ya Sadiza
  • Charles John Mlowezi (Tanzania), Kamera Ya Mtoisa
  • Shabani Omari Molito (Tanzania), Mgeni Kutoka Sayari Nyekundu
  • Florence Chanya Mwaita (Kenya), Miongo Mia Moja

“Some of the stories came from unexpected places and it is very good to see Kiswahili becoming popular even with people for whom it is not a first language,” said Dr. Babusa

The final prize winners will be announced in January 2022 and an anthology of the top twenty stories is expected later in the year.